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Kitchen with white and black cabinets and marble countertops with two delarosa pendants hanging over center island

Indoor Lighting Guide

Here we shed light on some tips and tricks that will help with selection, final installation and everything in between.

Tape and Channels - Tips To Major Renovation

Very modern bedroom with variety of channel lighting in the ceilings and steps

LED Tape Lighting has found its ideal companion – channels. Together, they give Kichler® Tape Light amazing potential, limited only by your imagination. You might know tape lighting for accent lighting under and over cabinets, along shelving and islands. Well, this isn’t your father’s tape lighting. With this new team, you can take light the length of your longest corridor, build your own fixtures and integrate light into a wall. Tape and Channels let you design with light, emphasize spaces in new ways, and even make lighting its own piece of artwork. This is illumination on a game-changing level.

Bedroom with channel lights above bed and windows on either side
Close up of staircase with channel lights on each step
Corner living room space with channel lights along the walls.
Channels: A Mini-Guide to a Major Innovation

Tape Lighting and Channels – do they need each other? Hello? They were made for each other. Yes, you can certainly use Tape Lighting by itself, but you might not want to once you see what Channels bring. They expand your Tape Lighting options in countless ways. A much longer list of spaces to name one. Accessories like lenses. Multi-directional display of light. Greater durability. We could go on here, but it’s truly a must-try lighting combo. Kichler Lighting offers three types of Channels, each with their own applications and features.

TE Standard Series

Best suited for straightforward kitchen and shelf accent lighting, this Series comes in varying depths with simple mounting clips, snap-in lenses and holds a single strip of LED Tape Lighting. Installation is easy and the finished look is polished.

Kitchen shelves with tape lights underneath

TE Enhanced Series

A step up from the Standard Series. It’s also a prime candidate for cabinetry and shelving, and perfect for use on stairs or even recessed into surfaces. This series has a 30-degree channel that doubles as a 60-degree channel when rotated. Most other channels in this series are wider for multiple strips of tape lighting - taking your installation from accent to ambient. There’s build-it-yourself flexibility with TE Enhanced. Imagine constructing your own pendant. Nice.

Bedroom at night with a Zeus ceiling fan

TE Pro Series

This is, like the name says, the pro. This Series takes Tape Lighting beyond your wildest dreams. Talk about a wow effect. From closet rods, to cove, crown molding, stair treads and – gasp – even build-them-yourself sconces. Pro Series channels let you design with light in unexpected ways. Length is customizable, so you can create installations limited only by your own imagination.

Interior corridor lit with variety of ceiling lights and sconces, lined by elevators
A Deep Dive into Channels

Channels have remarkable depth. Literally and figuratively. And that varying range of depths gives you some pretty incredible lighting options. All three families of TE Series Channels offer surface and recessed applications. Surface mount means the channel is on top of the substrate or material you place it on. Recessed means the channel is embedded, or “sunk,” into the substrate.

Here’s what each TE Series can do:

Standard Series

Offers 3 depths for surface or recessed applications with one strip of LED Tape Lighting.

  • 45-Degree (Surface Only): an option for under cabinet, under step and drawers.

  • Shallow: cost-effective with visible diodes (the LED built into the Tape Lighting), for use under/above cabinets or toe kicks.

  • Standard: A popular depth with gentle light diffusion for use under/above cabinets, toekicks and shelves.

  • Deep: Ideal for spot-free lighting effects. In addition to cabinets, toekicks and shelves, the recessed version is ideal for in-wall applications or those little niches you want to accent. 

Enhanced Series

Offers many options for both surface and recessed mounts - most with more than one LED Tape Lighting strip.

  • Standard: Utilizes 2 strips of tape to create more task-driven ambient lighting, but with a bit of diffusion. Ideal for under cabinet installations.

  • Deep: Utilizes 2 LED Tape strips and for the same applications as Standard, with a softer diffusion of light.

  • Deep-wide: Utilizes 3 strips of LED Tape for task-driven applications and offers a much greater spot-free lighting effect than its shallow-wide counterpart.

  • 30/60 Degree: An asymmetrical underside allows for a 30 or 60-degree installation under cabinets and stairs or in drawers.

Pro Series

Now here’s where the story gets interesting with lots of twists and turns. Designers and serious DIYers: get set to up your game.

  • Rods: Sturdy enough to use as a closet rod, and it’s suspendable to accent an architectural feature.

  • Sleek: Sweet and discreet. Thin with a curved profile, it uses one strip of tape and is perfect for cabinets without an underside edge, like modern, frameless cabinetry or the shelving of an entertainment unit.

  • In-Wall, Mud-In: Available in standard, deep and extra-wide/deep depths. All versions let you recess into the ceiling or wall and feature a wide flange which allows the channel to be mudded into the drywall for a built-in effect. This means you get more light and see less metal. A  Spring mounting clips can also be utilized to secure the channel within the wall tightly.

    • Use the standard depth, with its capacity for two strips of LED tape, to build light into walls or add architectural accents.   

    • Use the deep depth version, also with a two tape strip capacity, for walls, ceilings and architectural accents where you want lighting to be uniform. It can be installed with construction cement or adhesive, or attached to drywall with mounting spring clips.

    • The extra-wide/deep, deep depth channel can hold up to six strips of LED tape. Trim the channel to custom lengths to create unique troffer-like fixtures.

  • Crown – Contemporary or Transitional Profiles: Bet you didn’t know lighting could create the effect of crown molding. Never underestimate the power of Tape and Channel! You can leave the anodized silver finish or paint. Both profiles use two Tape Lighting strips.

  • Arched Channels, Ceiling to Walls: Use for perimeter accent lighting. With one edge of the channel in the ceiling, while the other to the wall, a single strip of tape then reflects into the arch and onto the wall for a crown-like lighting effect.

  • Sconces: Customizable length of channel that installs simply with a mounting extrusion. The channel can install vertically as a custom sconce, or horizontally as a bath bar or decorative element. They also can be suspended as a pendant.

    • A 2-sided channel has the same installation options, but emits light from both sides - 2 strips of tape on each side for greater light output.

  • In-Floor: Decorative, recessed floor lighting that lets grout or glue secure it to flooring. It’s IP54 rated, so a little water won’t hurt. And IK07 impact rated for floor wear and tear.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

Every great product has accessories to match. The TE Series will not let you down. From connector brackets, pendant cables and mounting clips to a variety of lenses, where you install will drive the accessories you need. Lenses are the accessory you can’t enjoy with tape itself. Just another reason to love channels. Choose from:

  • Clear: Allows the most light through and diodes will be more visible.

  • White Opaque: Diffuses the diodes and spreads the light output.

  • Narrow and Medium: If you want a thinner, more direct beam of light.

  • High Diffusion: For Standard Series only. Used only with shallow and standard surface mount channels. This lens sits higher on top of the channel, broadening the beam and dispersing more light.

  • PVC Lens: This durable lens is IK07 impact rated for floor wear and tear and features an IP54 rated co-molded silicon edge to combat some water ingress, but not full immersion or standing water.

You should also consider the beam spread adjustment accessory. Combine the Deep Well Surface Mount Channel (1TEC1DWSF8SIL) with the Beam Spread Adjustment Accessory (1TEA1DWADJ8SIL) and pair with either a flat, narrow or medium clear lens (1TEL-00/15/30- 18CLR) to create one of nine custom beam spread options. The Beam Spread Adjustment Accessory can be inserted at the base of the channel, or inverted to elevate the LED placement to two different heights (see page 55 of the ILS catalog for more information). 

The Extraordinary Talents of Tape Light

Kichler Tape Light features the most current LED chips and diodes so it’s environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. Don’t let the small size of the lights fool you. These brilliant LEDs can do big things like using a dimmer switch to soften or brighten a space; customize color temperatures to enhance your space, décor, woodwork and more. Tape Light also comes in different lumens, or light outputs, to meet the needs of different areas.

Colorful Temps

White light isn’t just white, but can shift to warmer or cooler tones. 

  • Choose warmer white light (2700K) to bring out natural shades in browns, reds and yellows. 

  • Choose cooler white light (3000K or 4000K) to

    • (3000K) bring out the best in neutral tones - beiges, tans, light grays, or even white.

    • (4000K) complement cool tones like grays, blacks, greens and blues.

  • Give off a cooler hue (5000K), to work well with modern aesthetics and bring out darker blue and gray colors, as well as wood tones.

Check out our complete LED Tape Light portfolio and ILS catalog for more information. You also might consider a lighting professional. While tape lighting and channels are certainly something you can do yourself, they can get tricky – especially when recess mounted into a substrate like drywall. If you need help, check out Kichler Lighting’s list of certified lighting professionals or our Advanced Product Solutions team for technical product questions.