Overhead lighting has been the standard in most areas of the home for quite some time. However, in the kitchen, under cabinet lighting is often preferable. When working with food, an under cabinet light provides illumination that a bulb in the ceiling cannot match. Plus, it gives the room a modern and unique look that many homeowners find attractive.
Under Cabinet Lighting for Convenience
How many times have you washed a dish in the sink only to find later, under better light, that a few spots were missed? With under cabinet lighting, kitchen work areas are directly illuminated. This creates a much better place to prep and cook meals, and of course, do dishes afterward.
An under cabinet light is in a place that is out of the way, but in just the right spot. There are many types of bulbs to choose from and many different lighting fixtures as well. They can work on a dimmer switch to adjust the intensity of the light. Some models can also move independently, so you can focus on a particular area of the counter.
The Best Bulbs for Under Cabinet Lighting
Fluorescent bulbs are particularly long lasting and energy-efficient. The problem in the past with fluorescent bulbs has always been the unappealing light they produce. Today’s T5 fluorescents are energy star rated and have excellent color rendering.
Xenon bulbs give off a desirable light, don't burn as hot as halogen bulbs, and can last up to 5 times as long. Your best bet for choosing the right kind of bulb is to have a look at them in the field. Check out how they look and, just as important, how they make other things look.
Installing Under Cabinet Lighting
Installation of under cabinet lighting is generally a very simple and straightforward operation. Many fixtures can be purchased that will be easy to put up, even for those with little to no home improvement experience. A lot of the time, they are simply screwed on and plugged in.
If you are building a new house, or doing a complete kitchen remodel, you might want to consider something more elegant. When these lights are kept in mind during construction or renovation, they can be installed to look nearly invisible when off, but provide excellent light when turned on. The fixtures that screw in often have to be operated from a switch that is directly on the light, or plugged into a socket that is connected to a wall switch. Built in fixtures will operate using a regular wall switch or dimmer switch.