Do your kitchen lights still buzz and hum every time you flick the switch? Thinking of ditching that old chunky fluorescent under-cab light in favor of something more modern? You’ve come to the right place! Under-cabinet lighting is great for adding style and a great atmosphere to your kitchen, as well as increasing functionality. It’s also a versatile lighting source that can be used to accentuate any kitchen. For example, why not use under-cabinet lighting for over-cabinet dimension? The opportunities are vast, but you must know how to navigate this field in order to get the best results.
Before diving in head first and grabbing the first thing you see in a desperate attempt to get the 1980s vibes out of your home once and for all, consider your options. Whether you’re replacing outdated fixtures or starting over with a brand-new kitchen, use this guide to help you with your purchasing decision and add a little life to your kitchen.
1. Fluorescent Strips
Don’t panic! These fluorescents are different from the ones that everybody loves to hate. Unlike their predecessors, the T12 fluorescent bulbs, the newer and improved T4 bulbs don’t buzz or hum. They’ve also changed aesthetically and have become a whole inch smaller in diameter, making it easy to conceal them under your cabinet lip. There’s no delay when you flip the switch, either. However, the best part of all? Gone are the days of the sterile fluorescent glow. Fluorescent lights now come in a variety of color values and can be white warm.
2. Puck Lights
These are what they sound like – hockey pucks! Only, instead of hitting them around a slab of ice with a stick, you install them by sticking them underneath your cabinets. That’s right, I said stick. Puck lights don’t need to be wired at all. They’re battery operated LED lights. While there are lights similar to puck lights that are hard-wired and operable via a wall-switch, the sticky puck lights are great for those who are renting their kitchens or need a temporary solution otherwise.
3. LED Strips
LED strips are great for under-cabinet lighting as they last a long time, don’t heat up, and are slim and easy to conceal. However, LED strips do come with a bit of fallback. Since LEDs are fairly new tech, the prices can fluctuate and generally settle around the higher end of the price scale when considering larger fixtures. Plus, LEDs are quite cool in color value and resemble the sterility of the older model fluorescent bulbs, which can be undesirable for many. It’s best to try them out in-person by viewing different LED strip options at a hardware store’s lighting department before installing them to get a feel for if LED strips for you.
4. LED Rope
LED rope is also known as LED tape. They are an extremely popular solution when it comes to lighting anything from cars to household electronics and now: kitchens! They’re a more inexpensive solution than LED strips. They’re usually sticky, and don’t need to be installed via hardware. They’re also incredibly easy to conceal because they’re flexible and very small – about the width of a pencil. However, LED rope isn’t meant to be a primary lighting source because it doesn’t actually give off much light at all. They’re best used to compliment other lighting fixtures by adding color or increasing depth.
Consider this post a starter guide, and not a complete guide to under-cabinet lighting. The options outlined here are merely categories, within each contains a multitude of subcategories. If you need a lending hand to help you make that decision, consider an experienced electrical company such as Jaycox Industries. An experienced electrician will know what’s popular, what looks best for your kitchen, and will be able to install your new lights for you quickly, efficiently, and painlessly. With a little help, be it an industry professional or this guide itself, your kitchen counters can get the modern boost they need!