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Latest Trends & Tips

Latest Trends & Tips

A Comprehensive Guide to Under-Cabinet Lighting Options

There are rooms in every home where traditional lighting falls short, leaving dark spots, shadows, and even underutilized spaces. This can be particularly true in busy areas like kitchens and craft rooms. Have you ever tried to prep a meal or work on a project only to find your overhead lighting blocked by upper cabinets or your own silhouette, causing shadows to obstruct your view?  That’s where different under-cabinet lighting options can come into play!

Beyond just the practicality of under-cabinet lighting, it also can breathe new life into a variety of spaces and previously unseen nooks and crannies. Grand chandeliers and pendant lights may be conversation starters, but it’s the unassuming under-cabinet fixtures that work diligently behind the scenes to ensure your home’s lighting is both elegant and functional.

It doesn’t matter if you're a DIY enthusiast or prefer a professional's touch–this comprehensive guide to under-cabinet lighting will help illuminate the path to more effectively lighting your home.

What is Under-Cabinet Lighting?

Under-cabinet lighting refers to light fixtures installed directly beneath cabinets, usually in kitchens, bathrooms, or workspaces. Its primary purpose is to provide task lighting for countertops, illuminate the workspace, and improve visibility. It can include LED lighting for the kitchen, battery-operated lights with remote for the living room, or any number of different options. Besides functionality, under-cabinet lighting also adds a touch of elegance and depth to a room.

Under-Cabinet Light Bulb Options

In order to select the right under-cabinet light fixture, you need to understand the influence the different bulbs play on both the shade and temperature of the light emitted.

  • Incandescent Bulbs – These traditional bulbs are pocket-friendly and exude a cozy, warm glow. However, they're less energy-efficient and possess a shorter lifespan compared to contemporary bulbs.
  • LED Lights – While LEDs boast impressive energy efficiency and minimal heat production, the light can feel less natural. LED lights also have a higher upfront cost, but that is balanced by their longevity.
  • Halogen Lights – These bulbs are bright, energy-efficient, and radiate a natural yellow-white luminescence. Since their heat emission can be a concern, they’re ideal partners for dimmers.
  • Xenon Lights — Resembling halogens, xenon bulbs shine even brighter but generate less heat. Although pricier, they offer the best durability among all bulbs.
  • Fluorescent Lights – Known for their energy efficiency and longevity, fluorescent lights produce minimal heat and give off a cool, bluish-green tint.

Different Styles and Purposes of Under-Cabinet Lighting

  • LED Puck Lights with Remote for Spotlight Effect: Resembling hockey pucks, these circular lights can be spaced out or grouped together for custom illumination. They're versatile and provide a focused, spotlight-like effect, and are particularly useful with a remote control.
  • Linear Light to Cover Large Spaces: These are long, continuous fixtures or strips that provide uniform illumination across a larger area. 
  • Flexible Tape or Rope Lights for Tight Spaces: These flexible strips contain tiny LEDs, providing a continuous soft glow. They're perfect for tighter spaces or where you'd want a discreet lighting source.
  • Recessed LED Lighting for Kitchen: Installed flush with the bottom of the cabinet, they are perfect for those who prefer a clean, minimalistic look in the kitchen or elsewhere.

How to Choose the Right Under-Cabinet Lighting Style

  1. Purpose: Determine what you need the lighting for. If you require focused light for tasks like chopping vegetables or reading recipes, recessed lights are ideal. For ambient lighting, tape or rope lights are more appropriate. And if you want to add some light to your pantry without wiring, something like the GE Wireless Remote Control LED Battery Operated Puck Light is perfect! 
  2. Cabinet Configuration: The size and layout of your cabinets will influence your choice. For example, linear lights are best suited for long, uninterrupted stretches, while puck lights can be spaced out for smaller or irregularly shaped cabinets.
  3. Aesthetic Preference: If you want a sleek, modern look, go for recessed or linear lights. For a more decorative approach, puck lights can be both functional and stylish.
  4. Ease of Installation: Some lights, like tape lights, are easier and quicker to install than others.

Is It Expensive and/or Difficult to Install Under-Cabinet Lights?

The cost and difficulty of installing under-cabinet lighting will vary based on the type of lighting, the complexity of the setup, and whether or not you're doing it yourself or hiring a professional.

  • Professional Installation: For a more complex setup, or if you're not comfortable with wiring, it's best to hire a professional. While this can be more expensive upfront, it ensures a safe and polished outcome.
  • Do-It-Yourself: Many under-cabinet lights, especially tape and puck lights, come with peel-and-stick adhesives, simple screw-in mechanisms, or even cords that can be connected to a standard outlet. These are relatively straightforward for DIY enthusiasts.

It’s also important to note that when it comes to available power sources, there are battery-operated lights (with remote), hardwired lights that connect to your home’s electrical system, and standard outlet plug-in options. And in terms of mounting options, most under-counter lighting options can either be surface-mounted or recessed.

In conclusion, under-cabinet lighting is a game-changer for home interiors. It's functional, aesthetically pleasing, and, with today's advancements, more accessible than ever!

Whether you're renovating your kitchen, looking to improve workspace visibility, or just wanting to add a touch of elegance, at Wholesale Home, you can find a wide selection of lighting options and under-cabinet lighting components! Just browse through our lighting choices today, or contact us with any questions!

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