When you’re working in the kitchen, chances are you’ll need to shed a little light on the situation. In this case, under-cabinet lighting could be the solution you need.
Under-cabinet lighting is just one example of task lighting, which provides illumination when you’re working in areas where overhead lights may cast shadows.
Under-cabinet lighting is hugely convenient, especially in kitchens. As you might imagine, these lights are installed underneath the cabinets and are perfect for when you’re preparing or cooking food. Because they cast direct light on the countertop, it’s easy to see exactly what you’re doing, which can be especially important when working with sharp utensils.
There are lots of benefits to under-cabinet task lighting. Because they’re targeted to shine right at the countertops, they’re more efficient than overhead bulbs, which can spill a lot of light into surrounding areas where it’s not needed. Plus, they make for a pleasant visual. Because they’re hidden in the base of the cabinets, you get the ambiance without having to see the fixture itself.
If you’re in the market for under-cabinet lighting, there are lots of exciting and affordable options available. So, let’s shine some light on the situation!
So-called because they look like, well, hockey pucks, these cylindrical lights are usually powered by xenon or halogen and emit around 20 watts worth of light. They’re known for their sturdiness and ease of installation. They attach under your cabinet with small screws, which are usually included when you purchase the light.
Round lights are a popular choice for homeowners right now, and they tend to dominate the under-cabinet lighting market. Some are so energy efficient that they can even be powered by batteries.
It’s typical to leave a foot or two of space between each mounted round light, as the lights send out a triangular beam that widens as it reaches the countertop. This creates hotspots, or focused areas where the light shines brightest. This can work well for those of you who enjoy the spotlight effect, but others may find that these little pockets of light draw too much attention to certain areas.
This once-popular method of installing fluorescent tubes underneath cabinetry has recently fallen out of fashion, but some homeowners prefer it. Because they are linear and consistent along the length of the counter, they give off a lot of light without creating hotspots the way round lights do. Plus, the lights are already embedded in the fixture, making installation relatively straightforward.
However, fluorescent fixtures can be bulky, and they aren’t necessarily the sturdiest. Although they are quite bright, they can also create a strong glare, especially if you have polished countertops. Because they’re fluorescent, they also tend to have a cooler tone, and sometimes, they can emit a little hum that some people find annoying.
The spiritual successor to older and bulkier models is the slim fluorescent strip, which can be mounted just behind the cabinet’s face frame due to its compact size. While significantly more attractive than their predecessor, they can also be more expensive because their slim build may not provide enough light to illuminate the countertop evenly.
LED Strip Lights
The humble LED strip light is the future of under-cabinet illumination. These come in a few different styles, including rigid bars similar to fluorescent bulbs. These types of lights often last longer than others because of the LED’s energy efficiency. They also have lower operating costs and can be daisy-chained, making them an appealing choice.
Before you install LED strips, power them up and check to make sure you like the look them. The light quality can differ from typical incandescent bulbs, and the illumination might not be quite what you’re looking for.
LEDs are also available in strip reels, which are flexible and extremely versatile. You can buy these reels in lengths of 16 feet, and they can be cut to size, easily bend around corners, and can be mounted on almost every surface imaginable.
LEDs are an excellent choice for any space, as they’re non-toxic, more cost-efficient, last longer, and come in a wide variety of colors, from warm and cool tones to blues, greens, and reds. However, LED lights in any style may require separate power sources, which can end up absorbing some of those cost savings.
In the end, whatever your preference for under-counter lighting might be, you can rely on J.T. McDermott to give you an easy, seamless installation and exceptional customer service. We know how to do remodeling right, and you can trust our team to shed some light on the situation. Reach out today, and let’s see what we can design for you.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.