Installing under cabinet lighting in your kitchen has many benefits. Under cabinet lighting uses low-voltage bulbs to make tasks easier and safer by delivering directed light to a specific area. Under cabinet lighting can provide two functions in your kitchen. It can provide task lighting for countertop food preparation and accent lighting to highlight your countertops and backsplash. Although under cabinet is also useful in workshops, garages, and basements, here we will focus on the kitchen.
Benefits of Under Cabinet Kitchen Lighting
1) Energy efficient – Can save energy by eliminating the need to light up an entire room.
2) Variety of bulbs – Energy efficient lights bulbs are most often used for under-the-cabinet lighting fixtures. Common under cabinet light bulbs include fluorescent, halogen, LED, and xenon bulbs.
3) Eliminate shadows – Under cabinet lighting reduces the shadows created by wall cabinets and overhead ceiling lighting. Proper spacing of under cabinet lighting eliminates the dark shadows under your countertops. To eliminate shadows, install one light for every 20-30 inches of counter space.
4) Add unique style and distinction to your kitchen – Many kitchen countertops are made from granite or marble. A kitchen under cabinet light can make your stone countertops shine.
5) Simple installation – Many DIYers can install under cabinet lighting in just a few hours.
Types of Under Cabinet Lighting: Strip Lights, Puck Lights, Linear Lights
Strip Lights: These are rectangular shaped fixtures and they work well with fluorescent bulbs. They are great for providing diffused light to the kitchen.
Puck Lights: These are round fixtures that got their name from their round, hockey puck- like size and appearance. These lights are best for highlighting countertops and backsplashes. Puck lights work with LED, halogen and xenon bulbs. Puck lights can be mounted in different positions to either aim downward or at the backsplash. As an alternative, puck lights can usually be recessed into cabinets.
Linear lights: Linear lights are often used with fluorescent bulbs. They are the most popular types of fluorescent under cabinet kitchen lighting because they are thin, which allow them to be concealed behind the cabinet trim.
Types of Bulbs Used: Fluorescent, Halogen, Incandescent, LED and Xenon.
Fluorescent bulbs – These are commonly used for under cabinet lighting fixtures. They create a bright work area by providing clear light. The disadvantage of fluorescent lights is that they cannot be dimmed and they sometimes flicker.
Halogen bulbs – Homeowners seeking a bright, white light choose halogen bulbs. The light emitted from a halogen bulb is warm and bright and provides a nice amount of light from under the cabinet. These bulbs have an extremely long life, lasting up to 2,000 hours.
Incandescent bulbs – These bulbs are the least popular under cabinet bulb type as their light is not very bright. Incandescent bulbs are not energy efficient and they emit heat. They last half as long as halogen bulbs.
LED bulbs – These bulbs are becoming a more popular choice among homeowners as they become more commonly available at lighting and home improvement stores. LED bulbs are available in different colors they and provide homeowners with the ability to create unique decorative features. LED bulbs are best for puck lighting.
Xenon bulbs – These bulbs have the longest lifespan of all under cabinet light bulb options. They can last up to 10,000 hours. They are energy efficient as they do not create heat.
Tips for Successful Under Cabinet Lighting
o One 12-inch lighting fixture or 3-puck light fixture should be installed for every 4 ft. of countertop.
o Install the lights toward the front of the cabinet so that they will highlight the surface best.
Marcy Tate is a home improvement writer with over a decade of experience in the electric field.
With the kitchen being one of the most traveled rooms in many homes, good kitchen lighting is important to its overall design and feeling.
The practice of implementing good lighting design is a popular and cost effective project that many homeowners choose to undertake in order to give their kitchens an extra personal touch and have it stand out from others.
There are several places, many of which some don’t ever consider, to add lighting. Did you ever think about kitchen cabinet lighting or kitchen lighting over the sink? These are just two places where extra lighting to go in order to accent your appliances and other kitchen fixtures.
Through the right design decisions, you can improve your kitchen’s look and create a positive ambiance that you, your family and guests will greatly appreciate.
In order to do that, however, it’s important to know what the different types of kitchen lighting are and how they are typically implemented into the design of a kitchen.
The four types of lighting to consider before beginning a kitchen remodeling project are task lighting, ambient lighting, decorative lighting and accent lighting. Each of these types of lighting serves a different purpose than the others, so getting acquainted with each one would be to your advantage while you’re in the planning stages of your project.
Ambient lighting is often the most prevalent type of lighting. Its low intensity creates a soft glow that makes it safe to work in most areas of the kitchen. Many people associate ambient lighting with setting the mood in a room not just in kitchens, but in places like restaurants and bars as well. The right amount of ambient light can make a room welcoming and homely.
Task lighting is a type of kitchen lighting that provides a more high intensity glow. It’s because of this that task lighting is often limited to places like the sink and cabinets, where being able to see is important. To get the most use out of this type of lighting, look into putting it not only over your sink, but over type other heavy-use kitchen items like cutting boards and stoves as well.
Accent lighting is designed to show things off. If you have an expensive new refrigerator or another item in your kitchen such as rare dishware that you want people to notice, then this is the type of lighting to use for that. It doesn’t make the working areas of your kitchen more functional places, but its aesthetic value has made it popular with homeowners performing kitchen renovations nonetheless.
Lastly, there is decorative lighting. This type of kitchen lighting allows you to make the space truly your own. Whatever the design of the lights, it’s important to remember the old adage of “less is more” with decorative lighting. Overdoing it with decorative lighting can make for a gaudy and flashy appearance whereas a minimalist approach can bring an understated refinement to the room.
Every kitchen has got the potential for functionality, display, and storage. The saddest part of life is the fact that many of our kitchens do not have all these things. Having a large kitchen helps you solve the issue. It also looks beautiful. When you are choosing or designing a home, it is a great thing if you are able to have one at your disposal. Some of the benefits include:
Storage and Cabinetry
If you have ever used a kitchen that doesn’t have adequate space for storage, then getting a big one will be a great thing for you. You can have as many shelves and drawers as you possibly want. You can also install recycling bins and any other component that you may have always felt is necessary for your home.
Enough for the Kids
A large kitchen is always a perfect option where kids are involved. Regardless of what you want them to help with, a large kitchen will accommodate all of you without the cramped feeling. You can have them in there so as to watch them easily. You can also install amenities like refrigerated drawers and microwaves in the reach of the young ones in case they need something without you around. You can place amenities for your kids comfortably within reach so as to teach them some bit of independence.
Having some extra seating space is always a great asset for homeowners. This is an area where you can have your informal dining. When your extended family or friends join you for dinner, preparing and serving your meals doesn’t become as hectic as it is normally where there are smaller kitchens.
Sometimes one needs more floor space while others you need some extra counters. A large kitchen allows you to do whatever you feel is necessary. This becomes evident when you are making a huge meal for a lot of people who want to help.
Additional Kitchen Amenities
When you have a large kitchen, it becomes very easy to have all the amenities that you may have always wanted in the same place. This is how you make the kitchen a functional area that is useful for you and your household. This is how a kitchen becomes the main cooking and entertainment hub.
There are many materials that you can choose from for a functional large kitchen. There are budget materials and costly ones according to your budget. A countertop dealer can help you when you are choosing the best material.
Everyone now has a legitimate reason as to why they should have a large kitchen since the benefits are many. You can enjoy the better seating area and versatility at all times. Many people struggle with decoration and design of the kitchen due to the limited area that is usually available. So as to make such a kitchen functional and look great at the same time, a lot of work has to be done. A small kitchen makes you sacrifice a lot of things but with the larger option, the styles that you can have within have no limits. There are a lot of things that can be done so as to make the space look very special.