Under Cabinet Lighting

Jul 21, 2021

Improve the functionality of your kitchen with extra task lighting. Under cabinet lighting provides extra illumination for the best possible cooking, baking, and late-night snacking experience. 

What are under cabinet lights? Under cabinet lighting is installed directly underneath your cabinets. They cast light onto the countertops below for safe and functional food preparation. They are also useful for lighting up small appliances, like toasters, stand mixers, and coffee makers. 

Kitchen under cabinet lighting also adds an aesthetic appeal. The right brightness and color temperature under cabinet lights can highlight your backsplash, countertop finish, and hardware.   

When it comes to under cabinet lighting, LED lights are the best option for conserving energy and keeping electricity bills low. LED lights are also simple to install, beautiful to the eye, and available in a variety of color temperatures. 

Under cabinet lights are an excellent way to make sure your kitchen feels upscale and welcoming. Read on to learn more about the elements to consider when shopping for under cabinet lighting.

Details to Consider

Dimmable Under Cabinet Lighting

Dimmable lights are quickly becoming the new normal in every room of the home, including the kitchen. Adding dimmable under cabinet lights to your kitchen lighting scheme is a sure way to elevate the space. With dimmers, you can customize your lighting to fit the situation. Bright light is great for preparing food, while dim light is perfect for filling up a glass of water at night. Plus, when you dim the lights, you reduce energy consumption, which is beneficial to the planet and to your utilities budget. 

Kitchen Lighting Color Temperature

Color temperature refers to the warmness (yellowness) or coolness (blueness) of a light. Color temperature is measured in units of Kelvin (K) from 1,000 to 10,000. The lower the Kelvin measurement, the warmer the light. 

In general, warm light is best for relaxing areas like bedrooms and living rooms. In the kitchen, however, it’s best to use a slightly cooler color temperature—around 4,100 K.

Under Cabinet Lighting: Hardwired vs Non-Hardwired

Whether or not you want to hardwire your under cabinet lights will depend on your budget, commitment level, and if you rent or own your home.


If you plan to hardwire your cabinet lighting, you will need to hire a professional installer. The electrician will most likely install LED strip lights under your cabinets in one of two ways:

  • Install the LED strip on the cabinet trim with the LEDs facing your backsplash, preventing glare.
  • Install the LED strip two inches from the cabinet front with the LEDs directed straight down toward the counter. 

The best option for you will depend on the way you want to use your lights. 


If you want the look and functionality of cabinet lighting without hardwiring, you’re in luck! There are many simple solutions for renters or homeowners looking to DIY.

  • LED Strip Lights: 

You can purchase LED strip lights that come with an adhesive backing. While this backing is typically strong enough to hold on its own, you may also consider adding a few screws to reinforce the lights. 

  • Puck Lights:

Shaped like hockey pucks, these create a spotlight effect under your cabinets. This makes them a great choice for accent lighting, or for targeting particular food prep areas. They are available as battery-powered LED lights with an adhesive backing that you simply place on the underside of your cabinet.

Lighting Accents

In addition to kitchen under cabinet lighting, well-rounded lighting design will typically include recessed ceiling lights and, if you have a kitchen island, pendant lights.

Recessed Ceiling Lights

Recessed lights are installed inside a round hole in the ceiling. This helps keep your kitchen feel open and airy. Recessed ceiling lights provide general purpose ambient light for the kitchen.

Kitchen Pendant Lights

Pendant lights hang low from the ceiling, so they are typically placed over kitchen islands and bars. This allows them to bring light close to where you need to see. Pendant lights are great for adding ambience to a space. The bulb color temperature and brightness and fixture style both contribute to the overall design of your kitchen.

TCP Lighting Solutions

Looking for high quality, energy efficient kitchen lighting? TCP’s kitchen lighting options provide beautiful light while saving you money on your electricity bill.

Click here to browse our kitchen lighting.

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