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Kitchen Cabinets Lighting Ideas. Find Your Best Lighting For Cabinets

May 01, 2022 | Updated on: June 03, 2022

one of the various kitchen lighting options

Lighting is one of the many features that you should consider when improving your kitchen. Lighting plays a very important role in the function and aesthetic qualities of a kitchen space. The three basic types of lighting should be present when designing your kitchen. There should be the general or ambient lighting, the accent lighting, and most importantly, the task lighting.

But in this article, we’re going to discuss underlighting for kitchen cabinets in particular. Here, you’re going to know more about What are the types of lighting for under kitchen cabinets? What is recessed lighting for kitchen cabinets and what is the difference between kitchen cabinets recessed lighting and strip under mount lighting for kitchen cabinets?

Types Of Kitchen Cabinets Lighting

undermount lighting for kitchen cabinets

There are many types of undermount lighting kitchen cabinets out there and each of them is used in kitchen spaces for several functions and aesthetic goals. The most popular led lighting for under kitchen cabinets are recessed, strip lights, strip lamps, rope lights, and puck lights.

  1. Recessed Lights

Recessed lighting is still the most popular form of lighting fixture in practically every room, including bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, outdoor spaces, and even lighting in kitchen cabinets. The three main components of recessed lighting fixtures are housing, trim, and the bulb. The housing of a light fixture is the majority of the fixture that is buried within the wall or surface of the cabinet and the fixture's electrical connections. Under-cabinet recessed lights are generally smaller than the typical recessed lighting above kitchen cabinets or ceilings.

  1. LED Strip Lighting for Kitchen Cabinets (Tape Lights)

Strip LED lights are on the other hand, the most utilized and ideal form of lighting in kitchen cabinets for both lighting on top of kitchen cabinets and under them. Strip lights are best for very flat under cabinet recesses. These lights are so thin which makes them easy to conceal. and install into strange areas or tight spaces such as beneath your counters. They also take a long time to heat up, minimizing the amount of heat released into your kitchen.

  1. Strip Lamps

Strip lights are a great alternative if you want to utilize your under-cabinet lights for task lighting. They are somewhat similar to LED tape lights but brighter. They come in incandescent, fluorescent, and LED types, and in a variety of lengths. They are ideal for adding accent lighting to kitchen cabinets.

  1. Rope Lights

If you are in the process of looking for the best under-cabinet lighting for your kitchen and you’re not yet ready to commit, the rope light is your best option. It is DIY friendly since it is very easy to install and remove. You only need mounting clips and a transformer to integrate it. Like tape lights, rope lights are also thin but they are not as flexible as the tape light because you cannot bend or curl them without breaking them.

  1. Puck Lights

Puck lights have a spherical shape, similar to a hockey puck. They're extremely popular track lighting under kitchen cabinets because they're frequently battery-powered, and installation is as simple as adhering them to the bottom of your cabinet using adhesive tape.

Under Counter Strip Lighting

strip led lighting for kitchen

As we can see from the examples above, kitchen lighting under the countertop requires varied lighting to generate a distinct mood. So, why should you go for an LED strip under counter lighting or under cabinet lighting? LED accent lighting under the countertop is preferred over other types of lighting primarily because they offer various advantages. What are these advantages?

  1. LED Counter strip lighting is versatile and can be perfectly utilized regardless of what countertop material you have or what color your kitchen cabinets are. LED lighting under the quartz countertop gives the kitchen a modern style with a tinge of luxury and charm. Under granite countertop lighting on the other hand produces a soft and warm glow, thus making the kitchen look warm and welcoming.
  2. They are energy-efficient. Green energy has long been a popular subject in modern society, and the lighting sector has made significant strides in energy efficiency, culminating in LED strip lights.
  3. They are simple to set up. Many lights come with super adhesive, so you simply need to lightly apply them to the countertop with under lighting cabinet. Perfect for DIY enthusiasts!
  4. Lastly, they have a long service life, which is several times longer than regular lamps, allowing you to avoid replacing them as frequently.

Kitchen Island Lighting

kitchen island lighting composition

Lighting under cabinets is one thing but lighting the entire kitchen is another thing. In order to achieve your desired ambiance in your kitchen, your general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting should come together as a coherent lighting composition. So, to help you light the rest of your kitchen space, let’s jump unto the kitchen island area. What lighting is best for the kitchen island?

  1. Kitchen Island Lighting With Dark Cabinets

Traditional kitchen island designs don’t usually have lighting under their countertops but as kitchen designs evolve over time, designers are using light to integrate décor and accent features to highlight the kitchen island. Strip lights or tape lights are ideally utilized in areas under the kitchen island counter. This creates a cascading lighting effect right down on the island’s cabinets. For lighting over the kitchen island brown cabinets, bright and warm lights are ideal.

  1. Kitchen Island Lighting With White Cabinets

Kitchen islands with white cabinets are a common feature in modern, contemporary, and minimalist spaces. To add depth and highlight the edges of the sleek geometry of the kitchen island, tape lights are installed on the edges of the counter and under the kitchen island’s toe kick.

  1. Pendant Lighting for Kitchen Island

The highlights of a kitchen island are the pendant lights from above the counter. It serves as the defining feature of your kitchen design. Ideally, there should be at least three pendant lights to make the kitchen well-balanced and visually enticing. If you are leaning into creating a rustic chic look, then a vintage or industrial-designed lamp is the best option.


Kitchen Lighting Installation Requirements

If you plan to install under-cabinet lighting on your own, prepare the basic supplies needed to make your installation process smooth and errorless.

  • Voltage tester;
  • Wire stripper/cutter;
  • Grip connectors;
  • Scissors;
  • Double-sideded mounting strips;
  • Junction box;
  • Remodelling switch box;
  • Undercabinet lights;
  • Wire nuts.

Under Cabinet Lighting Dos & Don’ts

Under-cabinet lighting is an excellent way to complement ambient lighting in your kitchen. However, incorrect placement of the light can create an unattractive effect. You must take care to avoid some common mistakes when installing.



Hide the lights.

Don’t start without creating a layout

Position the light near the front of the cabinet. It is the best placement for under cabinet led strip lighting.


Don’t overload an existing circuit. Check the circuit first to make sure it still has room to handle more wattage.

Plan the route where to put under cabinet lighting and its wiring if choosing a hardwired lighting system

Don’t leave any cables or wirings hanging from the cabinet’s base. Always secure under cabinet lighting front or back!

Mark areas where to place under cabinet lighting strips or plucks before drilling a hole in your cabinet

Don’t use too many under cabinet lights.

Use battery-powered lights for very small spaces

Do not use lighting fixtures that are above the required lighting wattage for under cabinet lights.



Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.