Under Cabinet Lighting

Posted on October 14th, 2016 in category "Tips"

undercabsHave you noticed how many choices there are now for under cabinet lighting? It can be overwhelming at times. It used to be that most undercabs were halogen or fluorescent; you bought the length and color you needed, had an electrician install them and bam! you had light. Now you have all these choices to sort through. Let’s review a few of the choices so you can decide which works best for you.

Traditional undercabs – these are just like they used to be only now in LED. They come in various lengths and colors. Most have a high/low or on/off switch on the fixture so you can control them individually in addition to wiring them to a wall switch. They install just like the older versions and can be direct replacements. What is new; now some offer tunable LED color temperature so you have options.

Puck lights – these are the little round ones that look like hockey pucks (thus the name). They used to come in halogen or xenon only. You could buy them in kits that included the wire and the transformer. They can be recessed or surface mount. All that is the same except now they are LED and use an LED driver instead of a transformer. The LED version can be a direct replacement for the halogen.

LED strip Lights – this type of undercab is a recent addition to the mix. Strip lights require a remote LED driver, so think about where that driver can be located. By code you need to have access to it. You may need to calculate for voltage drop if the driver is far away from the strip itself. To avoid LED flicker or strobing be sure to get the type of dimmer that the driver requires. The strip should be mounted in a channel with a lens. An angle channel with a milky white lens is best, aim the light at a 45-degree angle towards the backsplash. Especially if your counter has a polished finish, otherwise you will see the LED dots reflected in the counter top.

Give us a call or stop by and we will help you work through it. Whichever choice you make, under cabinet lighting is always a good thing!