How to Choose Kitchen Under Cabinet Lighting

One of the most popular kinds of lighting at the moment is under cabinet lighting. Offering benefits such as additional practicality and ambience, cabinet lighting is appearing in all kinds of places in the home from living room fireplaces to shelving units and, most often, the kitchen.

Under cabinet lighting has always been a popular choice for kitchens as the immediate value is lighting the worktops beneath cabinets; this makes it easier for your prepare food safely without casting a shadow from ceiling lighting. However, in the modern home, under cabinet lighting isn’t only used for practical purposes.

This means that choosing kitchen under cabinet lighting needs to be a little more considered. Once you understand what under cabinet lighting can be used for, you’ll need to make some decisions about where to place it and what kind of under cabinet lighting will be best for your kitchen.

Our guide to choosing kitchen under cabinet lighting is designed to help you make all  of these important considerations before diving into under cabinet lighting installation…

What kind of lighting is under cabinet lighting?

Depending on what you’d like to get out of your under cabinet lighting, the category of kitchen lighting it falls under can differ. In our guide How to Light a Modern Kitchen, we talk about the three different types of lighting that can be used in a kitchen; atmospheric, functional and decorative. 

Kitchen under cabinet lighting doesn’t fall under atmospheric lighting as its placement will never be able to provide that overall illumination for your room. However, it can have both functional and decorative purposes.

What effect would you like to produce?

Whether your kitchen under cabinet lighting is functional or decorative is really down to the effect that you’d like your under cabinet lighting to produce. If you’re installing under cabinet lighting over a worktop for example, this would be classed as functional lighting as you’re aiming to increase the amount of light so you can work safely on tasks such as food preparation. 

However, kitchen under cabinet lighting doesn’t need to be over a work top. Any kind of cabinet, whether fixed to the wall or standing on the ground, can benefit from under cabinet lighting as long as there’s a lipped edge. The purpose of the under cabinet lighting in this case would be to create a decorative effect that improves the overall ambience of a room.

What brightness will you need?

Once you’ve decided on the purpose of your kitchen under cabinet lighting, you’ll need to consider the brightness and colour of the light you’re looking to install. For functional lighting, under cabinet lighting such as these options from Eglo will be best for installing underneath a cabinet that floats above a worktop:

However, if you’re looking for decorative lighting to improve the ambience of your kitchen, under cabinet lighting with a gentler brightness such as flexible LED strip will be your best option. Available in a range of colours, simply choose the effect you’re looking for and install along the under lip of your cabinets for soft accent lighting:

How many will you need?

Whether you’re looking to install kitchen under cabinet lighting for functional or decorative purposes (or why not both!), you’ll need to consider how many lights you’ll need to complete the job. If you’re going for the functional lighting options we recommend one light per double door cabinet. Decorative LED strip lighting often comes in a reel which you can cut to size depending on the run length required. 

Ready to choose your kitchen under cabinet lighting? Browse our full collection of cabinet lighting here at Dusk Lighting to discover your options.

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