March 27, 2013

Under-Cabinet lighting has become increasingly popular in recent years, as kitchen designs have become more ergonomically sound. A common problem in kitchens is that cabinetry, although necessary and often beautiful, creates shadows on the countertops. The countertop is the best workspace available in the kitchen, and therefore, it’s the area where really, we want the most light. Therefore, the under-cabinet light has emerged in kitchens, providing ambiance and effectiveness in one package.

There are several types of lights that are available for use in under-cabinet lighting. They are:
• LED
• Fluorescent
• Incandescent

Let’s explore each of these options in detail below.

LED
LEDs are energy efficient and therefore have grown in popularity in recent years as our awareness of energy consumption has grown. LED lights have a long life and are very bright. It’s rare for an LED light to ‘burn out’ – the average lifespan of an LED light is 50,000 hours. Initially, some homeowners were put off by a tendency for LED lights to have a blueish hue to their light, but in recent years warmer toned LED lights have emerged on the market. The major drawback to LED lights is that they can be much more expensive to purchase than their incandescent counterparts. However, one must weigh the upfront cost against the energy output and longer life of the lights.

Fluorescent
Fluorescent lights have been regarded as “low profile” lights, meaning they don’t draw much attention to themselves. Due to their shape and size, they are easy to conceal beneath a cabinet, and the light they give off tends to be very straightforward. Fluorescent lighting was once only available in one tone, but recent improvements in technology have brought warm and cool options, making them a viable choice for families hoping to control the appearance of the lighting a bit.

Incandescent
Incandescent lighting is available in a wide range of color temperatures and wattages, and therefore is a very common choice for kitchen lighting, including under-cabinet kitchen lighting. Incandescent lighting for under-cabinet use comes in several forms – wedge, festoon, and bi-pin. Incandescent lighting is very easy to maintain – the bulbs are simple to replace should one burn out, and the bulbs are also fairly inexpensive. However, incandescent bulbs do tend to blow out fairly regularly. This type of lighting is also on the higher end of the energy consumption spectrum, and is the highest energy consumer amongst the three types of light we have discussed here today. So, if the amount of energy that your under-cabinet lighting is using is of concern, incandescent may not be the way to go.

Under-cabinet lighting can add a new layer of visual depth to the kitchen by illuminating the countertop space and adding luminescence to a decorative backsplash, too. Regardless of the type of lighting that you choose to work with, there are endless possibilities by way of where the lights are placed, how they look and feel, and what type of style they’ll add to your space.

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