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Why Under Cabinet Lighting Is a Bright Idea for Your Kitchen

Feb 21, 2019 | by Carrie

Many people suffer from inadequate kitchen lighting, some even must deal with the dreaded over-lit kitchen. In a room as functional as the kitchen, lighting can make more of an impact on your productivity than you may expect.

Under Cabinet Lighting

As we like to say, "kitchen lighting should never be an afterthought," and under-cabinet lighting is one of the brightest ideas of them all.

Under Cabinet Lighting is a Three-fer

The goal of kitchen lighting plans is to provide three types of lighting:

  1. Task
  2. Safety
  3. Ambiance

Under-cabinet lighting is like a three-fer because it can offer all-of-the-above.

Task lighting

If you prep some of your food items using perimeter cabinetry with overhead cabinets, incorporate under-cabinet task lighting. By using brighter lights, gimbal fixtures (that can be angled as needed) and other-task oriented lighting options, you can make your under-cabinet lights part of the task lighting plan.

Safety lighting

The combination of ultra-efficient LED lights (more on that below), lower-wattage and/or dimmable lighting options make under-cabinet lighting serve as safety lighting when the chopping is complete and all the knives are placed back in the rack or drawer.

Wood Kitchen with Under Cabinet Lighting

The dimmed lights are ideal for allowing kiddos and adults safe passage into and through the kitchen in the after-hours, and wee hours, of the night and morning.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is all about creating a mood. That can be a sleepier, cozier mood for wake-up time in the morning, maybe it's a more romantic glow for those kid-free and couple-happy moments—or ambient light may even involve fun colors that augment your kitchen's color scheme for parties and just-for-fun.

White Kitchen with Under Cabinet Lighting

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Again, dimmers are a bonus here—and the right fixture/option choices could mean that the same basic lighting fixture(s) work toward all three points.

Also, don't forget about toe-kick lighting as an additional safety and/or ambient lighting option. Toe-kick lights are equally helpful, installed on the underside of your base cabinets, ensuring you'll never stub another toe when pouring a final glass of water or making a midnight snack.

Kitchen Toe-Kick Lighting

Optimize Under Cabinet Lighting Options

When you're perusing kitchen design galleries for under-cabinet lighting examples, or working with your designer—learn about, ask about and consider the following fixture options, all of which are part of Kitchen Magic's under-cabinet lighting plans:

Long-lasting, low voltage LEDs

In addition to consuming 90% less energy than their incandescent counterparts, and being more efficient than fluorescents, new LED bulbs last for as long as 50,000 to 100,000 hours! That means far fewer bulb changes by you over their lifetime.

Tresco Under Cabinet Lighting

They're safe to the touch

Another bonus of LEDs is that they're safe to the touch. They don't get hot and if you or a family member breaks one, there's no risk of coming in contact with the toxic mercury used in the production of fluorescent lights.

Neutral-colored lighting options

LED lights offer a range of colored lighting options, including cool, warm and natural daylighting options, so you can customize the way they shed light on your kitchen's fixtures and features.

Custom-fit to your cabinet layout

We'll make sure your under-cabinet lights are custom-fit to your cabinets so there are no awkward parts hanging out at the edges or corners.

Gray Kitchen with Cabinet Lighting

Minimally invasive wires

We want your under-cabinet lights to be as seamlessly integrated as possible, so we use minimally invasive wires that plug into a disguised, standard wall outlet.

Wireless dimmer switches

Every light should be dimmable so you can customize light intensity and quality—but dimmers are a no-brainer for under-cabinet lights. Wireless dimming options (included in all of our plans) up the ante even further, allowing you to automate your home's light quality with a handy remote from anywhere in the room.

Under Cabinet Lighting Kitchen

Want assistance choosing the best under-cabinet lighting plan for your kitchen design? Schedule a free in-home consultation, and the design gurus here at Kitchen Magic will gladly provide their expertise. And, check out our fun Under Cabinet Lighting video below to see the magic in action!


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Topics: Lighting

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