Under cabinet lighting is a unique way to add light to your kitchen space without the need to install large lighting fixtures. Imagine walking into your kitchen for a snack and being able to see without having to turn on the bright overhead kitchen lights. Selecting the best under counter lights helps add a warm glow while brightening up your kitchen space.
Before shopping for under counter lighting for your kitchen, consider the following questions:
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can shop for the under cabinet lighting that fits your functional and aesthetic needs.
Under cabinet lighting is available in various styles, sizes, brightness, and color. Additionally, some lights are more energy-efficient than others or have a longer lifespan.
Under counter lights with a dimming option allow you to have more control over your lighting. Dimming capability helps save money, especially when bright lights are not needed. Additionally, under cabinet lighting with dimming capabilities helps eliminate bright glares off of shiny countertops and set mood lighting in the kitchen.
When turning your under cabinet lights into a DIY installation project, you must consider the ease of installation for the lights you select. Rope lights and LED stops are the easiest to install, which puck lights may be a bit more challenging. When installing under cabinet lighting, it is usually best to go for simple plug-in lights or consider battery-powered lights, which do not have any wires to run.
More and more homeowners are turning to energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures throughout their homes. The best and most energy-efficient under cabinet lighting is an LED, which uses as little as five watts, but still emits enough lighting onto the countertops. LED lights easily dim, increasing their energy-efficient capabilities. Additionally, LED lights produce less heat, keeping the kitchen cool.
Under cabinet lights with fixture lenses help create uniform lighting distribution. Lights with this feature allow you to minimize glare and bright reflection on the counter. Since halogen and xenon lights easily cause glares on countertops, check to ensure the light includes fixture lenses before purchasing.
Lights have a heat output that can affect certain foods and ingredients which are heat-sensitive. Fluorescent and LED lights are the best when wanting low heat output, while xenon lights get hotter. Halogen lighting is a preferred lighting option instead of traditional incandescent bulbs; however, this type of light produces the most heat under kitchen cabinets.
When setting up an outdoor kitchen, ensure under the cabinet lights are safe for outdoor use.
Some under cabinet lighting systems have remote controls with on/off, dimming, and color-changing functions.
There are two main types of voltage for under cabinet lighting — normal voltage (120V) and low voltage (12V or 24V). There is no significant difference between the energy efficiency, lifespan, or light quality between the two voltage options. However, low voltage lights have some advantages, such as they can fit in smaller light fixtures, fit in tight under cabinet spaces, and produce less heat. If selecting low voltage lighting, ensure a transformer is installed in the cabinet to step down high voltage power to the lower-powered lighting.
Under cabinet, lights have two basic types of wiring — hard-wired and plug-in. Hard-wired lights require connecting the lights directly into the wiring system of the home. Plug-in lighting draws power from an outlet, such as a standard wall socket. Plug-in lights are easier to install, making them the most commonly purchased under cabinet lighting. However, unless you have knowledge and experience with electrical wiring, installing hard-wired lights may require hiring a professional electrician.
Fluorescent lighting is a popular option for adding additional light under kitchen cabinets. These lights are very energy efficient and produce little heat. Additionally, these lights do not flicker or hum.
Halogen lights are in the same lighting genre as xenon lights but contain halogen, an inert gas, in the bulb enclosure. As mentioned above, halogen lights produce a lot of heat and are not very energy efficient. However, this light creates a bright, vividly colored light, which provides a radiant, warm glow in the kitchen.
Under cabinet LED lighting is another popular light for under cabinets. These lights have a long life while providing high-energy savings. In addition, LED lights produce little heat and have quickly become one of the most popular light bulbs used in homes. Under cabinet LED lights come in two styles — strip lights and individual/puck lights.
Like halogen lights, xenon lights are incandescent; however, these lights produce light from a thin tungsten filament that is heated until it burns hot enough to illuminate. As a result, xenon lights, named after the inert gas, xenon, used inside the bulb’s enclosure, are more energy-efficient and produce less heat when compared to halogen.
When selecting under cabinet lighting, you must consider the following:
Depending upon the light fixture selected, installing under cabinet lights can efficiently be completed as a DIY project. For example, LED strip lights need to be measured to the length of the cabinet and peel off the backing to the self-adhesive strip, and press into place. However, more complex lighting fixtures, wiring, and projects, such as hard-wired lights or recessed lighting, may require hiring an electrician to help.
Puck lights are another easy DIY project as they can be secured into the underside of the cabinets by using screws and then plugged into a wall outlet. Additionally, some puck lights are battery-operated, eliminating the need for an electrician.
Whatever your kitchen lighting needs are, we have under cabinet lights that can help give you the light your kitchen needs.
Check out our selection to see what we have available, and let us turn your kitchen into a unique space.
Contact us for additional information or inspiration regarding your under the cabinet lighting needs!
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