Remodelling the kitchen can be a tedious task especially finding the right under cabinet kitchen lighting, but homeowners are still proceeding with the renovation to make it look better. One of the most common fixtures in a remodelled kitchen is the under cabinet lighting. Also referred to as under cupboard lights, kitchen cabinet lighting, kitchen under cabinet lighting, and linear light fixtures, these lights have numerous applications, and it is used primarily to brighten the areas in the kitchen which are usually harder for the main lights to reach. Under-cabinet lighting is also used to give the kitchen a more dramatic look. Under-cabinet lighting can classify into three major types – incandescent, fluorescent, and LEDs. Each light type has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the homeowner which one they wanted to install for their kitchen. 

kitchen cabinet lighting

What are the types of light used in under cabinet lighting?

Incandescent Light

Incandescent under cabinet lights is also known as a halogen fixture. It was first introduced decades ago, and it provides excellent quality for lighting dark spaces inside the kitchen. These lights can be dimmed as well, giving the kitchen a more dramatic look. However, incandescent under cabinet lights are becoming more unpopular because of the excessive energy usage that it requires. The bulbs used in a halogen fixture don’t last long, either. Another disadvantage of using an incandescent under cabinet lighting would be the heat that the bulbs produce, and with an increasing heat inside the kitchen, the air conditioning system would have to work harder to cool down the air, increasing your electricity bills.

Fluorescent Light

The second type for under cabinet lighting is the fluorescent fixture. Many homeowners choose this option because of the light bulb’s long lifespan. It is also lauded because of its better energy efficiency. However, the problem with this type of lighting is the poor quality of light that it produces. Many homeowners pointed out that their kitchen started to look like an office cubicle after they installed a fluorescent light inside it. Another disadvantage of using fluorescent light is its mercury content. Mercury is a liquid metal that is dangerous to the body and the environment. Products with mercury become a major drawback for people who are trying to enhance their kitchens.


Lastly are the LEDs, which is a recently-introduced technology that combines the efficiency of incandescent and fluorescent light. It is believed that LEDs would be the main source of lighting by the 2020s decade, and more homes are switching to this type of light because of its advantages. When using an LED for under cabinet lighting, you would notice that it would have an outstanding energy efficiency partnered with warm light coming off the bulb. It does not feel hot when touched, and the bulbs last for a long time. If you use an LED for your under cabinet lighting, expect a brighter kitchen with lower electric bills.

With the significant decrease in prices for LED lights, many home improvement contractors consider it as the best option for under cabinet lighting. It does not cost that much, and it is a safer choice for the kitchen.

Choosing the wiring system


After you purchased your LED kitchen under cabinet lights, the next thing that you need to do is to choose the wiring option for the system. There are two options that you can choose from – direct wires, and plug-in. The type of wiring system depends on your choice. The advantage with plug-in fixtures is that there is a power cord that you can connect to an electric socket inside the kitchen. It is perfect for those who opt to DIY, and it requires no electrical skill. It is very easy to uninstall, making it an ideal option for those who rent.

Despite the advantages presented by this type of kitchen cabinet lighting, there are still disadvantages, like the inability to control the lights using a switch. Because it is directly connected to the power socket, plug-ins would not be able to give its users an option to dim the lights. It will also depend on what type of lights you are using. For example, downlights require different plugins than regular LED lights.

Direct wires

Direct wire fixtures, on the other hand, is another alternative to plug-ins. It is wired into a wall and users can use a switch to operate the system. The lights connected through this option can be dimmed, and the main controls should be placed inside the switch. The main drawback for this type of electrical system is the complexity of how it should be installed, and experts agree that people should contact a licensed electrician to help them with setting up this type of lighting. People who are renting their homes are advised not to consider this option because they won’t be able to take their lights if they decided to move out.

Junction box

Choosing the wiring system for the under cabinet lights can be tough. Luckily, there is an alternative for those who cannot choose the right wiring system for their kitchen. According to experts, people might opt to choose a junction box where most of the wirings can be stored. With a junction box installed, plug-in wiring can be converted to direct wire.

A Modern Kitchen

The quality of the lighting fixture

The next thing that should be considered by homeowners would be the quality of the fixtures that they will be using. There are a lot of options for those who are looking for an affordable but top-quality LED lights for their kitchen, and they can visit this website to search for the best options. The price range for these products is surprisingly affordable.

Testing the light

Once you have determined the right lights for your kitchen, the next thing that you need to do is to test the light and attach it to your kitchen. If you did not like the result, you can just return the item and look for another product that can be installed for lighting purposes. If you want to get the best result, you can ask a home interior expert about their opinion on how to choose the right under cupboard lights that would enhance the overall look of the kitchen.

Identifying the sizes of the cabinets

It is also important for someone who is trying to renovate their kitchen to identify the sizes of the cabinets. Without the measurement, it would be difficult to light up the kitchen area because you won’t be able to find the best fit. You also need to determine how many lights you should buy. Those who wanted to install multiple lights on their kitchen should consider buying a linkable model, which can be powered from a certain source. Linkable models can also be controlled easily, and it can be a convenient option for homeowners.

Colour temperature and Dimming

color temperaturesThe colour temperature is also important when choosing the light source for the kitchen under cabinet lighting. There are multiple options that homeowners can choose from – it can be 2700K, 3000K, or 5000K. If you are not familiar with these terms, you can consult a licensed electrician and ask them about their preference regarding this matter. Another important factor that affects the lighting type installed inside the kitchen would be its dimmability. Many homeowners wanted their kitchen lights to be dimmed because it gives off a different sense of relaxation. Before you decide to renovate your kitchen, think if you need to make the lights dimmable.

Colour saturation

You also need to consider the colour saturation of the light that you wanted to buy. The colour saturation refers to the strength of the light’s colour. You need to know how strong or weak the light is to determine if it would transform the character of your kitchen. If you wanted to build a normal-looking kitchen, consider using white or yellowish lights. For those who wanted to become experimental, they can consider using other colour shades, but make sure that it would match the overall design of the kitchen. Homeowners can depend on the internet for advice, or they can also work with an interior designer to guide them with their decision. The interior designers have a lot of experiences when choosing the right colours for a home’s interior.

Working with a reliable home improvement contractor

After you chose the right lights for your kitchen, you need to contact a reliable home improvement contractor who will be finishing the project for you. Work closely with your chosen contractor, and tell them all of the things that you wanted to see inside your kitchen. You can also guide them with your wiring preferences, and the way you wanted the lights to illuminate your kitchen. Normally, this kind of project would last from a few weeks to a few months, and you need to be patient especially if you wanted to see the best results.

Home improvement contractors also need to work with other professionals when installing the light. They can call on a professional electrician especially if they are having a hard time figuring out the whole electrical system. After the renovation is completed, you should check the lighting on the cabinets and see for yourself if you are already satisfied with the work done inside your house. For subsequent renovations on the kitchen, you can continue working with the home improvement contractor and show them the changes that you wanted to see on your home, or you can also tell them to renovate it based on the current trend.


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