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Modern black and white kitchen with under cabinet lighting in Springfield, IL

Our Guide to Choosing Under Cabinet Kitchen Lighting

Looking to brighten up your dim and dull kitchen? Under-cabinet lighting is an inexpensive way to add warmth to your home that not only gives it a more modern look but increases the value of your home while lowering overall electric costs. Here is everything you need to know about under cabinet lighting and why it is essential to your kitchen.

Before Installation

It is important if you are looking to install under cabinet lighting that you have a detailed plan laid out for the professionals. This gives them an idea of where you want the lights installed and the overall space and layout of your kitchen.

Figure out the dimensions of your ceiling, the distance walls or doors are from the cabinets, and the space between the cabinets and countertops. Having these measurements will make it much easier for professionals to judge exactly what shape, colors, and brightness of lights are perfect for your kitchen.

 Types of Lighting

Tape Lights

Tape or strip lights can brighten up any counter space no matter how complex. Coming in a long strip, generally 16 feet in length, tape lights produce bright beams that can be placed upon smooth or uneven surfaces.

Tape lights are also extremely easy to install. You will never have to worry about them fitting your custom cabinets as they are seamlessly positioned in the crease of your cabinets instead of directly beneath them.

Light Bars

Light bars are long and thin light fixtures that are installed, like the puck lights, on the underside of your cabinets. Differing from tape lights, light bars include a modern metal casing that, usually, includes the electrical components, making it easier to install.

Light brown wooden cabinets with under cabinet puck lights in Springfield, ILPuck Lights

Puck lights are one of the most popular options for under cabinet lighting. These lights are small, circular, roughly 2-3 inches in diameter, and usually spaced about a foot apart under your cabinets.

Puck lights are great for smaller kitchens and give off a lot of light depending on the desired brightness of the bulb. Generally, modern LED Puck lights can give off around 20 watts of power, covering the surface of your countertop easily.



LED bulbs are extremely energy efficient and give off a sizable amount of light that often come with dimming options for homeowners to control at any given time. You will never have to worry about heat damage with these bulbs, as they are cool to the touch and last for over 50,000 hours before needing to be replaced.

If you’re looking for an energy-efficient bulb option, LED’s are the way to go and will help you save a buck or two on electric costs.


Incandescent light bulbs are the traditional choice for homeowners that aren’t looking to spend extra on more advanced bulbs like LED’s. Incandescent bulbs only cost around $1 per bulb and provide bright and warm lights that give your kitchen a soft and inviting glow.

While these bulbs do not last as long as others, if you faithfully turn your lights off when leaving a room, they will last a reasonably prolonged time before needing to be replaced.

HalogenSleek and modern wooden grey cabinets with under cabinet lighting in Springfield, Illinois

Halogen bulbs long-lasting, energy-efficient, and generate only a small amount of heat. These lights give off a yellow-white aura that best imitates natural sunlight and lasts for over 2500 hours before needing to be replaced.

These bulbs are cheaper than LED bulbs, small, and lightweight – perfect for a puck light casing!


This may not seem like a major factor to keep in mind, but consistency is key to achieving a modern and flawless look for your kitchen cabinets. Professional lighting companies like Tresco Lighting recommend always using the same bulbs to even the tone of surrounding cabinets, flooring, and countertops.

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