Undercabinet kitchen lighting has become a popular feature with more and more homeowners.
It gives you better illumination for cooking and creates a warm, contemporary ambience.
If you’re planning a kitchen makeover, there are many considerations for choosing undercabinet lighting. Let’s go over different styles and features you’ll want to look for.
Undercabinet Lighting Styles
How much additional lighting does your work area need? Lower powered lights may be suitable for kitchens that are already well-illuminated. Brighter lights are helpful for rooms with lower levels of natural or overhead lighting.
These round fixtures give you targeted, adjustable light. They are attractive, durable and usually easy to install.
Undercabinet puck lighting comes in recessed or surface-mounted models and can be battery-powered or hardwired into your home’s electrical system. Because they tend to produce smaller pools of light, multiple puck lights may be needed for even lighting. Some use LED bulbs, while others use incandescent lamps such as halogen or xenon.
Light bars or strips give you bright, even lighting that covers a larger area than individual puck lights. You can find models that use LED bulbs or fluorescent tubes.
Some light bars are installed with screws, while others can be mounted with adhesive. Look for lightweight, sturdy fixtures, and check to be sure the bulb doesn’t give off too much heat. For best results, position the bars close to the front edge of the cabinets.
Strip or Tape Lights
Slender, sturdy light strips are slimmer than bars and less visible behind cabinet frames. You can choose LED or fluorescent strip lights in a variety of accent colors to create the desired ambience, and white is the most popular.
LED ropes or tapes come in a flexible roll for easier installation and even, continuous lighting. These inexpensive fixtures are very slender and almost invisible behind the cabinet frame. Both strips and tape lights tend to give off a lower level of light and work best as a reinforcement for brighter overhead lighting.
The type of bulb you choose will impact energy efficiency and service life, as well as the amount of heat produced.
While they tend to be more expensive up front, under counter LED lights can yield energy savings and a longer life. They give off less heat than other types of bulbs, and you can buy dimmable models.
Fluorescent bars or strips are another energy-efficient option that give off low heat. Today’s models don’t flicker or hum like the outdated fluorescent lights of yesteryear, and some are also dimmable. They do contain mercury, which creates challenges for disposal and clean-up if the bulb is damaged.
Xenon bulbs produce warm, pleasing light and are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. However, they are less efficient than LED or fluorescent lights. Halogen gives off bright, warm light, but it produces more heat and doesn’t last as long as xenon.
Besides the different styles and bulbs available, some undercabinet lights are programmable and some include motion sensors. These advanced features save you energy by automatically turning off the lights in case you forget.
Are you planning a kitchen remodel? Our experienced contractors are here to give you the results you want. Reach out to Elite Renovations & Design today for a free quote!