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Undercabinet Lighting

Apr 17, 2008
Most of us know what kind of fixtures belong on the ceiling, on the wall, or upon ones desk. What may not be so obvious is what kind of lighting fixtures one should use to light those nooks and crannies such as bookshelves, coves or cabinets. There is, in fact, a whole category of lighting fixtures called "under cabinet lighting" which addresses exactly these needs. Under cabinet lighting refers to a range of products designed for installation into and illumination of small areas. These fixtures include strip lights, puck lights, recessed under cabinet lights and even under cabinet rope lights.

Strip Lights.

Strip lights are by far the most elegant solution for under lighting cabinets. Strip lights consist of a custom cut track designed to discreetly mount to the inside of these spaces, and are fitted with evenly spaced Xenon or halogen festoon lamps that provide an attractive, soft glow. Strip lights can be fitted into curio cabinets, bookshelves, or even atop crown molding to give a room a subtle outline of light just below the ceiling. Strip lights are extremely low profile, and usually measure less than one inch wide. When properly installed, and in some cases painted to match the color of the shelf or cove, strip lights are virtually invisible. They are a perfect example of what is meant when designers say one should see the light, not the fixture.

The following are examples of the types of strip lighting fixtures we offer:

horizontal mount strip lighting
vertical mount strip lighting
adjustable concealed strip lighting
adjustable exposed strip lighting
cove mount strip lighting
Puck lights.

Puck lights are another elegant solution to lighting kitchen cabinets or bookshelves. These lights are often about the same size, shape and dimension of a hockey puck, thus the name. Puck lights can be strung together in series, providing evenly spaced pools of light in the nook or cranny you are illuminating. Compared with strip lighting, puck lights are easier to install and are therefore a popular solution to under cabinet lighting needs.

Recessed under cabinet lights.

Recessed under cabinet lights are similar to puck lights in terms of the type of illumination offered, except that they are more low profile due to the fact that they are actually mounted directly into the shelf above. In terms of aesthetic appeal a recessed under cabinet light is preferable to a standard puck light or even strip lights. By the same token, installation may be a greater challenge than either of these due to the fact that one must either install the fixtures during new construction, or make significant modification to an existing shelf or cabinet. Recessed under cabinet lights are a good choice if you are want to (and have the means to) permanently add lighting to your cabinet. If you may want to remove the lighting at a later date, however, puck lights, strip lights or under cabinet rope lighting may be better suited to the task.

Under cabinet rope lighting.

Rope lighting is, generally speaking, the simplest way to achieve under cabinet illumination. Rope light is just what it sounds like--plastic rope filled with tiny incandescent light bulbs. You can purchase a 150' spool of rope light for less than $100, which can be cut into custom lengths. Using plastic clips you can quite easily mount these custom cuts into the top of your cabinets or book shelves. You can purchase power connectors (in some cases they are included with a spool) that plug into a standard 120V outlet. Rope light is easy to install and just as easy to remove. If you are looking for a quick and easy under cabinet lighting solution, rope light might be the answer.
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