It isn’t new that good lighting enlivens a space. Homeowners install different types of lighting in their living rooms, bedrooms, and offices to have flexibility within the lit spaces. These lights exist to improve the aesthetics of the space and some are more specifically functional. One of the areas in the house that isn’t always armed with more than the minimum requirement of lighting is the kitchen but enter under-cabinet lights. These under cabinet lighting fixtures are equal parts – aesthetic and functional. As the name suggests, under-cabinet lights are fixed under the cabinets to light up the spaces below and provide for a better work area.
While this is primarily used in kitchens, it can be used under any cabinets, be it workspaces or offices or even in your walk-in closets. Under cabinet lighting completes the space and brings focus to the over-shadowed areas.
In this article, we have prepared a comprehensive list of some of our favourite picks for the best under cabinet lighting that you can use to spruce up your home decor.
1. 12 Watts, Dimmable Under Cabinet Lighting
These LED lights are 12-inch strips that can be connected with either flexible wires in any configuration or hardwire in one straight line.
The kit consists of 3 or 6 separate light strips, a switch, a dimmer, and connectors to attach one strip to another.
The light strips have an aluminium extruded base that snaps into place on the mounting clips. Double-sided tape can be used to attach these lights to either the cabinets or the wall if one doesn’t want to use the screwed-in clips.
Of the two switches available, while one is the power switch, the other is a dimmer. This helps with choosing the degree of brightness provided by the lights and can go from 0% to 100% which means that the lights can be turned off using the dimmer too. The most attractive feature is that these under-cabinet lights remember the dimmer setting when it is turned on again.
The disadvantage is that one cannot adjust the length of the wire segment between each LED strip and the bulk of the power adapter is on the excessive side.
2. Super-Bright Under Cabinet Lighting
This 31-watts under-cabinet lighting is the best for you if you are extremely particular about not seeing multiple sources of light shining down onto the counter or tabletop. These are 12-inch solid bars of light rather than an array of LEDs and come with diffusers to eradicate glare.
Like the previous one, these lights also have the flexibility of fitting. They can self-adhesive or can be screwed to the cabinet using clips. The kit provides wire clips that help keep the wires tucked away from sight.
Furthermore, this under-cabinet lighting allows you to wire your lights to the wall switch directly for ease of use.
The disadvantages are its bulky power adaptor and the mess of cables it has.
3. 45° Mounted Showcase Lights
The 45-degree mounted showcase strip lights are the perfect solution for those who either don’t want the lights shining straight down or the protrusion of the light strips seen. These lights are triangular and are mounted to the front face of the underside and shine towards the back.
It can also be attached to the back of the cabinets and shine down but this is usually avoided to prevent glare.
There are two versions of this lighting: Manual and sensor. The sensor version has motion detectors, although the sensors have been reviewed to be picky but can work with Alexa with voice-control.
4. Hand-Wave Activated Under Cabinet Lighting
Hand-wave lighting solutions are perfect for obtaining full control of the lights, be it to power on and off or dimming, without touch. These lights even remove the extra dimmer switch and incorporate it into hand commands.
The system is equipped with an IR sensor which is extremely accurate and controlling the lights have never been easier. No more fumbling for switches or the dimmer. Another attractive feature is its memory; it remembers the last brightness settings and automatically turns them on to match it.
Furthermore, they even have extra-long versions to solve the problems of having to install too many strips of lights.
They are inexpensive but the provision of connectors would be appreciated.
5. Flexible Under Cabinet Lighting
These lights don’t have an aluminium profile which makes them significantly thinner and perfect for small and shallow spaces.
Extremely easy to install and provides flexibility in the layout of the lights. Each set of lights come with three connectors(U-style) and extension connectors for easy reconfiguration. They can be connected to form long strips or be separate lines of lights.
The disadvantages are that these light strips cannot be dimmed and hence only have an on and off switch. It also doesn’t use screw-in installation with mounting clips to reduce the bulk of the lights. Instead, it uses adhesion tapes to stick onto surfaces.
6. Puck Under Cabinet Lighting
These puck lights are the perfect option for homeowners who don’t want long and linear strips of light under their cabinets.
They have an extremely stylish profile and take up very little space. They add a spotlight effect to the countertops and can be used not just in kitchens but also in bedrooms, living rooms, wardrobes, etc.
They can either be remote-controlled or stick on puck lights. Lighting can be incrementally adjusted and can even flicker for parties. Flexibility in installation and connections exist. They can be wirelessly or touch dimmable, although strobe functions aren’t as useful as one would think.
The disadvantage is that it can get too hot.
7. Battery-Powered Under Cabinet Lighting
Those that are averse to the mess of wires and cords, will find a perfect solution in these Battery-powered Under-cabinet lights. It is one of the more convenient options out there as it is powered on 3 AA batteries or connected via a 37″ USB plug.
It even has an adjustable motion sensor whose settings can be controlled by the user. Due to the motion sensors, these under-cabinet lights have an extra mode ‘Auto’. It is mostly set for the nights but it can also stay on automatic throughout the day. It even has black and white colour options.
The best feature is its allowance for flexibility in choosing the angle of illumination. It could be wall-mounted or stuck to the wall using adhesive. Though, using self-adhesive would require the user to rip the lights off the surface when batteries need to be changed. Using the USB power cord or screwing the lights in is the solution to this problem.
The major disadvantage is that the sensor doesn’t work as desired all the time.
8. Magnetic Under Cabinet Lighting
Another rechargeable under-cabinet light that features an extra function: Magnetic attachment.
Using the provided double-back tape to the magnetic strip after which the lights attach magnetically to the strip.
This feature removes the problem of having to rip the lights off the surface to recharge them. You can pull the lights off the magnetic strip, recharge them and slide them back into place. This even saves the hassle of screwing the mounts into the cabinets or the wall.
Perfect motion sensitivity alongside the three-mode operations provides flexibility in control of the lights and saves energy. These lights are extremely versatile and can be used in a lot of spots.
If we need to be picky about it, it could be said that the USD cord is too short.
9. Sylvania Adjustable Color Temperature Under-Cabinet Lights
With smart homes gaining popularity day by day, under-cabinet lights also need to keep up with the advancing technology. For these homeowners, the 18-inch long Sylvania Under-Cabinet lights are a perfect choice.
They are paired with Smartthings hub and can easily be controlled with Alexa. This voice-control feature allows you to dim, on, or off the lights hands-free, instead of having to find outlets and ways to hide the cords.
These 8-watt lights also have the provision of adjusting the white colour temperature ranging from cool to warm lighting. This flexibility gives you a great experience overall and suits your specific needs.
A disadvantage that one might find in these lights is that it has no power switch. It is only controlled by the smart hub and smart speaker, which is a necessity.
10. Superior Under-Cabinet Lights 3-in-1 Color Temp
The Superior Under-Cabinet lights are one of the most versatile options to choose from for your home.
In one light, there is a provision to choose any of the three options of colour temperatures: 2700K/3500K/4000K.
A sliding switch allows ease of switching from one colour temperature to another. With a high CRI of up to 95, these lights create the feel of a more naturally lit and vibrant setting.
While its dimming range is from 10%-100%, the dimmer cannot be used to turn the lights off entirely. Although, the lights are compatible with Amazon Alexa to dim the lights using voice-control or your smartphone.
It even provides options in installation methods: Hardwired or plug-in. The 5-ft plug-in cord allows for each connection. The most unique feature is that it can link multiple units together on a single run, up to 500 watts. It is hard to find any disadvantage to this amazing lighting.
With so many options on the market, it is not difficult at all to choose under-cabinet lights that fit the style and functionality of your home. This article is your guide to understanding some of the types of lights available and finding the perfect fit. Home decor is a tricky element where everything needs to be in sync with everything. Lights are the best way to ensure that the beauty of each unit gets highlighted. With the correct use of under cabinet lighting, you can accentuate the elements and make the home more soothing and aesthetic.
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