When it comes to your kitchen and bathroom, lighting is one of the most important – and still highly customizable – aspects. Not only does proper lighting help you see when getting dressed in the morning or whipping up a good meal at night, it also defines the unique feel and style of your space.
Sure, overhead lighting gets all the praise in terms of functionality but why not also consider the pizzaz, aesthetic and, yes, additional function of under cabinet lighting? Under cabinet lighting – whether for kitchen or bath – can be important for both workspace and appearance.
There are a number of different options available, each of which provide you with a different way of illuminating the countertop space under the cabinets. With a number of options, you just need to select the one that best fits your particular needs and budget.
Under Cabinet Lighting Options to Consider
Puck lights are named after the hockey puck shape. Nearly every kind of lighting comes in a puck light, including LED, xenon and halogen. Puck lights give you focused lighting, so if you like the subtle spotlight effect you can have that installed relatively quickly. In fact, some puck lights are battery operated, allowing you to install the lighting in the matter of minutes. If you’re looking for a cost effective under cupboard lighting solution, this is the way to go.
If you’re concerned about bulb temperature, go with the LED lighting options as these remain cool to the touch. The one thing to consider is whether or not you want to have the circular, spotlight appearance. In some instances this might work, in others it might not provide you with the kind of continual, even lighting.
LED lighting is especially energy efficient, using just a fraction of what halogen lighting uses. LED lighting also comes in a number of color temperatures and brightness levels. LED lighting also does not become hot, which is another perk. LED lighting does cost more up front, but the bulbs last significantly longer and will save you on energy consumption down the line, so it pays for itself along the way. Just something to consider when selecting lighting.
These kinds of lighting fixtures have been around for some time now. However, construction companies still install xenon fixtures due to the exceptional lighting it produces. The white light is great to prepare food under as everything looks beautiful under this kind of crisp, white lighting. Some fixtures allow for three-way lighting so you can choose the intensity and it is easy to install. Some are even plug-in, so you don’t need to have it hard wired into the electrical system if you don’t want to pay for an electrician.
The one real downside to this kind of lighting is xenon lighting tends to become hot if left on, which increases the fire potential (especially if you like to store mail and other easily flammable items under the cupboard.
Here is another classical lighting option that has been around for a while. The under cupboard fixtures are tube lights (typically) that provide you with even lighting under the cupboard. These lights also run cooler than both halogen and xenon lights. The one draw back to consider is the color creation of the lighting. Most modern fluorescent lighting no longer produces the green tint common in older tube fluorescent fixtures, but the clarity and color rendering is not on par with that of xenon and LED.
A stylish and flexible (literally) option for under cabinet lighting is rope lighting. Rope lighting plugs into an ordinary electrical outlet, comes in a selection of colors and is held in place by small clips. While stylish, rope lighting is not necessarily suitable for task lighting.
A wonderful solution for showing off your natural stone countertops, halogen lighting gives off a crisp-white light. While halogen lights can easily be either plugged in or hardwired they can run hot, so they’re not necessarily the most energy efficient solution.
Under Cabinet Lighting Tips
- Consider the voltage – there are two main types of under cabinet lighting; normal (line) voltage (120V) lighting and low voltage (12V or 24V) lighting. Low voltage is typically preferred in under cabinet lights due to the fact they produce less heat.
- Think dimmable – yes, a dimmer may cost more up front but the energy savings and ability to control the amount of light in your space overall more than makes up for the cost.
- Wiring – there are three options when it comes to installing your under cabinet lights, hardwired, plug in or battery operated. The plug in and battery operated options are good for any DIYer seeking ease in installation while the hardwired option delivers a more clean look overall.
There are a number of different under cupboard lighting options available. From puck lighting to xenon strip lighting, there’s something that works for you. Some lighting options require the skill and expertise of a certified electrician while others you can quickly and easily install yourself. It all just comes down to your personal preference, what works best for your needs and your price point. From there, you won’t have any problem selecting under cupboard lighting for your home.
Having your bathroom and kitchen electrical work done correctly is incredibly important for both code standards and safety. Call Front Range Electric today and we will help your Colorado Springs bathroom be all that you wanted and more!
About Front Range Electric
In a world of large companies and impersonal service, we’ve lost the connection to and commitment from local small business operators of days gone by. Ukrainian born Peter Buhkalo revives this personal service, bringing with him the drive and determination of the American Dream, and the promise to deliver to his customers in such a way that their dreams come true, as well. Electrical systems can be confusing, so Front Range Electric strives to be upfront with a clear, no-commission cost structure, a strong work ethic and a personal touch – you’ll talk directly with Peter or co-owner Charlie Threadgill when you call. That’s making a true connection.