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How to Choose Under-Cabinet Lighting for Your Kitchen

 Under-Cabinet Lighting

Modern kitchens get cooler every few years as kitchen tech improves and futuristic design becomes more possible. 

One of our favorite things to do with kitchen cabinet design is to add lighting where you would least expect it  - but benefit the most from it. Under-cabinet lighting comes in a few different styles and options for you to choose from. But how do you choose the right under-cabinet lighting design for your kitchen?

Let's explore the three types of under-cabinet lighting and what you can choose about them.


Nightlight Runway Lights Under Lower Cabinets

The first and most typical form of under-cabinet lighting is the nightlight model. Running a strip of lights beneath the lower-lip of your kitchen cabinets near the floor creates the effect of runway lights. Think about how the floor looks in a movie theater with lights running along the edges of each walkway between the seats.  Never stub your toes at night in the kitchen again and always know where you are when shuffling in the dark for a midnight snack.

LED Strip Lights

Most homes achieve the nightlight style of under-cabinet lights with an LED light strip. When a light strip is affixed to the underside your cabinet's lower lip (in the toe-space) it lights up the floor around the perimeter of your cabinets. This effect is not only beautiful, it's also an efficient design that improves kitchen safety when the lights are off.


Countertop Lights Underneath Your Wall Cabinets

Your second under-cabinet light design is one of the most useful but lesser-known: Countertop lighting. Shadow-free countertop lights are hard to attain with normal ceiling light fixtures. Every time you turn to work at the counter, your body is between the ceiling light and the counter, casting a shadow.

By mounting a strip of LED lights to the underside of your wall-mounted cabinets, you can actually illuminate the countertops directly. Shadow-free countertop lighting is essential for accuracy when using a knife and other meal prep tasks.


Lighting Under Cabinet Shelves Illuminates the Interior

Some people also include cabinet shelf lighting with the category of under-cabinet lighting. Place a strip of LED lights on the underside of each cabinet shelf and upside-down on the cabinet interior ceiling. Just as the wall cabinet under-lights illuminate the countertop, these interior cabinet lights can illuminate the items you store inside. Avoid losing things at the back of a cabinet and always get a good view of your ingredients or dishes.


Running the LED Strips with Power

The primary concern for under-cabinet lighting is running your LED strips. They will need a power supply on one end of the line which can connect to an outlet or be wired directly into the wiring more like a permanent light fixture. The good news is you only need a connection at one end, so all your cabinet lights can come from a powered end and extend out from there.


Enjoying Smart Kitchen Cabinet Lighting

Did you know that under-cabinet lighting can be smart-lights just like the bulb-fixtures in your home? All you need is an LED light strip capable of the full color range and a smart lights controller that connects to the LED strip's 4-pronged end. With this upgrade, you can voice-control your kitchen's under-cabinet lights and even change their color on command.


How should you choose under-cabinet lighting for your kitchen? First decide where you want those cabinet lights to go. Then determine which end will be the power source and whether you want and whether you want color-changing smart lights. Whether you have a perfect cabinet lighting plan in mind or want to discuss your options, contact us to consult on your kitchen remodel plans!




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