Under cabinet lighting is quickly becoming a standard in kitchen remodels. It doesn’t take much to realize the benefit of quality task lighting, and also the extra depth you can add by highlighting the backsplash you worked so hard to select and design. But there are several different types, each with their own benefits.
First, and my favorite, is LED lighting. Number one is that LED lights don’t use as much electricity as standard light bulbs. This is great for two reasons, one is the obvious lower power bill, and two less heat. LED bulbs put out very little heat, something you don’t want a lot of building up under your cabinets while you’re already slaving over a hot stove. Durability is another great benefit of LED bulbs. They’re not a gas-filled tube like fluorescent bulbs and don’t have a fragile filament like incandescents, so they can take a bit of a beating, like in a busy kitchen. Smaller bulbs are more difficult to break, but if it does happen, there isn’t as much concern because no mercury is used in the manufacturing process. And last but not least, they last. In fact, they should last up to 10 times longer than a traditional light bulb, which is great news, because their only downside is that they cost more.
Xenon bulbs have gained popularity for under cabinet lighting in recent years. They are a great alternative to halogen bulbs. They emit less heat than halogen bulbs, last significantly longer than halogen bulbs, and can be handled without gloves, unlike halogen bulbs. They’re great for kitchen lighting because they’re dimmable and won’t heat up your work space. So if your kitchen light fixtures use halogen bulbs now, replace them with xenon as soon as they burn out.
Last but not least, we have good old fashioned fluorescent lamps. The number one benefit of fluorescent under cabinet lighting is the price. They’re usually the least expensive options out there, but you’d better move fast because with the introduction of LEDs, fluorescent lights are losing shelf space. Fluorescent lights also don’t give off the heat that incandescent or halogen lights do, and it’s very easy to find and change bulbs. The number one downside to fluorescent under cabinet lighting is potential mercury exposure, so be careful when changing bulbs and dispose of them properly afterward.
Whichever you choose, you’ll be glad you added some special lighting to your kitchen. It not only enhances it aesthetically, but also makes it easier and brighter to work in your kitchen. Add light in that dark corner and make it easy to see what you’re doing with this quick fix for your kitchen lighting.