$6 LED light claims to help brighten hard-to-reach places with ease

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HOUSTON - Under cabinets, stairs and in closets: Some areas in your home need a little extra light; but you don't want to pay an electrician big bucks to install them.

The Underlight is a motion-activated LED light that cost us $6 at Fry’s Electronics.

Claims: 

“No plugs, no drilling. Now motion-activated designer lighting is within your reach.”

The commercial and package show the Underlight illuminating kickplates under cabinets, stairs and closets. 

What you get:

Each box comes with two 12-inch LED strip lights that can attach together to create one long light, a battery pack, a motion sensor that you can set to keep the lights on from one to five minutes, an elbow connector to attach the two lights at an angle and adhesive to mount the lights and the battery pack. 

What you need: 

Three AA batteries for each battery pack

Pros:

The Underlight is very inexpensive. It is lightweight and easy to “install” with just adhesive. If you want to attach it to the bottom of a cabinet, it would mount well. 

Cons:

The battery pack that powers the thin LED strip lights is a bit bulky. There is no way to get the motion-activated stair lighting in the commercial because you have to have a battery pack attached to each strip light. There is nowhere on a stair riser to hide the battery pack. 

The Underlight did not stay illuminated for the full minute when the motion sensor was set to a minute. I had to use the on/ off switch on the battery pack to get the lights on or off once activated. 

While the LED lights shouldn’t drain the AA batteries too quickly, you will need to replace them sporadically.

Verdict:

While the Underlight may work in some areas, there are better, more reliable options. For about $20, you can buy a motion-activated LED strip light that comes with adhesive that charges with a USB and a portable cellphone battery.

You will only need to charge the battery about every three to four weeks. When it is charged up, you won’t see any hanging wires or battery packs attached to the light. 

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