Under-cabinet kitchen lighting is a relatively recent type of task lighting. If you have never had it before, you will be amazed at how much better you will see your counters. There are a lot of options available today including xenon, halogen, fluorescent, and LED. In today’s blog, we will discuss some of the considerations when choosing under-cabinet kitchen lighting.

There is no one type of lighting that is the best. Each choice is a little different and has different advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some different types of under-cabinet lighting for the kitchen.


Lighting for under the cabinets comes in two basic types: linear (like a bar) and puck (or small round shapes.) In theory, you should not be able to see the lights when you are standing in front of the counter. Bar lights will be more efficient at lighting the whole length of the counter evenly, but puck lights create a special ambiance and can be used judiciously to light a specific area.


The electrical considerations may or may not play a role. Lighting can be hardwired in, plugged into an outlet, or battery operated. Lights that use a lot of electricity, like xenon and halogen, are never battery operated, but LED lights are commonly available with batteries. The advantage of lights that are hard-wired is that you never have any batteries to change. Also, hard wiring can be complicated if you already have cabinets installed before you decided on lighting.


LED lights use less energy and give off very little heat. Heat can be an issue if you are preparing food under these lights, and you do not want extra heat—such as working with dough.


Fluorescent under-cabinet lighting was the first type of under-cabinet lighting, and it is still used today. It is less expensive than some other types of lighting and comes in linear shapes. One disadvantage of fluorescent lighting is that bulbs (or lamps)—until you change them–will give off less and less light over time, which is so subtle that you may not even notice it. There is also the telltale flicker of fluorescent light which some people are sensitive to.

Colour Temperature

Colour temperature, or how white or not white the light is, may be important to you for both the overall kitchen design and also how the food looks while you are preparing it. Most light choices are available with lamps or bulbs of different colour temperatures.

When choosing under-counter lighting for a kitchen, you should have a frank discussion with your kitchen designer about how you use the kitchen and what you want the lighting to accomplish. This will help you to narrow your choices. That said, LED lighting is particularly popular because it is very bright and has low-energy consumption.

If you need help with your bathroom or kitchen design in Vancouver, give us a call in Langley, BC, at (604) 533-4541.

Elite Kitchens and Bathrooms, based in Langley, BC, is your source for everything custom cabinetry related. As the 2019 winner of the Vancouver Consumer Choice Award, they pride themselves on stellar customer service to match the quality of their cabinets.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about cabinets, we encourage you to contact us at [email protected].


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