Enhance Your Cooking Space: Top Picks for Kitchen Under Cabinet Light Solutions

Struggling to find the perfect kitchen under cabinet light? Discover how the right lighting not only transforms your cooking space with style and warmth but also addresses energy efficiency. This no-fluff guide walks you through selecting and installing the ideal lights to work and live by.

Key Ingredients

  • LED under cabinet lighting is a stylish and practical way to enhance your kitchen, offering energy efficiency with bright, long-lasting light.

  • There are various installation options to suit different needs – plug & play connectors for easy setup and hard wired terminals for seamless, controlled lighting.

  • Under cabinet lights come in many forms, including customisable LED strips and surface/recessed fixtures, each bringing functional and aesthetic benefits.

Illuminate Your Kitchen Worktops with Under Cabinet Lighting

Under Cabinet Lighting Example

Why is under cabinet lighting garnering so much attention? Well, it’s all about combining style, warmth, and practicality in your kitchen space. Under cabinet lighting adds a layer of sophistication to your kitchen, making it more inviting and visually appealing. But the appeal of under cabinet LED lights goes beyond aesthetics.

It’s worth noting that LED under cabinet lighting is celebrated for its energy efficiency. Some models consume just 2 watts of power to deliver 250 lumens of brightness, thanks to the use of LED technology. That’s a lot of light without a big hit on your energy bill. Plus, these long-life LEDs can average a lifespan of 30,000 hours, that's just short of 14 years if you use them for 6 hours per day.

Choosing the Right LED Lights for Task Lighting

Selecting the appropriate lights for your kitchen may seem challenging. However, LED lights excel in the realm of task lighting. Why? They’re more energy-efficient and operate at a lower voltage compared to traditional bulbs, making them a safer and more cost-effective choice. Plus, LED lights generate significantly less heat, reducing potential heat-related risks in the kitchen - a space where culinary activities take place.

In addition, the flexibility in the application of LED lighting solutions allows for their use in different kitchen areas, notably under cabinets. So, you get focused light exactly where you need it, making tasks like chopping, mixing, and cooking much easier.

The Appeal of LED Strip Lights

Due to their adaptability and customisation options, LED strip lights are fast becoming a popular choice for under cabinet lighting. LED strip lights can be cut to size, allowing for a precisely tailored length to fit any kitchen cabinet space. This means you can have perfectly fitting lights, no matter how big or small your cabinets are.

LED strip lights have several advantages for kitchen lighting:

  • They are bendable, allowing you to twist and turn them to fit into any shape.

  • They are versatile, giving you the freedom to design your kitchen lighting arrangement.

  • They are water-resistant, making them suitable for use in kitchens where they might get exposed to moisture.

  • Because they need a separate LED driver, you can select a dimmable version.

Installation Options: Plug & Play vs Hard Wired

There are two primary options for installing your under cabinet lights: plug & or hard wired. Plug-in under cabinet lights offer a quick & easy installation option. You simply plug the connectors of the lights into existing sockets on your driver, and voila! Your kitchen is beautifully lit. But make sure your LED driver is the right match as the voltage, wattage and connector type need to match.

Hard wired under cabinet lighting, on the other hand, connects directly to your home’s mains voltage and is typically controlled via a wall switch or fused spur. While this option might require a bit more effort to install, it allows for a clean look and the ability to control lighting zones independently. So, it’s all about weighing the installation ease of plug-in options against the seamless and controlled lighting experience offered by hard wired fixtures.

The Best LED Cabinet Lights to Brighten Your Kitchen Cabinets

Under Cabinet Lighting Broccoli Example

By now, you’re likely convinced about the advantages of under cabinet lighting. But how do you choose the right LED cabinet lights to brighten up your kitchen? Well, the first thing to consider is brightness. The brightness of your LED cabinet lights should align with the ambient light and the countertops’ reflective properties to ensure appropriate illumination.

For instance, the highly rated Forum mains voltage LED Under Cabinet Light is available in a cool white light that complements contemporary kitchen designs. So, if you’re all for modern aesthetics, this could be the perfect fit for your kitchen.

Forum Lighting CULINA LED Under Cabinet Light

Spotlight on Surface Mounted Lights

Let’s shift our focus to surface-mounted LED lights. These fixtures offer a combination of aesthetic appeal and functionality. Take the Leyton Targa design, for example. It provides an up-to-date look and illumination for cabinet interiors, marrying style and utility beautifully.

Leyton Lighting TARGA-*W LED Under Cabinet Light

These lights come with:

  • A diffused cover that softens light output, ensuring no visible LED points

  • A modern matt aluminium finish

  • Plug & play connector system with the Leyton TOP6 range

So, you get style, function, and convenience all in one.

The Perks of Recessed LED Fixtures

Next, let’s explore the realm of recessed LED fixtures. These fixtures offer a clean and streamlined look by seamlessly integrating with your kitchen cabinetry. There’s no protrusion, so you get a sleek look that’s pleasing to the eye.

But it’s not just about looks. Recessed downlights enhance kitchen functionality by illuminating specific countertop areas, making food preparation easier and more efficient. Plus, their design helps eliminate shadows on the worktops, offering better visibility for tasks without harsh shadows. Usually used in-combination with cabinet lighting, they provide additional light from the ceiling, its like having air support in a war zone situation!

Cupboard Lighting: Accentuate Your Space

recessed kitchen lighting

Though it may seem insignificant, cupboard lighting can drastically enhance your kitchen’s ambiance. It serves a dual purpose by offering both functional task lighting and aesthetic accent lighting. Installing cupboard lights not only illuminates your space for practical reasons but also creates visual interest and improves the ambiance in the kitchen.

Pairing over-cabinet lighting with under-cabinet options can add a layer of decoration and elevate the overall visual appeal of the kitchen. So, your kitchen is not just a place to cook; it’s a space that’s beautifully lit and pleasing to the eye.

Balancing Ambience with Functionality

Striking the ideal balance between ambiance and functionality in your kitchen lighting may seem challenging. But with layered lighting solutions, it’s definitely doable. Incorporating under cabinet lighting for tasks helps maintain this balance, complementing the overall lighting scheme.

High CRI LEDs are essential for accurate color perception, greatly enhancing the functionality of the space. The standard CRI rating for an LED is 80, with higher CRI products having 90 to 97Ra ratin. Plus, features like dimmability and color-changing capabilities in under cabinet lighting fixtures provide flexibility, allowing you to enhance or alter the ambiance as desired.

Customising Your Kitchen Lighting with Colour Temperatures

The colour temperature significantly influences both the mood and functionality of your kitchen. The correlated color temperature (CCT) describes the color appearance of white light, measured in Kelvin (K), ranging from warm, amber tones (approximately 2700K for extra warm white) to daylight with blue notes (up to 6000K). The more popular choices are 3000K warm white or 4000K cool white, if you're not sure which colour temperature to choose, some cabinet lights like the Argi have a CCT switch, so you can flick the switch and adjust the colour temperature between 3000K, 4000K and 6000K whenever you like.

Forum Culina Argi LED CCT Round Under Cabinet Light Satin Nickel

Warm white LED lights create an intimate and more welcoming atmosphere suitable for traditional kitchens, while cool white provides vibrant lighting ideal for tasks requiring focus. Adjustable color temperature settings give users the flexibility to switch between different color temperatures according to the desired ambiance or activity, including the option for warm white lighting.

Dimmable LED Under Cabinet Lighting: Control at Your Fingertips

LED Sunset Strip

Imagine being able to control your kitchen lights’ brightness at the touch of a button. With dimmable LED under cabinet lighting, you can! These lights offer customisable lighting levels, if you choose a mains dimmable LED light, it will dim in brightness with an LED compatible dimmer switch, so you don't need any additional remote controls. The Sunset LED strip shown in the image above, just requires a dimmable LED driver and dimmer switch to enable brightness adjustments without additional wiring. This technologically advanced LED tape dims in colour temperature as well as brightness.

However, it’s essential to use LED-compatible dimmer switches to ensure smooth operation and prevent flickering or buzzing across lighting levels. Adjustable brightness levels create an ideal lighting environment for different tasks and times of day, enhancing overall kitchen functionality and ambiance.

Easy-to-Install Lighting Solutions for Every Kitchen

Kitchen lighting isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Which is why we have a variety of easy-to-install lighting solutions for every kitchen. From mains voltage under cabinet lights that eliminate the need for an additional LED driver, to battery-operated under cabinet lights for a totally hassle-free installation process, there’s something for everyone.

You also have options like linkable LED strip lights that can be connected directly into each other, which are powered through a single source, reducing the need for running multiple wires. Then there are mains voltage under cabinet lights that wire directly into the mains. Most of these contain a small LED driver, but for the purposes of wiring, they're mains voltage, which also makes ordering easier.

Enhancing Your Kitchen's Look with Cabinet Lighting Features

Cabinet lighting encompasses more than just illumination; it also involves incorporating unique features that elevate your kitchen’s aesthetics. Smart under cabinet lighting, for example, can integrate with voice control devices like Alexa and Google Home for convenient voice commands. Lightwave is a great choice of smart lighting system, it provides local control with smart switches, app control from your smart phone, voice activated dimming and more.


In a nutshell, under cabinet lighting is a game-changer for any kitchen. It not only enhances the aesthetics of your space but also improves functionality by providing focused illumination for tasks. With the right LED lights, you can create a warm, inviting ambiance, save on energy costs, and even control the brightness with your voice. So why wait? It’s time to shed some light on your kitchen with under cabinet lighting!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I hide the lights under my kitchen cabinets?

You can hide the lights under your kitchen cabinets using a valance, recessed bottoms, or a coverboard, each providing a different way to conceal the lighting. Try one of these options to achieve the look you want.

What type of lighting is best for under cabinet?

LED lights are the best choice for under cabinet lighting because of their long lifespan, energy efficiency, and ability to provide full illumination with the option to adjust brightness. They are ideal for kitchens and provide the necessary lighting for tasks.

Are LED strip lights good for under kitchen cabinets?

Yes, LED strip lights are a great choice for under kitchen cabinets because they improve both functionality and aesthetics while also saving on electricity bills. They can be strategically placed to provide the perfect ambience.

What is the importance of under cabinet lighting?

Under cabinet lighting is important because it enhances the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen by providing focused illumination for tasks, as well as helping to save on energy costs. So, it's a great addition to any kitchen!

How can I achieve a balance between ambient and practical lighting in my kitchen?

Incorporate under cabinet lighting for tasks and use high CRI LEDs for accurate color perception to achieve a balance between ambient and practical lighting in your kitchen. These features also provide flexibility for enhancing or altering the ambiance as desired.