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Thread: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* JohnR66's Avatar
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    Default New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    I was at Lowes and saw new undercabinet lights. No more are the purpleish colored white LED lights. They have warm white versions and some use high power LEDs.

    One had an oval shaped puck with two high output LEDs. 3 pucks total with power supply for $50. I could not make out the LED used, but it has a white case with a yellow center of maybe 5 or 6mm dia. It definately didn't look like a Cree XR-E or Luxeon. I wonder what LED this is?

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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Thanks for the heads up. I'm gonna head to Lowes now.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    I'mn going to check this out also the next tiime I'm at Lowe's. If I see it I'll post my thoughts here.
    **Edit** Saw them tonight. I liked the three-1-watt-LED-cluster lights. They were quite bright and a very pleasing CRI. I'm not sure they're worth $50 for a string of three though. I was unable to identify the LED because of the way it's mounted in ther plastic body, which completely conceals all but the phosphor-coated center of the LED, and there was no mention of the LED manufacturer on the package.

    I also saw a warm-ish LED strip light that appeared to be rather poorly color-matched from one LED to another. Some were noticely purple compared to their neighbors on the strip. Overall color quality wasn't that bad though.
    Last edited by PhotonWrangler; 08-18-2008 at 08:28 PM.

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    Saw them tonight. I liked the three-1-watt-LED-cluster lights. They were quite bright and a very pleasing CRI. I'm not sure they're worth $50 for a string of three though. I was unable to identify the LED because of the way it's mounted in ther plastic body, which completely conceals all but the phosphor-coated center of the LED, and there was no mention of the LED manufacturer on the package.

    Is there a brand name on the package? I would like to see if these are near me, but in another store, since there is no Lowes around.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDAdd1ct View Post
    Is there a brand name on the package? I would like to see if these are near me, but in another store, since there is no Lowes around.
    The brand is Utilitech. The unit is shown on their website here.

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Thank's for the link. After taking a peek, it looks cool, but definitely not worth the fifty bucks. For thirty, I might pick them up.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDAdd1ct View Post
    Thank's for the link. After taking a peek, it looks cool, but definitely not worth the fifty bucks. For thirty, I might pick them up.
    I agree. Fifty bucks for a string of six 1w LEDs seems a bit much. I'm betting these won't move very fast and will eventualy be on closeout.

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    I agree. Fifty bucks for a string of six 1w LEDs seems a bit much. I'm betting these won't move very fast and will eventualy be on closeout.

    I'll keep my eyes open in the "Good Deals" section. ;-)
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

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    Flashaholic* AndyTiedye's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Do they use Nichia 083 LEDs like the ones on these LEs?


    (from the McGizmo forum)

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    The color of the phosphor looks similar, but it's hard to tell for sure as the product at Lowe's has a dome on the LED.

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    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Based purely on price, I doubt it.

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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeA View Post
    Based purely on price, I doubt it.
    Well when you buy it from Nichia they are a bit less than $3 a piece..

    http://store.nichia.com/index.asp?Pa...ROD&ProdID=151

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    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by R33E8 View Post
    Well when you buy it from Nichia they are a bit less than $3 a piece..

    http://store.nichia.com/index.asp?Pa...ROD&ProdID=151
    Well then maybe.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by R33E8 View Post
    Well when you buy it from Nichia they are a bit less than $3 a piece..

    http://store.nichia.com/index.asp?Pa...ROD&ProdID=151
    Yea, but I'd have to buy a whole reel of them!

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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler View Post
    Yea, but I'd have to buy a whole reel of them!
    Yup, McGizmo did bought a reel and sells them individually for $15 mounted on MCPCB's.. It seems like they are also used on this under cabinet lighting strip :

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...112&lpage=none

    If you wanted to scavenge the LED's from it, it would cost about $12 a piece.. It would come with a UL listed power supply, cost less than McGizmo, but no MCPCB.. Maybe we could cut the PCB they are on and scrape off the laminate that is over the traces? Or just desolder them completly and make our own MCPCB's like VanIsleDSM. Still expensive.. I hope we can find cheaper places to scavenge these LED's from...

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    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by R33E8 View Post
    Yup, McGizmo did bought a reel and sells them individually for $15 mounted on MCPCB's.. It seems like they are also used on this under cabinet lighting strip :

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...112&lpage=none

    If you wanted to scavenge the LED's from it, it would cost about $12 a piece.. It would come with a UL listed power supply, cost less than McGizmo, but no MCPCB.. Maybe we could cut the PCB they are on and scrape off the laminate that is over the traces? Or just desolder them completly and make our own MCPCB's like VanIsleDSM. Still expensive.. I hope we can find cheaper places to scavenge these LED's from...
    The Ikea set has a bunch more LEDs than that.

    IF either contains Nichia 083s.

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    Enlightened seestuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    I got a set and I like the light it gives under my kitchen cabinets. I'd like to get another set to give me a total of 6 pucks. But I really need to split them up 2 on the left side of my kitchen sink and 4 on the right side. So I'd have to add length to the wire between the 2nd and 3rd puck on one set to go up, across the valence over the sink, and back down the other side to give me the 2 and 4 arrangement. I'd also like to daisy-chain the sets together instead of using two wall-warts to power them. But I'm not sure if that would have an adverse affect on thier performance? Any ideas?

    I opened one up. Here's some pics:


    By seemystuff

    By seemystuff

    By seemystuff

    By seemystuff

    They look like the ones in the McGizmo pictures a few posts earlier to me.

    ...and yes. The LEDs were that dirty when I opened the puck even though they're covered with plastic lenses. But I still like the lights.
    Last edited by seestuff; 12-03-2009 at 11:38 AM. Reason: Just realize pics were in violation of 800 pixel limit so I've made it better

  18. #18

    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    I'd also like to daisy-chain the sets together instead of using two wall-warts to power them. But I'm not sure if that would have an adverse affect on thier performance?
    If placed in series, you'll lose a lot of brightness.

    If placed in parallel, you risk killing the power supply because it won't be able to handle the decreased resistance. You really need to stick to how they are factory wired.


    Any ideas?
    Sure....build them yourself. I've been cobbling my own high powered fixtures together, and it's disturbingly easy to do with little knowledge of electronics. I'll have some more posts on this within the week.

  19. #19
    Enlightened seestuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by blasterman View Post
    If placed in series, you'll lose a lot of brightness.

    If placed in parallel, you risk killing the power supply because it won't be able to handle the decreased resistance. You really need to stick to how they are factory wired.




    Sure....build them yourself. I've been cobbling my own high powered fixtures together, and it's disturbingly easy to do with little knowledge of electronics. I'll have some more posts on this within the week.
    I'll go ahead and use the power supplies for each one. I can leave those wall-warts on top of the cabinets out of sight and just extend the wires to suit my needs. I have a lot projects going at home right now as I'm working on my old fixer-upper house. Once I get the kitchen remodel and several other simultaneous projects done, I'd like to revisit this notion of DIY high-powered warm white LEDs for other lighting projects in the future.
    I'm definitely interested in knowing how to make my own. I'm also curious about the cost of the materials and what tools I'd need.
    I look forward to your posts on DIY LEDs.

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    I'm confused. I see two versions of "warm white" (I hope) lights that Lowe's sells. So:

    1) Do we know for sure which one of these two uses the warm Nichias?

    2) Which is brighter?

    3) Which has a nicer tint?

    One:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...112&lpage=none

    Two:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...110&lpage=none
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  21. #21
    Enlightened seestuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDAdd1ct View Post
    I'm confused. I see two versions of "warm white" (I hope) lights that Lowe's sells. So:

    1) Do we know for sure which one of these two uses the warm Nichias?

    2) Which is brighter?

    3) Which has a nicer tint?

    One:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...112&lpage=none

    Two:

    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...110&lpage=none
    When I bought the puck kit at Lowe's there was a guy working in the lighting section who appearantly was into lights. When I mentioned to him that I wonder how those two lights would compare away from the display with all the other lights, he promptly snatched one of each off the shelf. We plugged each of the kits into the power outlet under his computer desk where it was semi-dark. The tint looked the same from both of these lights. As for brightness, it's hard to be truely objective without a meter. The pucks seem brighter though (alltogeter and similarly spaced, of course).
    The pucks are far more practical to me. Extra wire is spooled inside a deep slot around the edge of each puck. One can neatly spool the wire up inside each puck to position them close or unspool the wire to position as far as 32" apart. I have 18" between my countertop and upper cabinets. I have tentatively mounted the three pucks 14" apart just to see the effect. Once I get the other kit, I think I'll place them 12" apart. It would be great if this kit was made as 6 single LED pucks instead of 3 doubles. That would be much more versatile. I would really prefer to have 3 LEDs under the left cabinet and 9 LEDs under the right, that would give me a more even distribution of light.
    The bar, on the other hand, gives you one choice: 5 LEDs stuck in a 18" bar. You have no verstility to spread the LEDs apart to vary the intensity of light cast onto your countertop.

    Of course, if you're just looking for Nichias to scavenge, then this info may not be helpful to you.

    I don't know if these are Nichias or not. But I took closeup pics through a jewelers loupe so that someone more familiar can identify them.
    I plan to go to Lowes today, so I'll try to remember to look at the bar's LEDs to see if they look the same.

    You all can benefit from me paying the $50 for the puck kits. Good deal or not, my wife wants undercabinet lighting NOW! So for me, YES, it's worth it. I can just here it now, "Why do you have to bulild everything yourself? Why can't you just buy the ones at Lowe's? We don't have to have the best under cabinet lights known to man!"
    Last edited by seestuff; 11-24-2008 at 07:10 AM.

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    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Wow, good luck to you with the undercabinet project, and what you say about versatility with respect to the model which can be separated certainly makes sense. Now, if I can find a way to get them on sale, as fifty smackers seems just a little too high.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Here's the story:

    I've been on hold with one or more companies for over an hour. First, I called a number I found on a website, who said that "Utilitech" is not actually a company, just a brand slapped onto a product sourced from different vendors. Then, I called at least four different Lowe's, who put me on hold for an eternity, before one in New Jersey finally had someone around in electrical. He found the puck version with the six LEDs, and discovered that they are made by Aztec Lighting. A quick Google later, I discovered Aztec Lighting's number, and was placed on hold for an interminable period of time, while several sentient civilizations rose and fell in other parts of the galaxy.

    Patiently, I tried to explain to the representative that I was not interested in buying a replacement "bulb", and that I was calling on the behalf of an enthusiast lighting community. *sigh*

    Anyway, although they could not find out who makes the LED or what model it is, I did get this information. I am hoping perhaps someone here can correlate it to a brand and model (Nichia 083, I am hoping!). Here's what I got:

    Country of Origin: China
    Rated Voltage: 32 volts
    Actual Voltage: 27 volts
    Lumens Per Chip: 70
    Color Temperature: 2500 - 2800 degrees kelvin

    Does this sound like the Nichia 083?
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    According to information on the 'Net, each Nichia 083 has six chips inside it:

    "The Nichia 083 has 6 chips inside it run in parallel." (see post Number 5)

    Source:

    http://www.thesignsyndicate.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2048&st=0&p=11715&#entry11715

    also,

    "Each Nichia 083 LED is comprised of six individual chips which enhances the long term reliability of the system."

    Source: http://74.125.45.132/search?q=cache:...nk&cd=22&gl=us


    Looking closely at seestuff's first photo of the LED, I count six...umm...I do not know the word...little things with wires inside it. I would say this stands in favor of the chip being the Nichia 083.
    "...and the diode multiplied and grew in brightness. And God saw that it was good."

  25. #25
    Enlightened seestuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    OK. i just got back from Lowes.
    I pulled the 'bar' version out of it's package to check it out.
    The LEDs look the same as the ones in the 'pucks'. So basically it looks like you can get these 5 LEDs in an 18" bar/strip for $60 or you can get 6 LEDs in the pucks for $50. Assuming the circuitry is the same, the better option is obviously the pucks.
    I grabbed the last one on the shelf while I was there, giving me two kits to finish the under cabinet lighting in my little kitchen. I guess this has become a pretty popular little item.

  26. #26
    Enlightened seestuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    OK, I know it's been a while, but I've been busy with remodeling and I decided to rehang my upper cabinets. They were racked from being on a non-plumb wall and house settling issues.
    I'm finally getting around to mounting these pucks permanently. I opened them up again to check 'em out. I verified with my multimeter's continuity circuit that the 6 LEDs contained in the 3 pucks are all arranged in series. The 'wall-wart' power supply is labeled as Output: 350mA Constant Current, 35VDC. My multimeter showed it's output to be 28 volts.

    These kits are wired with 24AWG stranded and terminated with a RCA type phono plug to connect to the power supply. I need to customize the lengths of the wires to accommodate a smooth distribution of light on my counertops. So I'll probably stop by Radio Shack and pick up some phono plug terminated 24ga wire to make an extension between the existing termination and the power receptacle on top of my cabinets. Then there's the issue of extending the wire between the 2nd and 3rd puck on one of these kits to cover the distance through the chase over my kitchen sink.

    I suppose that if I had a 700mA, 70VDC rated transformer, I could daisy-chain the six pucks together, where all 12 LEDs would be in series. But I don't.

    It would be so much better if they just made a expandable kit made of single LED pucks that could be daisy-chained as a parrallel circuit. If they made a 5V power supply that could handle current up to around an Amp and label it as a limit of up to 20 pucks, wouldn't that work?
    Let's say they made this hypothetical kit with this power supply and five single LED pucks for $40-50. Then you could buy expansion kits of just pucks in 5 or 10 packs where the cost is around $5/puck, these things would be flying off the shelves once people became aware of them. Then they would become more popular, increasing demand, yeilding more production> less production expense> more competition> cheaper better undercabinet lights...
    ...I'll just stop wishing and mount my lights.


    BTW, for those of you who thought $50 was too much. How about $40? During Thanksgiving and Christmas, Lowe's ran a promo where you'd get $10 off $50 coupons printed on receipts. So I returned my first kit for a refund. Then bought a plastic putty knife which generated a $10 off $50 coupon. Then bought the LED kit back for $40 and used the coupon generated by that transaction to get another for $40. Two kits for $80 + tax of course.
    And my store sold out of these for a few weeks.

  27. #27
    Enlightened ledstein's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    The LED pcb looks is real bad. They look hand made in China and actually it says China on the back. Don't even dream about Nichia LEDs in some led product you find at the local store. Those Leds are just some china power led (which are all bad).

  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    I was excited to see these at lowes when they started to carry them. Big improvement over the old style 5mm led arrays they had in there previous. Sadly I've watched the ones on display slowly degrade everytime I"m in there they are a little bit dimmer. One of the puck ones has gone dark, a second one is at about half brightness and the third appears to still be working. The larger version has dimmed unevenly to about half it's output and all of them get very very hot to the touch. The new bar version they have looks better again, but the price is so high I think I'll watch the one in the store for a few weeks and see what it does.
    -James

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  29. #29

    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    Yeah, as a longtime collecter of wall warts, higher voltage ones can be tricky to find.

    The other option is to measure the actual current they draw as they're set up now - it should be under the max rating of the supply - then rewire them all in parallel and use the appropriate supply. You could make your own daisy-chain setup.

    Let's say they pull 300 mA in the current configuration of 3 wired in series. Based on the actual output of 28 Vdc, that's 9.3 V each, or based on the PS rating, it's 11.7 Vdc each. Both 9 Vdc and 12 Vdc are pretty common.

    To run all 6 from one supply, you'd wire them all in parallel. At 300 mA each, you'd need 1.8 A, and you'd want to increase that by 10% for a buffer. With modern wall warts' mediocre reliability, I'd think about 20% would make for a better lifetime. Anyway, that would be 2 to 2.2 A.

    Unfortunately, that's going to be a pretty big wall wart, and you're back into the hard to find arena again. Alternately, you could go with a power supply module, like this:
    http://www.unitedsale.com/product_in...ducts_id=17972

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: New warm white LED lights at Lowes

    About a year ago, the old (probably from the 80's judging by the fixture) Fluorescent tube light above the kitchen sink in our house finally burned out. As such, my dad wanted to replace it with a few of the 12 volt puck style halogen ?i think? lights that we already had in a few places in our home. (Namely, above the two computers, and the under the kitchen cabinets.)

    When we were looking for a suitable replacement at Lowes, I saw a warm LED under cabinet light strip (the rectangular white model linked to above), and showed it to my dad. At first he was uncertain about the brightness, cause in the store, under all of the other 50w+ lights, and the overheads, it seemed very dim.
    I managed to convince him they were worth the purchase price (~$50), and that if he didn't like them, we could return them. Long story short, we spent the afternoon wiring an outlet above the sink, out of view, and patching the hole in the wall left by the old fluorescent. (Lath and plaster walls, doncha know.)
    Overall, the quality felt pretty good, they seem well heat-sinked (the front surface gets warm to the touch after about 5 minutes), and they are definitely a lot brighter than they first seemed (even with our South facing kitchen windows across from the sink, this will still light up the sink, and the area immediately around it with a "warm" color temperature, that lends itself to accurate color perception.
    Since then, we've bought a second one when the halogen puck lights above the main computer burned out, and both units are run for several hours each night.
    Overall, I'd rate these units a 4.5/5.

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