Under Cabinet Kitchen Lighting

Under Cabinet Kitchen Lighting

Under cabinet kitchen lighting is just one of several ways you can illuminate your kitchen. Other light resources include:

  • Recessed lighting

  • Track Lighting (which currently is a bit out of vogue)

  • Drop-down or pendant lighting (very popular and seen often above islands, peninsulas, or kitchen tables)

  • Ceiling lighting

  • Rope lighting for accenting either above or below your cabinets

  • Curio lighting (an economical way to illuminate bookcases, curios, or glass cabinetry within your kitchen)

The photo at right takes advantage of recessed lighting, pendant lighting (above the island), and under cabinet kitchen lighting.

Under cabinet kitchen lighting not only illuminates your kitchen countertop surfaces making it easier to work, it can create the right "mood" in your kitchen when you are entertaining, or just brightens your kitchen.

HARDWIRING YOUR KITCHEN - AN EASY FLIP OF THE SWITCH ONCE IT'S DONE

If you are building a new house, the way to go is to hardwire your under cabinet kitchen lighting (versus using plug-ins). Your electrician will do this for you. Before you let your electrician have at it, be sure to:

Have up-to-date kitchen cabinet plans for him or her.

You want your electrician to see exactly where your cabinetry will be. This will help ensure he puts the wires in the right spots.

Have an idea of what type of under cabinet kitchen lighting you are going to use.

You can get any number of types of under cabinet kitchen lighting. Some will be sleek and thin ( 5/8" to 3/4" depth), others will be thicker. You may want your cabinet maker to increase the size (width) of the bottom rail of your cabinet to ensure you won't be looking at under cabinet kitchen lighting instead of the bottom of your cabinets. Often, if the bottom rail is 2", that's enough.

You can always add a bottom piece of decorative trim to your cabinets, if need be, to cover these lights.

Common Types of Under Cabinet Lighting:

  • Fluorescents (problem is they can't be dimmed without special equipment)

  • Fluorescents with natural light color

  • Cold cathode lights (similar to neon but brighter, and they stay cool)

  • Halogen bulbs (they are not as hot as incandescent lighting, but they will get hot)

  • Xenon (slightly cooler than halogen and long lasting)

  • LED lighting (very long lasting)

If YOU ARE NOT GOING TO HARDWARE YOUR KITCHEN, YOU DO HAVE OPTIONS

There are always new lights coming into the market. Many lights can be simply installed under your kitchen cabinets, and with purchase of additional wires, can be linked together. Depending on the light, you can link together as many as 10 lights. This is wonderful if you have to plug the set it. One plug in, and one flip of a switch and they are all on.

There are also snap together systems that need no wiring, and infrared remote control units.

DECORATING THE TOP OF YOUR CABINETRY WITH LIGHTS

An easy way to add ambiance to your kitchen, especially during the holidays, is to lay rope lighting in your color of choice on the top of your kitchen cabinets. This works if you have open soffits. You can also add rope lighting to the bottom of your cabinets, under the toe kick, for a "floating" kitchen cabinet look.

If you are building a new home, remember to have the electrician place a plug in above where your cabinets will be so you can decorate using rope lighting.

CURIO LIGHTING IS A TERRIFIC ACCENT TOO.

The photo at right takes advantage of curio lights. The glass featured in this recessed curio/wine cabinet we built and installed is hammered glass. Even though you cannot see clearly through the glass, the lighting adds something extra and beautiful.

Have fun with your kitchen. Under cabinet kitchen lighting, and other lighting options add great flair and fun to your kitchen cabinets.

And remember - HAVE A HAPPY KITCHEN!!

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Kitchen and Bath Cabinets - Be Savvy - 20 Top things to consider BEFORE you buy.

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The Woodworkers Depot - Online hardware store.  Great prices, great products.

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