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Tiki Central Forums Home Tiki Bars Modern lighting options for home bars
Modern lighting options for home bars
mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 307
Posted: 2017-07-24 8:39 pm   Permalink

With LEDs and string lights and remote controls there are so many new options for accent lighting, spot lighting, mood lighting, and so on we thought there should be a thread on it.

The best thing we did in our home bar is invest in rechargeable remote control lighting. We used to use a lot of those cheap battery powered tealight candles, and the problem is you have to turn each one on and off and the batteries don't last long at all. These rechargable tealight candles were the answer ... they operate at two different speeds and they come with a remote. About the only hassle is you have to gather them all up and put them in the charger, but it beats having to change out batteries all the time.

Coming up with the right answer for spot lighting has been a little harder. The fluorescent light in the service area behind the bar finally went last year. It was a cheap unit so we looked around for a replacement and saw that Costco was selling a 6-pack of Capstone dimmable LED puck lights with remote control. They had them at like $24 when we picked them up late last year. After checking costco.com just now they apparently don't carry it anymore but Amazon now has them cheaper. Figures. We put two behind the bar, one on each shelf, and quickly found places for the other ones. They're awesome -- the remote turns them on and off quickly and gives you 4 different brightness options, the IR sensors in them work behind glass, and you can do a manual on/off by just pressing the top. We want to get away from battery-powered anything, but these lights are pretty good for areas where a power cord isn't practical.

They have one major, major problem: they suck the life out of batteries like a vampire coming off of a hunger strike. Each light takes 3 AAA and after just a few months we had a few totally drained, the rest on the way there and operating at a third of the power. Some guy figured out a way to convert them to run on a USB charger. That won't work for our applications, and if you remove the IR sensors you'll restore the battery life but you'll lose the variable brightness since that's controlled by the remote. I just bought another pack of AAAs tonight. And I keep telling myself, No more battery powered lighting!

We also want some lights under the lip of the bar. It's a little too dark and can use some accent lights. Spotted these multi color strip lights at Home Depot, which seemed pricey at $54. Checked Amazon and found a nicer sounding light strip kit with remote control for almost a third of the price. Can't comment on quality or usefulness yet -- it arrives on Wednesday. But we're sure building up a remote control collection for all these lights!

[ This Message was edited by: mike and marie 2017-07-24 20:40 ]

[ This Message was edited by: mike and marie 2017-07-25 10:48 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 12, 2012
Posts: 134
From: broken arrow
Posted: 2017-07-25 10:46 am   Permalink

i would actually recommend these as well - the adhesive on the strip lighting typically is not very good, and these u channels have diffuser lenses in them so you don't get hotspots


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mike and marie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2008
Posts: 307
Posted: 2017-07-25 10:52 am   Permalink

Thanks Steve, that was one thing we saw on the reviews, the adhesive supposedly isn't too strong. We have some string lights in a cabinet door that work well for illuminating the mugs, but I see how a diffuser would really help in a lot of situations.

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