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Kitchen Under Cabinet Lighting: Smart Light Ideas

Kitchen Under Cabinet Lighting: Smart Light Ideas

If you’re looking for ways to improve your kitchen’s look and feel, you’ve come to the right place. One simple way to upgrade your kitchen is by installing under cabinet lighting. Not only does it add a stylish touch, but it also serves the practical purpose of providing light for cooking and food preparation. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of under cabinet lighting and how to choose the right one for your kitchen.

What is Kitchen Under Cabinet Lighting?

You most likely spend a lot of time in your kitchen, whether cooking, entertaining, or simply enjoying a meal. Having perfect lighting can help create a comfortable and functional atmosphere. Under cabinet lighting is a form of task lighting that lights up the countertop area under your cabinets. This type of lighting is sometimes mistaken for in-counter lighting, which is installed inside cabinets to make it easier to find items such as your favorite cereal when looking for a midnight snack.

Under cabinet lighting is installed on the bottom of wall-mounted cabinets, pointing down towards the countertop. It can be hardwired or battery-operated and comes in a variety of styles and colors to match your kitchen’s functionality and decor.

Types of Under Cabinet Lighting

There are three main types of under cabinet lighting available to homeowners: strip lighting, puck lighting, and integrated lighting. The right choice for you depends on a few factors, such as budget, installation process, and your personal preference. Let’s take a closer look at each type:

Strip Lighting

Strip lighting, also known as linear lighting, is a popular option for under cabinet lighting. It consists of adhesive strips or ropes of LED lights that can be easily attached to the bottom of cabinets. Strip lighting provides even and continuous lighting along the entire cabinet length, making it a great choice for larger or longer countertops.

Puck Lighting

Puck lighting is another option for homeowners. It consists of small circular lights typically installed in a series. Puck lights offer focused light on specific areas and are ideal for highlighting certain kitchen features, such as artwork or decorative items.

Integrated Lighting

Integrated lighting is built into the bottom of your cabinets and is usually hidden from view. This type of under cabinet lighting offers a seamless and sleek look, as the lights are not visible. Integrated lighting is often hardwired, making it a more expensive option.

Within these three options, there are also choices for the type of bulbs used, includingfluorescent, energy-efficient LED, and Xenon. Consider the brightness, color temperature, and longevity of different bulb options when choosing under cabinet lighting. LED bulbs are a popular choice for their energy efficiency and long lifespan, while Xenon bulbs offer a warm and natural light often preferred in kitchen settings.

Power for Under Cabinet Lighting

Under cabinet lighting can be powered in a variety of ways. Some options include plug-in, battery-operated, or hardwired systems. Plug-in and battery-operated options are easy to install and require minimal wiring, making them great for DIY projects. Hardwired systems provide a more permanent and seamless look but may require professional installation.

Plug-In: Plug-in under cabinet lighting is a convenient option for those who want to avoid any wiring work. These lights simply plug into an outlet and can be easily moved or removed if needed. However, the cords may become visually unappealing and cluttered, especially if multiple lights are in use.

Battery-Operated: Battery-operated under cabinet lighting is another hassle-free option that requires no wiring. These lights are powered by batteries and can be easily mounted with adhesive strips or screws. However, the batteries will need to be replaced periodically, which can become costly and inconvenient. You also may have to turn each light on and off individually, which can become tedious.

Hardwired: Hardwired under cabinet lighting offers a more polished and permanent look. These lights are wired directly into the home’s electrical system, eliminating any visible cords. However, this option requires more planning and installation work, and it may be necessary to hire a professional electrician for proper installation. Hardwired systems also offer the ability to have multiple lights controlled by one switch or dimmer. It is easiest to install hardwired under cabinet lighting during a kitchen build or remodel.

All of these options can seem overwhelming, but it really comes down to personal design preference. Talking to an interior designer or home lighting specialist can help you make the best decision for your space and budget.

Benefits of Installing Under Cabinet Lighting in Your Kitchen

Installing under cabinet lighting offers both tangible and aesthetic benefits. Here are some reasons why you should consider adding under cabinet lighting to your kitchen space:

Visibility and Safety

One of the biggest advantages of under cabinet lighting is the improved visibility it provides. By lighting up your workspace, these lights make meal preparation safer and easier. No more struggling to chop vegetables in dim light or misreading a recipe. The focused lighting helps you see clearly, reducing the risk of accidents.

Kitchen Aesthetics

Under cabinet lighting adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to your kitchen. It highlights the beauty of your countertops, backsplash, and cabinetry, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. Whether you prefer a modern, sleek look or a cozy, traditional feel, there’s an under cabinet lighting style to match your kitchen.

Increased Home Value

Installing under cabinet lighting can be a smart investment in your home. It adds a layer of modernity and functionality that can be attractive to potential buyers. A well-lit, stylish kitchen is often a top selling point in real estate, and this relatively simple upgrade can boost your home’s value and appeal. It fits especially well in homes with other smart light features.

Whether you’re an avid cook or simply enjoy a well-lit, beautiful kitchen, these lights offer benefits that make every moment spent in your kitchen more enjoyable.

How to Install Under Cabinet Lighting

Depending on the type of lighting you choose, installation can vary. Here are some general steps to guide you:

  • Install the lights near the front of the cabinet so they can shine back onto the countertop and backsplash.
  • If using puck lights, ensure equal spacing between each light. Ideally, the lights should be installed every 8-12 inches to avoid lighting gaps.
  • If remodeling a kitchen, work with an electrician to wire the integrated lights directly into a switch for convenience. This is the best time to install under cabinet lighting, as the electrical wiring can be completed before the walls and cabinets are installed.
  • If you have an existing kitchen and choose a plug-in option, hide wires and cords by feeding them through a small hole drilled in the back of the cabinet. This is not necessary for integrated lighting options that are wired directly into a switch.

With the variety of lighting brands on the market, be sure to follow the specific installation instructions for your chosen product. Some may require additional tools or steps, while others may have unique features that need special attention. We recommend using Environmental Lights for all your lighting needs, as they have a wide selection of high-quality products perfect for under cabinet lighting.

Integrate Under Cabinet Lighting in Your Home with AIS

Ready to transform your kitchen? Under cabinet lighting is a simple and effective way to elevate the look and functionality of your kitchen. AIS offers a range of smart home solutions, including under cabinet lighting, to upgrade your living space. With our expertise in automation systems, we can seamlessly integrate under cabinet lighting into your existing setup. Our team will work closely with you to design a customized solution that meets your needs and preferences. Contact us today to learn more, or use our budget calculator to plan expenses.

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