Interior Design

3 easy under-cabinet lighting options


Lighting is one of the most important elements of any kitchen, helping to improve efficiency, create atmosphere and highlight certain features or colours. Lighting installed under cabinets has the potential to make certain tasks easier by providing visibility to your countertops, as well as provide dimmer lighting to your space when in situations where overhead lighting would prove too intense (e.g. when taking a trip to the fridge in the middle of the night!).

This will not only prove functional, but it can also be aesthetically pleasing when done correctly – under-cabinet lighting is often neatly concealed, never failing to give a kitchen that minimalist edge. Likewise, these lights can come in different colours and styles, each giving your kitchen a different overall feel. Here, we’ll be looking at some easy under-cabinet lighting options to help you decide which suits your kitchen best.

Tape Lights

Tape lights are one of the most flexible and easy under-cabinet lighting options available, proving simple to install and effective at suiting any kitchen. They usually come in the form of long adhesive strips with LED lights embedded inside, allowing you to cut and stick the lights under your cabinet wherever and however you see fit. Since they’re so thin and inconspicuous, tape lights are perfect for sleeker designs that aren’t too busy. Although they usually require an electrical outlet the wiring ts not too visible (not least because of its position under your counter), so you can maintain subtlety in their kitchen without worrying about bulky lighting fixtures.

Similarly, unlike some other lighting options, tape lights are incredibly malleable and can be wrapped around corners and between tight spaces. The only catch is that the tape lighting has less strength and intensity compared to other products on the market – but still, this might simply add to the subtle elegance for many homeowners!

Rope Lights

Like a thicker version of tape lights, rope lights come in the form of a long rope of LEDs that can be affixed under your kitchen counter with simple mounting clips. These lights will complement a minimal aesthetic given their size and subtle appearance, offering a consistent flow of ambient lighting to your countertops as opposed to a more focussed spotlight. While tape lights require a flat surface, rope lights can be applied to more uneven surfaces with bumps and crevices. These can also be served by a regular plug socket, but wires may be on show if you do not get the lights hard-wired into your cabinets by a professional.

Overall, rope lights share many of the same qualities as tape lights. But there are some differences worth noting. For one, rope lights are less flexible due to the material being stiffer – for instance, you cannot bend them at a 90 degree angle (such as when adding the lighting around a sharp corner of your backsplash) without causing damage to the bulbs. However,
they are still more flexible than more permanent lighting fixtures. These lights may not be as strong as some other under-cabinet options, but they are slightly brighter than tape lights. Overall, they add a more casual atmosphere to your countertops and are very simple to install (making them a perfect temporary lighting solution for renters).

Puck Lights

Although they are often called ‘spot lights’, the resemblance of these under-cabinet lights to a certain piece of hockey equipment has earned them the namesake of ‘puck lights’. These are small and round fixtures with an adhesive side that can be stuck to the bottom of your counter. The speed and simplicity of their installation is second to none: since they’re battery-operated, puck lights no not require any hard-writing or the availability of a nearby outlet to work properly. Once stuck to your counter, you can press them like a big button to turn them on.

While the two lighting options above provide a more ambient kind of lighting to your kitchen, puck lights are more intense. The light is stronger in brightness and much more concentrated, making them more appropriate for darker kitchens with a deficiency of natural light. Likewise, focussed lighting makes certain tasks easier to perform, especially in those darker corners of your countertop. While the ‘blotched’ lighting effect caused by puck lights may not be for some, their affordability and ease of installation makes them an irresistible option for many.

For a helping hand with designing your new kitchen and a chat with our professional designers, get in touch the award-winning team at Burnhill Kitchens! We are happy to offer you our expertise in functional kitchen design.

Our design and consultation process is free of charge and we’ll work closely with you to devise our ideal kitchen before figuring out the next steps. With our expert team of designers and fitters creating four kitchens a week, you won’t regret giving us a call!

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