This and most other pre-boxed under-cabinet lights would not fit in my existing cabinets. To use these, I'd have to make sure the future cabinets in the new build have more space underneath.
What I have found online are lots of LED strips. These are basically a long rolled (3 to 16 foot lengths) thin strip like a flexible circuit board, usually with an adhesive on the "dark side". Most run on 12VDC. They can be cut at designated points usually spaced at intervals of 1 to 3 inches.
Especially interesting are the controlled RGB ones. Each color at each LED can be set to one of 128 levels, allowing for 2,097,152 colors. The system works on a cascade: when a new color signal is sent, the whole system shifts the colors away from the input end. These shifts can be done fast enough that the eye can't see the whole strip being reloaded. There is also a Christmas Light string that works the same way, and a controller with a remote.
Only their line AC to 12VDC adapter has an enclosure. But since everything past the adapter is low voltage, I guess it is considered safe? I can still imagine an overloaded string being wired together that could overheat (they make adapters up to 10 amps).
Now if I could just find a power adapter I could easily hide. But I like the strips because they can be hidden in the 1/4 inch space I have.
Several online lighting and hobby retailers with LED lights have these.
Google for "led light strip"
Last edited by pdh; 01/28/1203:58 PM. Reason: google
Everything in the box stores was going to hang below the edge of the cabinets, since there is very little space under them (about 1/4 inch). To hide them, I'd have to locate them toward the back. But that would not give me the light distribution I want as a counter top task light. SO I'm definitely thinking of going with the strip lights. I'm looking for a power adapter I can then mount under the cabinet near the back (where it won't be bad to hang below the 1/4 inch level). I just need to find one with an IEC inlet on the side, preferrably grounded (e.g. the "mickey mouse" type inlet a lot of laptop adapters use). Gotta find where my industrial catalogs (Digikey, Grainger, etc) walked off to.
I ended up making my own under counter low voltage lights. This is fairly low level lighting, just enough for a bar but it is 8 LEDs from some cheap battery lights I bought, wired in series with a little ballast resistor, running off a wall wart. They are set in a piece of wood that matches the cabinet and less than 1/2" thick.