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In-cabinet and Under-cabinet Lighting

by Susanne Clemenz

Kitchen cabinet lighting can be decorative, adding a glow and sparkle to the room, or it can be task-oriented, illuminating your work surface. Here are ideas for both types of lighting:

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Highlight Crystal and China with In-cabinet Kitchen Lighting

If your kitchen cabinet doors have glass panes, in-cabinet kitchen lighting lets you display your crystal and china. These lights are not as bright as under-cabinet lights, as the intent is different. Choices include:

  • Tape lighting: Flexible cords with LED lights spaced to your preference are fastened inside and hidden by the cabinet's face frame. A transformer must be located near tape lighting.
  • LED lighting strips: These small strips of warm-toned LED lights use very little power and are fastened to the cabinet face frame with a peel-and-stick system.
  • LED rope lighting: Similar to those used for outdoor holiday lighting, these ropes can be inserted into a rigid track for ease of mounting.

Under-cabinet Lighting for Cooking Tasks

Add task lighting under your overhead cabinets to shine on your counter tops. Some are even designed to reduce glare from marble counter tops. Task lights are brighter than in-cabinet lighting. Choices include:

  • Xenon fixtures: These very long-life fixtures can be mounted in tandem and hardwired or plugged in. Unlike fluorescents, they are dimmable. Unlike halogen, they are not damaged by fingerprints.
  • LED banks: These grids hold two dozen or more small LED lights for bright, broad illumination.
  • Puck lights: There are many styles and options in these small, circular lights, which illuminate the work area with a wide cone of light.

Your choices for kitchen lighting fixtures and cabinet lights change and update as quickly as other technological advancements. Explore your options and bring your kitchen lighting up to date!

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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