LED under cabinet lighting is quickly becoming the lighting of choice for home and business owners. This lighting provides illumination to those hard-to-reach locations in your kitchen, bath, office or storage area. LED lighting is also eco, energy-efficient so that you save money in the long run on your electricity bill.
What is it?
LED stands for light emitting diode. It’s a semi-conductor device which converts electricity to light using the movement of electrons.
Why use it?
Under cabinet LED lighting is a great way to add accent and ambiance and to show off things like attractive counter splashes in kitchens or books on a shelf. When this type of lighting is used, it adds a gentle light to counter tops at night and provides good quality lighting when preparing food, writing, or reading.
They’re Energy Efficient
I’m sure you’ve heard that LED lights are much more energy efficient than incandescent or florescent bulbs. In fact, LED lighting can save about 80% of the electricity used by standard bulbs and up to half of the electricity used by fluorescent lights. These lights do not burn out or flicker – they just fade. The best place to use LED cabinet lighting is where lights are on for extended periods of time such as in kitchens, offices, libraries and restaurants.
Since LED lights use far less energy than standard light bulbs, they last much longer. Well-made LED under cabinet lighting can last more than ten years – making its life expectancy much longer than that of incandescent or florescent fixtures.
Ever burnt your hand on an incandescent bulb? That’s because most of the energy diffused from standard light bulbs converts to heat instead of light. LED lighting, on the other hand, does not emit much heat because it does not use much energy. In fact an LED bulb that has been on for several days can actually be unscrewed with bare hands! Trust us, we’ve done it.
Studies have also proven that incandescent light bulbs can raise the temperature in a home several degrees – depending on how many bulbs are lit and for how long. Since heat is not an issue with LED lighting, it can be left on for the duration of its lifespan and not raise indoor temperatures.
They’re Easy to Install
LED under cabinet lighting can be wired directly into your home’s electrical system, plugged into an outlet or battery-operated. Most people chose lighting that plugs into an outlet because of the convenience it offers. Plug-in under cabinet LED lighting can run off 120 or 12 volts. A 12-volt system requires a transformer to reduce your household voltage.
LED under cabinet lighting can be screwed or bolted into the underside of cabinets. Some models are made with adhesive backing, which are very simple to install. Simply peal off the backing and stick – just make sure that the surface is clean before installation to ensure that the lights stay in place.
What to Look for in Under Cabinet LED Lighting
Lighting designers often speak of creating “layers of light” for kitchens. Under cabinet LED lighting is ideal for creating layers of light because it provides ambiance, illumination and beautiful accent lighting.
The two most common styles of LED under cabinet lighting are puck and linear styles. Puck-style LED lights emit ‘pools’ of light in a variety of spots underneath cabinets, much like standard, in-built recessed lights. Linear-style LED under cabinet lights, also called light strips or light bars, are narrow and often sold by the foot and can be cut to length. Linear under cabinet LED lights emit a continuing band of light. Both of these popular options provide a sleek look, so you can’t go wrong.
Some of the most popular under cabinet LED lighting comes on a flexible circuit with 3M adhesive backing. These flex strips are customizable and can be placed virtually anywhere. Some of these strips come with a controller, which allows you to choose between various different colors – giving you several options to set the perfect mood for any occasion or use.
There are many benefits to LED under cabinet lighting and because they are so easy to customize and use, they are ideal for any household. Check out our DIY lighting video library and see for yourself what can be done in your lighting project.