A kitchen with under-cabinet lighting.

Kitchen Lighting: Under-Cabinet Solution

Any area in your home that you use for work needs to have sufficient lighting and there’s no work more important than that which is done in the kitchen. Unless you have personally installed the lighting in your kitchen (or a previous owner did), odds are it’s lacking in some way. If you’re lucky enough to have pendant lighting, which hangs lower and projects more light horizontally, you might already have a properly lit kitchen. But even these lights can be less than perfect if you can’t stand in front of your counter, stove, or cabinets without casting a shadow onto them.

Under Cabinet Lighting

A trendy and popular alternative to standard overhead or even pendant lighting fixtures can be under-cabinet lighting. Installing lights under the cabinets will work to not only illuminate an often unlit area of your kitchen, but also provide great ambience to the room. Reading recipes and preparing dishes is much easier when you aren’t standing over the counter and effectively eclipsing your overhead light source.

Depending on how large or bright your under-cabinet lighting is, you may even find yourself an alternative to the kitchen’s overhead lighting all together by illuminating only the space in which you are about to work (or raid the fridge and make a sandwich at midnight). Puck lights and rope lights are the best and easiest ways to install under-cabinet lighting.

Puck Lights

Puck lights, small individual lights, can work well to illuminate target areas, such as the stove or cutting board. These can be wired and installed to use your home’s electricity, but often times battery powered alternatives can work just as well with much cheaper and simpler installation.

Rope Lights

Rope lights are—you guessed it—strands of lights you can easily install to the bottom of your cabinets in order to evenly light a large area or even all of the space under your cabinets. These are the under-cabinet kitchen lights to have if you’re looking to create attractive, ambient light instead of the targeted light provided by puck lights. Also unlike puck lights, these can simply be plugged into an outlet instead of wired internally. Some models are battery powered and can even come with motion sensors, providing a low and helpful light to anyone who wanders into the kitchen at night.

So, if you’re kitchen’s overhead lighting is lacking, consider installing under-cabinet lighting. In doing so, you can cheaply ensure that all important areas of your work space are bright enough for comfort.

Last Updated: February 23, 2015