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Kitchen Cabinet Lighting

Aug 7, 2008
As the total square footage of homes has increased over the past 40 years, kitchen sizes have increased proportionally. Today's kitchen is more than a place for food storage and preparation. It is a major hub of social activities, and it requires both decorative and functional illumination to support the activities of the host and fulfill the expectations of guests. Central ceiling lights are insufficient to light all of the kitchen and countertop areas, so other task and decorative light sources must be installed by the builder in order to fill the room with light and add whatever decorative touches are appropriate to the environment.

One excellent source of decorative illumination is kitchen cabinet lighting. Kitchen cabinet lights can be mounted over the cabinet, under the cabinet, or even inside of kitchen cabinets as general lighting sources. There are four primary types of cabinet light fixture. Each offers a wide range of models to choose from and customization options and accessories that contractors can use to compliment custom interior architecture and complex interior lighting designs.

As much as possible, kitchen cabinet light fixtures should either blend into their surroundings or maintain a low profile so as not to disrupt the surrounding decorating theme. It is also a good idea to use kitchen cabinet lights that are dimmable, because most homeowners want to have control over the levels of light these fixtures produce. Some people even like to leave their kitchen under cabinet or over cabinet lights on throughout the night, dimmed to low settings, to function as accent nightlights. If the homeowner intends to do this, you should install low voltage fixtures so they can use their lights freely without exorbitant power costs.

Rope Lights

Rope lights over kitchen cabinets are an excellent way to light soffits and valances in the smaller kitchens commonly found in lofts, commercial break rooms, and mid-sized homes in suburban areas where livability is preferred above sheik decorum. They can also be installed in very creative ways as under the cabinet lights. LED rope lights are extremely energy efficient and consume a negligible amount of power. They are also inexpensive in terms of front end costs and easy to install.

Puck Lights

If only a portion of the counter under the cabinet needs light, you don't want to use rope lights in a series or even linear strips. Decorative puck lights with finishes and fixture designs that compliment kitchen cabinetry and countertops can offer a centered, bright source of down light over countertops. The choice to go with puck lights versus linear strip lights depends on general lighting requirements for countertops, the size of kitchen cabinets themselves, and the color and style of the countertop.

Puck lights are also great in-cabinet light fixtures which can be used in larger cabinets and pantries to illuminate contents and provide general lighting for cookware, food, and supplies.

Recessed Lights

Recessed kitchen cabinet light fixtures add an eclectic touch to any custom kitchen. If you are building a home or office kitchen with an ultra modern theme, you probably want to go with this type of look. Because they permanently install into the cabinet, they are less obtrusive and offer a wide range of lamping options as well, including halogen for bright white light and fluorescent for energy efficient lighting.

Linear Lighting Strips

These are probably the most versatile, "all around" kitchen cabinet lighting fixtures you can utilize in commercial or residential new constructions. Power-saving fluorescent and LED strip lights save clients and homeowners money by reducing electrical usage without compromising light levels or quality. Custom linear lighting strips by Phantom can be adapted to any under cabinet or over cabinet surface and can even be installed as cove lights in custom kitchen ceilings.

Linear lights strips can be fitted with incandescent, fluorescent, xenon, or LED bulbs for various energy saving needs and/or decorative lighting effects.


Everything you need to customize your order can be obtained here at RLLD. Fluorescent and festoon lamps, fuses, puck and recessed lighting bulbs, circuit breakers, connector and terminal kits, and many more supplies can be ordered online or from a specialist when you call in.

If you are currently bidding a kitchen remodel, be sure to call in to discuss some very unique retrofit options that will pass on savings to your client.
About the Author
Residential Landscape Lighting and Design. For more information about Kitchen Cabinet Lighting visit our Commercial Industrial Lighting section.
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