If you want to add a touch of style and elegance to your kitchen, just add some under cabinet lighting. Illuminating the countertops and shadowed areas in your kitchen adds dimension and aesthetic appeal. And there are different types of under cabinet lights to create the effect you desire.
Learn everything you need to know about under cabinet lighting for your kitchen and bathrooms. Find out what different options are available and the benefits of each. And, see how to create more aesthetic appeal and character in your room by picking the best lighting for your desired effect.
Your Total Guide to Under Cabinet Lighting in the Home – 2021
The light source for most under cabinet lighting is, either LED, halogen, fluorescent, or xenon, depending on the type of surface it illuminates. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, and different visual characteristics. The best choice for your kitchen or bathroom is contingent on, both your personal preference, as well as the material and color of the surface you are illuminating with your lights.
The darker the color of your countertops, the brighter the light source needs to be to adequately illuminate the surface. Dark colors absorb light, so the brighter, the better. And, if you have highly reflective countertops, a less bright light source reduces glare.
Halogen Under-Cabinet Lights
Halogen lighting produces a quality that resembles natural sunlight. It has a warm yellow color and the bulbs are small, which makes them a good fit for under cabinet fixtures. As compared to an incandescent bulb, halogen uses less energy because of the bulb’s small size.
Halogen lights, however, burn hotter than any other type of under cabinet light source, burn -out quickly with prolonged use, and are not considered an energy-efficient option. That being said, halogen lights illuminate a wide spectrum of colors, which produces an aesthetically pleasing optic.
Halogen, unlike LED, is an incandescent lighting source, but it is not the only incandescent option. If you want to stay away from white-colored lightings, such as LED or fluorescent, but you don’t want the heat of a halogen lamp, consider xenon lighting.
Xenon lights are a popular choice for under cabinet lighting and are a great alternative to halogen lights. Both halogen and xenon lights are rated as more efficient than that their standard incandescent bulb counterparts. But, xenon is much more efficient than halogen.
Halogen lights are rated for around 2,000 hours of life, whereas xenon is rated for 10,000 hours. And, since xenon gas is a more efficient conductor than halogen, it takes less energy to get the same lumen value from xenon, as opposed to a halogen lamp. And, the light quality is more pleasing to the eye and less obstructive of the colors which it illuminates.
Xenon lights are great for under the cabinet because they produce natural illumination that closely resembles the quality of light produced by the sun. But, like their halogen counterparts, xenon lighting gets very hot when left on for any prolonged period. At the end of the day, neither halogen nor xenon lighting is the most energy-efficient option, but they come at a lower initial cost.
Fluorescent Cabinet Lighting
Fluorescent lights are a great choice for under-the cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens if you are working with a smaller budget. They are very energy efficient, easy to replace and represent the lowest cost of any lighting system. Unlike halogen and xenon lighting, fluorescents produce an extremely low heat emission.
Another benefit of choosing fluorescent under cabinet lights is that there are many options from which to choose the color quality and brightness. You can find fluorescent lighting in a wide range of colors and shapes, to best fit the lighting instrument to the area it occupies. But, fluorescent lighting also has several disadvantages when it comes to light quality.
Fluorescent lights are not dimmable, which can be a drawback for under cabinet lights. But, the biggest reason you might veer away from fluorescent is the color render characteristics. Fluorescents render few colors, which means that the light spectrum coming from a fluorescent does not pick up other colors very well. This can be an aesthetic disadvantage to the atmosphere of your kitchen, especially when it comes to preparing food.
LED Cabinet Lights
By far – the most popular option for under cabinet lighting on the market in 2021 is LED cabinet lights. LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, produce the lowest heat emissions and are the most energy-efficient lighting option for the kitchen. These lights combine the best of all other types.
You can dim LEDs and choose from a wide range of colors. They even come in color-changing configurations. And, LED lighting lasts far longer than incandescent or fluorescent equivalents.
The quality of light emitted from an LED is great for kitchens, as it renders a large spectrum of colors. The downside, however, is that LED cabinet lighting often comes at a higher initial cost, and can be a little more complicated than simply plugging it in. Some LED cabinet lights require a separate power supply and special installation.
No matter which lighting source you choose, there are plenty of options when it comes to your lighting fixture’s shape and design. Options include rope lights, strip lights, puck lights, and many more. Talk to a Myers Cabinet associate, today for a free consultation on the best under cabinet lighting options for your kitchen.