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Fluorescent Under Cabinet Lights

Jan 2, 2008
Fluorescent under cabinet lights have been standard fixtures in kitchens and work areas for many years. They are capable of generating extremely high light output with relatively low amounts of power. They are not the most attractive form of light compared to newer technologies, but they are still the preferred source of task lighting in a number of function-oriented environments. In closed areas with adequate levels of indoor lighting and a high level of reflective surfaces in the room, incandescents, xenon, and now Phantom LED lamps have mostly replaced fluorescent under cabinet lights. These newer and more sophisticated bulb technologies produce lower levels of light that blend well with interior design from a decorative perspective. However, the value offered to commercial, outdoor, and onsite task lighting that fluorescent under cabinet fixtures have always provided will probably never go away. There is still a very high demand for the energy efficiency and specific type of lighting quality it offers to specific industrial, commercial, and even home work area environments. Linear lighting manufacturers and lighting designers like Phantom Lighting must remain sensitive to customer demand at all times and look for ways to improve the quality and energy efficiency of fluorescent lamps even further rather than abandoning such a mainstay technology altogether.

As a manufacturer of linear strip lights with a strong emphasis on consulting, we always seek to educate our clients in what their best options are. Generally, we tend to steer people away from using fluorescent under cabinet lighting in kitchens within the home. Other types lamps provide a more aesthetically balanced and comfortable level of light. Nevertheless, homes are not the only places where people require kitchens and kitchenettes. Construction trailers, factories, warehouses, RV's, camping trailers, and temporary buildings often use food preparation areas to provide people in these facilities with the option of dining in and saving money. Many such kitchens, although in small buildings, have a high level of sunlight coming in through large windows that can cast shadows over countertops. Fluorescent under cabinet light fixtures are ideal for settings such as this because their higher lumens output overcomes shadows very effectively and also blends well with the natural brilliance of sunlight.

Although fluorescent under cabinet lighting may have diminished within the home, any countertop or workbench outside the home still receives great benefit from the brighter levels of light these fixtures afford the hobbyist and home repair buff. Places where these fixtures are still commonly found are utility rooms, tool sheds, and back porches.

This same principal carries over into the industrial arena. Most under cabinet light manufacturers have highly skilled assembly areas that often experience lower levels of light due to high ceilings and any number of obstructions that can block overhead lights. Any piece of equipment, rafter, or storage rack can cast shadows over work areas. This creates more than an annoyance--it creates a work hazard and potential liability for the company. Fluorescent under cabinet lights can help to lessen this hazard with exceptionally bright light which provides the best level of illumination and clarity along assembly areas where overhead lights may be blocked by any number of objects or activities. The exceptional brightness of fluorescent under cabinet lighting that some people complain about is not a problem in these instances, as a large cubic floor space will offset higher lumens output and prevent the light from hurting worker eyes.

Another place where we still recommend a fluorescent under cabinet light fixture is in a small, family owned jewelry store. The cost of running such a store is enormous due to the wholesale price of its merchandise. Jewelers need every cost-cutting advantage available to them in order to maintain healthy profits and positive cash flow. At the same time, they require a brighter than usual source of light that will cause the jewelry to sparkle and appear more attractive to buyers. Most jewelers therefore prefer to install display cabinet lighting fluorescent fixtures in their showcases because they minimize the electric bill while maximizing the likelihood of a sale.

With the exception to factories where fluorescent under cabinet lights are an absolute must for safer, brighter levels of light, all of the other environments we have looked at today can experience excellent illumination and superior aesthetics with a custom linear strip. Our linear lighting magnetic low voltage transformers provide superior modulation of electrical current that improves energy efficiency and lengthens bulb life. Installing incandescent and xenon lamps on a 12VAC linear strip can reduce the expense of otherwise more costly power consumers.

For really superior savings, consider installing LED's on a 12VAC and make the lowest voltage bulbs in the world even lower without sacrificing the quality of light. Our patented LED strip lighting design positions bulbs within lamps in such a way as to generate maximum showcase lighting that is then filtered through frosted lenses and glare shields that offer brighter, yet also more comfortable glare free illumination.
About the Author
Phantom Lighting, owned and operated by founder Tome Kretzschmar, headquarters in Houston, TX and offers custom lighting fixtures and consultation services through lighting agents on three continents. Visit http://www.phantomlighting.com/fluorescent_under_cabinet_lights.htm and http://www.phantomlighting.com/
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