Is Under Cabinet Lighting Worth It? (Easy Explanation)

Under cabinet lighting has become popular for both practical and aesthetic purposes.

It accentuates your space by adding a remarkable visual appeal and aura.

Considering how under-cabinet lighting can quickly and vastly transform your kitchen, everyone should consider them when remodeling or renovating their kitchen.

So, Is Under Cabinet Lighting Worth It?

Yes, under cabinet lighting is worth it. These sleek light fixtures provide lighting right where you need it – over counters, sink, and prep areas – and illuminate your space without the harsh glow of the powerful overhead light. Under-cabinet lighting can also save you money if you go for LED light fixtures.

In this post, you will find everything you need to know about under cabinet lighting to help decide if it is the best solution for your kitchen. Enjoy reading!

What Is Under Cabinet Lighting?

Good lighting makes your kitchen pleasant and inviting. A sort of decorative and functional lighting makes all the difference.

Under-cabinet lighting is precisely what it sounds like – a light fixture installed directly underneath your cabinet.

This type of lighting adds efficiency to your kitchen because you don’t have to worry about blocking light when using countertops.

For some, under cabinet lighting is a necessity that brings light directly onto your work surface.

No matter how many windows and skylights you have, they don’t work after dark.

Under-cabinet lighting works to keep your work surface well lit.

Although fluorescent light fixtures were the trend in the past, the advancement in LED technology has replaced fluorescent UCL with led bulbs.

LED bulbs are slow to burn, generate insignificant heat, and, most importantly, are energy-efficient, meaning they help save money on energy bills.

The Four Types Of Under Cabinet Lighting

Under-cabinet lighting takes your kitchen lighting design from simple to striking by adding a layer of light to your space.

Regardless of the light you choose, they create a visual interest and lending ambiance while making it easy to work because you have lights where you need them.

Interestingly, there are many options to choose from, and all tend to blend into your style without sacrificing functionality. Here are the various types from which you can choose.

1. Puck lights

Deriving their name from the hockey puck, these are small round lights that concentrate light into a small area.

They are a popular type because they’re battery-operated and very easy to install, with installation requiring nothing other than sticking them underneath your cabinets using adhesive tape.

Although they can use halogen, xenon, or LED bulbs, the last is popular because it is long-lasting and emits significantly low heat. Puck lights can be dimmable.

2. Tape lights (Strip Lights)

If you don’t want a fixture or just have an extremely shallow under cabinet recess, tape lights might be your favorite.

They come with peel-and-stick adhesive and a standard plug, making them very easy and quick to install.

Considering the tape lights are flat and flexible, they can be easily concealed or fit into unusual locations.

They also stay cool, meaning you won’t have unnecessary heat inside the kitchen.

There are drawbacks:

Strip lights are not as bright as under-cabinet fixtures, which mandates you to supplement them with strong overhead lighting. Again, each 5-meter section requires its plug.

3. Rope lights

Rope lights are another easy-to-install option, with installation requiring simple mounting clips.

They are quite similar to strip lights, except that they are slightly larger. Even so, they are thin enough to be well-concealed.

Although bending them at 90 degrees can damage their structure, they are an excellent choice for rounded corners.

4. Light Bars

Light bars offer the most professional look while providing a more uniform light perfect for kitchen tasks.

They are affixed underneath the cabinets and make a perfect choice if you need evenly distributed light.

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Six Factors To Consider When Choosing Under Cabinet Lighting

Under-cabinet lights are functional elements that are part accent and part task light.

Here are key considerations to keep in mind when deciding which under cabinet lighting suits your best.

1. Placement And Available Space

Before you make a purchase, the very first thing you should determine is the space you have for the lighting.

More often than not, you want to keep the lighting fixture hidden behind the cabinet face.

Remember, some flights are thicker than others, so make sure to account for placement.

2. Power Source

Depending on personal interest, you can opt for direct-wire, plug-in, or battery-powered under cabinet lighting.

Considering that installation for each option slightly differs from the other, you will also need to consider your budget.

Direct-wire lights are more polished and look professional but require an electrician; plug-in options require a nearby receptacle, while battery-powered lights will need frequent battery replacements.

3. Light Fixture

By far, LED lights are the most versatile and practical options because they are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and emit low heat.

There are other options available, including xenon, fluorescent, and halogen.

4. Dimming Capabilities

Installing lighting with dimming capabilities gives you much control over your under-counter lighting.

Dimmer allows you to brighten or dim lights to get the best lighting conditions, making light with dimmers an excellent option for people with eyesight problems.

5. Heat Output

Heat output and energy efficiency go hand in hand.

Considering that energy efficiency is an essential part of residential lighting, you need to go for lights that emit less heat while illuminating your space adequately.

LED and fluorescent lighting operate when cool, making them the best option, especially around foods or ingredients sensitive to heat.

6. Remote Control

You may also consider under cabinet lighting, which you can control remotely.

Some options come with additional features, allowing you to switch on/or dim or change the color remotely.

Under-cabinet lighting needs to be practical while serving aesthetic purposes.

When buying the light for your home, make sure to get the best blend of features without overpaying.

If you are planning for some DIY installation, remember to consider ease of installation.

Six Benefits Of Under Cabinet Lighting

Are you still on the fence trying to decide whether to invest time and money into under-cabinet lighting? Here are some reasons why you should consider this type of lighting.

1. You Have No Shadows

This is the very obvious reason and advantage of installing under-cabinet lighting.

Under-cabinet lighting increases the quality of light as it brings light specifically where you need it – on the countertop.

If you were working under the overhead light, you would have many shadows exactly where you’re holding a knife. This can impede your ability to cook or prep meals.

2. Decorative

Under-cabinet lighting is decorative, which accentuates your space with a unique style.

3. Property Value

Although relatively inexpensive to install, this type of lighting increases the value of your home.

4. Budget Friendly

Installing under-cabinet lighting is easy on the budget, especially if you go with the battery-powered fixtures.

5. They are easy to install.

6. They can lower energy bills

While many think that adding under-cabinet light will add to energy bills, this is not the case.

If you go with the energy-efficient LED fixtures, you will end up saving because you don’t have to illuminate the entire room when all you need is light on your countertops.


Whether you’re installing under-cabinet lighting for practical or aesthetic purposes, you will find them worth it.

This type of home lighting provides you with a clear view of countertops, so you don’t nick your finger when slicing veggies and other ingredients.

Under-cabinet lighting keeps your space well lit while adding character to your kitchen.