Slim under cabinet lighting is the way to go to ensure your high-traffic kitchen is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Under cabinet lighting is ideal for entertaining to provide a soft and inviting glow, or for accuracy when cooking and reading. Before you go ahead, it’s worth taking a look at some of the best ways to install mains powered under cabinet lights so you can properly plan your dream kitchen.
Is Under Cabinet Lighting Worth it?
Under cupboard kitchen lights really tick both boxes here. They look amazing, providing a luxurious, smooth and modern feel that offers ample, uniform brightness on work surfaces to suit all your functional needs.
It’s essential to light up specific frequent-use areas such as your sink or hob and gives you a little extra visibility when using high-risk kitchen utensils, making cooking safer, easier and more enjoyable.
How Do Under Cupboard Lights Work?
Under cabinet lighting works by providing full visibility of your work surfaces and displaying a spotlight on specific areas of importance. You could also use an under cabinet light with plug above your cabinets to give your kitchen an ambient light for entertaining, or in-cabinet lighting to accent or display treasured items.
What’s the Best Under Cabinet Lighting?
When selecting the best under cabinet lighting for you, you’ll need to consider the design of your kitchen and the types of bulbs that you need to perform certain tasks. The quality of your light source actually makes a huge difference to the overall feel of your kitchen, and last year’s “must have” in under cupboard lights are LED lights. Let’s see why:
- Type of lighting: Clear bulbs with white light are likely to provide a more clinical, clean and modern atmosphere across your kitchen, whereas yellow under cupboard lighting might give you a more candlelit, homely feel. The type of lighting that you choose also plays a part in deciding how many lights you need under your cabinets. If you’d like to go for a brighter type of light, such as the Morris Slimline LED Batten Light (5 ft), then you may achieve the visibility that you need from fewer lights than with a softer lighting option.
- Safety and convenience: It’s also important to consider the safety and convenience aspects of your lighting. You will need lights that aren’t easily affected by steam or heat, as they’re likely to come across these elements in the kitchen environment.
- Long-lasting solutions: They also need to be long-lasting for your convenience. Good quality LED lights can guarantee adequate illumination for at least 30,000 hours.
Types of Under Cabinet Lighting
Jane Langmuir distinguishes three types of lighting designed perfectly for your kitchen: (Langmuir, J, (2000), Ten Ways to Improve Your Kitchen)
Used to illuminate a room smoothly, removing any shadowy areas or providing background lighting. The Morris LED 6ft Batten Slimline is a slim under cupboard light that’s almost invisible when turned off, but provides lots of natural looking light to brighten your whole room.
Designed to create a more focused atmosphere and allow you to concentrate on a task. Usually, a combination of task lighting and general lighting will help you to avoid eye strain.
To be most effective, task lighting is usually placed as under cupboard lighting, ensuring it’s close enough to the task at hand. You can use recessed lights, accenting specific areas, or track lights equally, spaced across your cupboards.
If you need slim under cabinet lighting to brighten up your working area, you should consider the Morris LED 4ft Batten that can be mounted as an under cupboard light or on the ceiling to illuminate your area.
Accent or Mood Lighting
These under cupboard lights are used to highlight a specific area in the room to accentuate its features, draw the eye or display an item. This can work using recessed lighting, adjustable spotlights, incandescent bulbs or low voltage bulbs.
A Morris 2ft slimline LED Batten is perfect for slim under cabinet lighting that accentuates a specific area, giving a glow to those dark, shadowy corners.
Where Should Under Cabinet Lights Be Placed?
Planning your lighting layout is essential to achieve your perfect, dream kitchen. The main aim of under cupboard lights is to provide great visibility in darker or shadowy corners and to provide consistent light coverage throughout. If you’re looking at a full kitchen remodel, the placement of your major appliances can be determined by where your lights are located. If you’re just replacing your existing lighting, then it’s best to seek help from a professional kitchen designer to ensure your light placement benefits your existing layout.
How to Fit Under Cupboard Lights
When installing under cupboard lights, it’s a great idea to use LEDs. This is because they offer:
- A slim profile – they aren’t noticeable when they’re turned off.
- They save energy – they have very low power consumption (around 1.65W, which is 90% less than standard halogen).
- Longevity – they can last up to 12 times longer than halogen bulbs.
- Low temperature – they don’t admit too much heat, so they’re safer.
How to Install Under Cupboard Lights
Depending on the level of light you need, think about whether you’d like linear lights (slim under cabinet lighting), or puck lights (mains powered under cabinet lights that can be placed for concentrated lighting).
Linear lights provide more light and would be easier to install. However, puck lights add more of a spotlight affect to especially shadowy areas. If you’re unsure which under cupboard lights will work for your kitchen, check out the 8 must-know answers about kitchen LED lights.
- Mount the LED batten towards the front of the cupboard, LEDs facing down. This ensures they won’t be seen when they’re turned off.
- If you need to light up a specific area, or highlight your oven or sink, position your batten a couple of inches back from the front. This works better to accentuate matte surfaces or areas of particular focus.
- If your countertop is reflective, the batten should be placed on the inner lip of the cabinet facing the wall to avoid a reflection.
How to Change Under Cupboard Light Bulbs
To avoid glare, ensure you use a lower lighting level than normal. You should check each fixture to ensure the wattage is right, as the bulb life will be shorter if the wattage is higher than the fixture can take, and it may also cause a fire hazard.
Puck lights usually just unscrew and are powered individually. How to change under cabinet light bulbs:
- Ensure your electrics are off.
- Use a cloth to twist the bulb anti-clockwise.
- Align the legs of the new bulb and screw in.
Some under cabinet light for kitchen use may come in the form of an under cupboard light with plug attached. This allows you to isolate the source for changing the bulb. These under cupboard lights with plugs also allow you to easily change the full batten rather than unscrewing the bulb, which is much more convenient. This also means you don’t need to rewire your whole kitchen if you’re just looking for a refresh.
Under cupboard lights for kitchens are fantastic as they change the whole ambience and atmosphere in your kitchen, and it’s important to get it exactly right. Whether you’re installing a whole new kitchen, or just looking for a refresh, our experienced customer care team is here to provide support and guidance to find the perfect solution using the simplest and most cost-effective methods.
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- Ten Ways to Improve Your Kitchen – (Langmuir, J, 2000).
- A Homeowner’s Guide to Residential Under-cabinet Lighting: Getting Good Lighting for Your Kitchen Counters, (Volume 2, Issue 1, 2007. A publication of the Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies).
- Lighting – Building Research Council, College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- The Complete Guide to Under Cabinet Lighting – Pegasus Lighting, (Annie Josey & Christopher Johnson, 2013).