When you ask homeowners about the one thing they would change in their kitchens, the answer is often the lighting. Most of your workspace is comprised of counter space under your overhead cabinetry. And with the lighting coming down from the ceiling, you are doing most of your prep work while blocking that much-needed light. However, the installation of under cabinet lighting can provide you with the light that you need to work safely in the kitchen and many additional benefits.
Your Under Cabinet Options
Just as the name implies, these lights mount under your upper cabinetry. And the most significant benefit of this location is that the light shines unobstructed on your work surface. And with their dramatic increase in popularity, you have many fixture options and power choices to complete your project efficiently and cost-effectively.
When you first picture adding under cabinet lighting, you might object to the thought of using one of your limited outlets. Fortunately, you have many choices, including:
- Plug-In: These are traditional fixtures with a standard cord that allows you to plug or unplug at will. Many also offer an on/off switch on the fixture, so the plug doesn't need to be easily accessible.
- Hard-Wired: This installation uses an existing or new light switch to control the under-cabinet lights. But the best part is that there are no exposed cords to get tangled in or look unsightly.
- Battery-Powered: If you have no extra power outlets, are not fans of exposed cords, and are on a tight budget, battery-powered lights will tick all the boxes.
Fixtures and Bulbs
Knowing that you have several power options, you can focus on selecting the fixtures and light bulbs that meet your needs and design taste. The two most common are:
- Light Bars: These are rectangular fixtures that illuminate a larger space, like the entire counter.
- Pucks: These smaller round fixtures concentrate the light into specific areas and are not suited to light an entire counter area.
Regardless of the fixture you select, you will also have the choice of halogen, incandescent, or LED bulbs. All three have pros and cons. But the LED offers the longest life, most energy efficiency, and generates the least heat.
The Benefits of Under Cabinet Lighting
Of course, your kitchen workspace's added light and functionality are the top perks of under cabinet lighting. But they are also a great way to lower your energy cost. These fixtures focus light where you need it. So, you can reduce the use of larger and less economical ceiling fixtures that light the entire room. And by selecting LED bulbs, you will also reduce the heat generating by incandescent ceiling fixtures. Finally, this added feature enhances both the function and visual appeal of your kitchen. And that adds value to your home.