How to Control Upper and Lower Cabinet Lighting?

I’m going to be installing cabinets in my Dining Room niche and wired a switch to a wall outlet behind the cabinets. My thought was to plug the Upper/Lower cabinet lighting LED ballasts into this outlet and I could control the on/off and brightness but wouldn’t be able to control them individually.

I since read that you shouldn’t run a dimmer switch to an outlet since you can burn out certain electronics like a cell phone that’s charging. Since this outlet will be blocked and only control the LED’s perhaps it’s alright but I still cannot control the lights individually. I was thinking this could be a good use of scenes to single tap for lower lighting and double tap for upper lighting but am not sure how that would work unless I was using some smart outlet that can be split in half … how would you go about this setup?

It’s under development at present, but Project Jambry is perfect for what you are looking for. It is a smart receptacle that will have individually controllable outlets.

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This looks awesome. In the meantime before this is released, would I get some other sort of smart lights that can sync with the switch? If you were to control them separately with say single tap for lower and double tap for upper … can you also dim each zone or are the scenes/zones just for on/off functionality?

Off the top of my head and speaking theoretically, you’d need a pocket socket with dimming capabilities for each set of strips. Not sure what’s presently available for those that have dimming capabilities.

You could also look for LED strips that use a controller where the dimming capability is build in via Zwave, Zigbee, etc. That might be a cleaner way to go.

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I use IKEA TRÅDFRI led drivers, and the related led strips. They are standard Zigbee lighting control devices, so have all the dimming and whatnot. They handle Zigbee groups flawlessly as well. I have like three drivers grouped together and they are perfectly in sync all the time. From there I just bound them to a zigbee switch , and automated with HA.

For what they are, they are super inexpensive, and so far, reliable.

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Why are you looking at plug-in ballasts? If this is a new install you have a lot more flexibility. I’d be looking at direct-wire cabinet lighting and just wire those to something like a blue series switch for smart control and dimming.


I’d found this several years ago. I ended up wiring my dimmer switch to one half of an outlet behind where the cabinets will be installed, with the intent to connect the upper/lower cabinet LED strips to a driver that plugs into half of the outlet. The only thing I didn’t like was they would turn on/off/dim together as a set but maybe that’s how most people use them?

Perhaps I’ve already done what you’re suggesting other than using an outlet and plugging the driver into it rather than having Romex coming through the drywall and directly into the driver like this?

Here’s the unfinished area with switches on the Left and outlet behind the dresser. It’s now a finished space and ready for me to build cabinets something like this.

Would you stay with a switch powering a single outlet/driver, get z-wave/zigbee light strips that plug into a wall outlet and bind the switch to the LED’s, or something else?

I think you first have to determine the type of LEDs you want. It’s one thing to have a single color white LED strip and another thing to have RGB LED strips or RGB strips that will also display white. The type of strips that you use will to some extent dictate the driver in play.

For example, I have some LED strips that are 3000k only and are connected to a dimmable driver that is connected to a standard dimmer. I also have RGB strips that are connected to a DigUno. Those strips are connected to constant power or to anyone off switch and are largely controlled by programming in WLED.

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The issue with this type of strip for under cabinet lighting especially can be seen in reply #16. Check the reflection on the counter. Even with a good diffuser, you usually end up seeing some amount of individual LED effect in the reflection.

The benefit is that you can get tunable white if you get the right strip, and can also do colour.

If you just want lighting that can do on/off/dim, just head on down to home depot and check out their selection of hardwired LED under cabinet lighting. These can be run off a smart switch without worrying about code.

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I’m not 100% how the wiring is from the cabinet but I have a cabinet with an upper and lower light that each had a power cord that plugged into the wall. What I did was to get 2 smart plugs and plugged each plug into one of those. I then did a rule in Hubitat’s Rule Machine for an Inovelli switch which made the upper (button 1 pushed in Hubitat speak) a toggle for the top light and and lower (button 2 held) a toggle for the lower light. That way I don’t have to do a double tap of either. As the Karate Kid might say: tap on, tap off.

I’ll include screenshots below. Just FYI, I love my Fibaro 6 button key fob so I also assigned 2 buttons on them to toggle the lights on and off. Also, I use the Config/Favorite button on the switch to turn them both on or off. Since I can turn the lights on/off with the Fibaro you’ll notice that I also turn on the switch, so if I do it from the Keyfob the LED will also turn on.

Top part of the main swith “button” (1 held):

Pushing bottom part (1 held)

Pushing switch Config/Ffavorite button (7 pushed)

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If I double tap up and then hold can I have it brighten the lower cabinet lights whereas if I triple tap and then hold it will brighten the upper cabinet lights or are the scene controls just # of taps without hold and without the dimming ability of different devices?

Scene controls are just taps. Tap up or down x times and your hub will run whatever scene you have defined. The dim level in the case is defined by the scene. So you create a scene with x% dim, for example, and then code that scene to run with x taps of the switch.

Holding the paddle will brighten or dim the wired load, or in the case of associations or bindings, brighten or dim the associated/bound device(s).

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Thanks for the info.

Could changing scenes change what’s bound to the switch? This would then allow to dim different devices separately.

I don’t think it is possible to change the binding configuration using a scene.

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I know I’m a little late to the party and I haven’t read through all the comments, but I wanted to let you know I am working on the same project in my garage (I know, overkill for garage cabinet lights, but I’m a nerd).

Here’s how it’s set up:

  • Red circles are, “dumb” outlets where Philips Hue light strips are plugged into
  • Purple circle is where I have a Blue Series 2-1 switch

I bound the Zigbee switch to the lights (right now I want them both to come on). If I wanted to get fancy, I think I can use the dual Zigbee bindings feature on FW version 2.17 where it allows me to use the paddle of the switch to control one light strip and the favorites button to control the other. I haven’t tested it yet though.

Edit: I forgot, I also have these installed under my kitchen cabinets and they work great with Zigbee Bindings as well:

They’re hardwired to the Inovelli switch and I have the switch in Smart Bulb Mode using Zigbee Group Bindings.

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I was surprised at how well these worked. I was part of a large install in Miami that used our switches and IKEA bulbs and light strips and we were able to bind to them easily and they worked great!

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I agree with the previous comment that the number of taps would not, in and of itself, then determine which light was made brighter/dimmer when the paddle was “pushed” or “held” (i.e. up or down in Hubitat speak). But, I’m wondering if you use Hubitat for your hub could you make say a single, double or triple tap set a variable (called whatevery you like, but here I’ll call it “myTaps”) such that myTaps = 1, 2 3 respectively, and then make another Hubitat rule that If 1 “Pushed” is held AND myTaps = 1 then keep brighting device 1. You would then need to add to that rule that upon releasing the button the brighting would stop. You would then need to make a rule for 1 Held (down) being held and released. If that worked you could probably then clone them and just change the AND to myTaps being 2, 3, etc., and swap out the devices for the one you want controlled with a double or triple tap.

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