Step into any kitchen showroom and you’re likely to see an abundance of lighting dotted around the area. Over the kitchen island, you might see pendant lighting. For the ceiling, you may see spotlights. However, a new trend in kitchen lighting has risen to prominence recently and that is undercabinet lighting. Here’s everything you need to know about undercabinet lighting, and why it is so popular in kitchen showrooms.
Types of Undercabinet Lighting
There are two main types of undercabinet lighting. You can place undercabinet lighting either inside cupboards and cabinets, or underneath them to illuminate the worktop below. Downlights provide a focused light and are installed in multiples. Generally, downlights are a good choice for highly positioned cabinets. The second type of undercabinet lighting is strip lights, which run seamlessly and evenly along the length of a cabinet. You can even use strip lighting to illuminate an entire surface. You can opt to have undercabinet lighting recessed into the cabinet itself for a streamlined look, or the lights can be surface mounted. Surface mounted undercabinet lighting is easier to install, as you don’t usually have to disrupt your mains supply in order to connect it.
Popularity in Kitchens
Safer Food Preparation
The primary reason that undercabinet lighting is such a popular choice for kitchen design is that it allows for safer food preparation. Often, when you are prepping food on a work surface, ceiling lighting can cast shadows which can make it difficult to see what you’re doing, particularly at night. This is because the cook blocks the light. However, undercabinet lighting shines directly on to the work surface below, eliminating shadows and making it far easier to see what you’re doing. Most undercabinet lighting has a wide beam angle, specifically designed to eliminate shadows. This is a feature which is pretty much unique to undercabinet lighting.
Adding undercabinet lighting to a kitchen is a good way to ensure that the kitchen will hold its value. This is why many property developers and people hoping to sell their home will add undercabinet lighting before the property goes on the market – it’s a relatively new feature which adds a unique selling point, and even something to discuss with a would-be buyer when they view the property.
Another reason why kitchen designers opt for undercabinet lighting is because it can add ambience to the room. Any interior designer worth their salt knows that it’s important to have multiple levels of lighting which perform different functions – task, accent and ambient lighting. Accent lighting is usually a floor lamp or a wall sconce which highlights features of the room. Ambient lighting is designed to add mood to a room, and is usually controlled by a dimmable switch. Task lighting is where the undercabinet lighting comes in – providing a bright, focused light. However, undercabinet lighting can make a room look more contemporary and warmer, depending on the colour of lighting that you choose.
Benefits of LED
There are several advantages to choosing LED for your undercabinet lights. LED lighting has long been recognised as the key player in energy efficiency lighting, and undercabinet is no exception to the rule. You only need a very low wattage (as low as 5w) to get a good level of illumination, which uses less energy and can save you money on your electricity bills. LED lights also produce almost no heat, which means that they won’t damage the worktop or the inside of the cabinet, which is an advantage for wooden kitchens where the wood can be warped. LED is much more controllable than other types of lighting – they are directional so you can control how much light there is, and they are easier to dim to create ambience.