Ⅰ. What is a cabinet light?
Special lamps for cabinets are referred to as cabinet lamps, which originated in the 1980s. Cabinet lighting is often applied to kitchens and storage cabinets to provide task lighting on the workbench to supplement the conventional lighting of the room.
Cabinet lights are mainly used for local lighting and cabinet decoration. Cabinet lights are not only used in the kitchen, but you can also use them wherever cabinets are installed, whether it’s a bar in the basement or a restaurant. Moreover, it can also be used as LED closet lighting. Different lights have different functions and will bring different spatial effects. Some lightings have specific unique functions, while others are multi-purpose. Many areas of the house need to be equipped with more than two kinds of lamps with different functions. There are three kinds of lamps; they are cabinet lighting, the countertop and the sink lighting, and the floor lamp.
1, The lighting inside cabinet
Cabinet lighting is mainly used for local lighting in wall cabinets, drawer lighting and floor cabinet lighting. Generally, the kitchen lighting is installed above the kitchen, and the light is illuminated from top to bottom. Therefore, the light in the cabinet will be blocked by the cabinet board, resulting in insufficient light. The cabinet lighting can take care of such details of life, with infrared sensor switch cabinet lighting Lights can add a sense of fashion and technology to the cabinet.
2, Wall cabinet bottom light
Wall cabinet bottom lights are used to illuminate the bottom of the wall cabinet, above the countertop, and the sink position. The main auxiliary cabinet operating table is used as supplementary local lighting due to the lack of light in the main lighting. Some wall cabinet bottom lights also have a certain decorative effect. Through the lighting design can create a relaxing space atmosphere and soothe the mood in the kitchen. People who often cook may have this trouble. Even if the main light is turned on in the kitchen, the light will be tightly blocked by the wall cabinet or the cook. There are often shadows in the operation area and cooking area, which greatly affects the washing of vegetables. , Cutting vegetables, cooking, cooking efficiency is not high, not to mention, it may also cause knife cuts, burns, and other hazards due to poor vision.
3, Shelf light
This type of lamp is mainly used for decoration and beautification of the space or shelf lighting. Properly designed can still add a bit of lifestyle to the host. The embedded hard light bar can be selected in various sizes. It is necessary to set up a power switch separately and install it on the side or bottom plate of the wall cabinet or high cabinet. When the storage space of some wine cabinets and display cabinets is insufficiently illuminated, surface light sources can be supplemented with light sources, which also have a certain decorative effect.
Ⅱ. What is the use of cabinet lights in home improvement?
After in-depth observation of the functions of each area of the house, people found that the kitchen is the most work area in family life, and it is also a place where families gather to supplement nutrition. It is also the first stop when we return to home after a working day. Under-cabinet lighting should be regarded as the main force in the kitchen, but it is often underestimated relative to the benefits it can provide. It should have a smooth and uniform lighting effect to complete various tasks. The kitchen can create a relaxing space atmosphere through lighting, soothe the mood and let us have a good start. In this special area with work and entertainment, lighting must have two different functions. That is, work lights are needed at work to improve people’s attention. Bright regional lighting and decorative ambient lighting are used for dining and entertainment, which can add atmosphere to the meal.
The local lighting above the workbench can weaken the surrounding light and focus the light on the workbench to improve concentration. Assist the cook to devote himself to the cooking process and enjoy the fun of cooking. There will be some dark areas in the wall cabinets and floor cabinets in the cabinet under natural light or the main light of the kitchen. The lighting in the cabinet is used to make up for the lack of light in the cabinet. The wall cabinet door is made of glass-like light-transmitting material, and the lighting in the cabinet can be transmitted through the cabinet door to form a decorative background light. When people are dining in the kitchen, the cabinets emit local lights and background lights to form elegant ambient light, which can add a romantic taste to the dining atmosphere and improve people’s mood.
Cabinet lights are installed in the bookcases, wardrobes, wine cabinets and other places at home to meet the lighting function, while igniting the atmosphere of the entire space, grabbing people’s visual focus, and creating a bright, smart and delicate space.
Install cabinet lights in kitchen drawers, bookcases and wall cabinets, which can be used as auxiliary lighting to eliminate blind spots in lighting, enhance user experience, and create a warm and happy atmosphere. In this way, the family works happily in the kitchen and the food becomes more delicious.
Cabinet lights are used as partial lighting for cabinets in many scenes, auxiliary lighting and atmosphere shaping lighting. This not only enhances the use experience of the space, but also enhances the sensory experience and visual art effects of the space. It is also favored by more and more consumers.
Q: Where can you use them? (Why do you need them?)
A: Typically, you’ll find under cabinet lights in the kitchen. Whether you’re mixing, shredding, slicing, or dicing, having task lights in the kitchen creates a space where cooking is easier and more enjoyable. With a properly lit kitchen countertop you should even be able to distinguish the sugar from the salt, just by looking. Under cabinet kitchen lighting can also be a nice accent to your decorating scheme, drawing attention to your backsplash and your countertops, and making your kitchen look larger. The bright, focused illumination from an under cabinet light’s slim profile is also ideal for offices, work stations in hospitals or doctors’ offices, bookcases, shelving, and more. Essentially, under cabinet lighting excels as an application in any area where you need task lighting and want the look to be contemporary and subtle.
Ⅲ. Types of LED Under Cabinet Lights
After years of development, cabinet lights have evolved from simple quartz lamps (spotlights) to today. It has been realized that each part of the cabinet has dedicated lighting fixtures. At the same time, it has also developed from the original halogen light source to the fluorescent light source, and then into today’s LED light source. It truly meets a series of requirements for safety, energy saving, and environmental protection.
Now, with the development of LED technology, under-cabinet lights have various shapes and designs. That being said, there are so many kinds of lights available under the cabinet that it is difficult to choose the best. In particular, each type of under-cabinet lighting has its own characteristics, and the performance varies greatly.
Most types of base cabinets or under-counter lighting are designed as a system. These systems contain multiple individual components, including lights, plugs, drivers, wires, mounting kits, etc., and they are configurable, so you can place them where you can benefit the most.
In this article, you will learn about the importance of choosing the right quality of lighting and how to buy cabinet lights for the kitchen. There are many good choices. We will compare various types of under-cabinet lamps and provide you with useful suggestions and important functions to consider when the best under-cabinet lighting.
1, LED Under Cabinet Linear Light Bar
Linear under cabinet lights are usually rectangular, some may be long and thin, while others may be wider. But the shapes are all “linear”. Some people may also call them strip lighting. It has a slim design, can be easily installed and hidden under the cabinet or counter, without wiring, plug and play, easy and quick installation.
Their length varies from 4 inches to 48 inches. Therefore, you can choose one light bar for a single run, or you can buy multiple light bars and connect them together. The under-cabinet light bars can be seamlessly linked through end-to-end connectors, or linkable extension cords can be used to provide gaps between the units. So as to provide evenly distributed light for the entire work surface.
Most LED strips are dimmable, so you can adjust the brightness level according to actual working conditions. It has an on/off switch to easily control the lights. Some advanced sensors also have sensor functions.
This magnetic LED linear lamp has a metallic texture, and the design is very simple and stylish. It can be installed flexibly according to the customer’s needs. After laying the guide rail, you can add or subtract light strips on the guide rail at will. No screws and tape are needed. It can be used for normal lighting directly on the magnetic track, achieving seamless connection. 3 types sizes(95mm, 285mm, 570mm). In addition, many accessories are designed for customers to choose to meet the requirements of customers for different installation spaces and conditions.
The small spotlights are concentrated, which can highlight or emphasize a certain object or space, and the decorative effect is obvious. The lights focus on the commodities in the cabinets, which can create colorful light and shadow effects.
√Seamless design keeps on consistent LED Spacing, even when fixtures are linked end to end
√ Easy connector, linkable with unique snap-together connector
√Sidefeed LED light module for seamless extension
√Max 4m uninterrupted and uniform light per run
√Inline touch dimmer
√Hand wave ON/OFF Switch
√Invisible install clip
√15/45 degrees angle bracket
√LED for bookshelf
√Retail outlets, foyers and museums
√Illumination of sensitive objects
√Furniture & Cover
The size is 10x10mm, slender and beautiful, The housing uses Anodized 6063 Aluminum, with PC COVER, the light is soft, Simple and generous appearance, suitable for installation in display cabinets and cabinets.
Above three cabinet lights can be installed with a single lamp or by docking, which is suitable for multiple application scenarios and suitable for different cabinets. At the same time there is an induction version and a switch version. The ultra-thin shell makes it very compact when mounted on the surface. High light efficiency also makes it the best choice in the field of commercial shelves.
•Things we like:
√Easy to install: plug & play,
√Quick and easy installation via screws or stickers
√Full dimming (0%-100%) & memory function
√Anti-scattering light PC cover, no LED dots, no glare
√Docking installation, satisfying multiple application scenarios
√DIY with the connectors Various sizes, DIY with the connectors
•Things We Don’t Like:
×The power adapter is a bit bulky
×Unable to adjust the line length between line segments
×Some have flickering problems
2, LED Under Cabinet Puck Lights
The puck light is a single, usually circular light with only a few inches in circumference. Generally, it is suitable for cabinet、RV（Recreational Vehicle）Wine Cabinet and display lighting.
Puck lights are singular, usually circular lights, only a few inches in circumference. Usually these lights are very simple, but you can find more decorative ones shaped like triangles or gemstones.
The biggest attraction of LED puck lighting is its versatility. Spotlights can create a light pool for the focal point, add another layer of light to the room, or be used as a functional work light. The spotlights under the cabinets in the kitchen allow you to choose to place the popcorn where you need it most, or you can create a uniform layer of light and install multiple spotlights in succession.
If you want to install the puck light under the cabinet…
We recommend using 1 ice hockey light for every 6-10 inches of cabinet space. If you want to illuminate a space of 11-18 inches, please use 2-3 hockey lights. For 19-26 inches, you need 3-4 hockey lights. For 27-34 inches, 4-5 hockey lights. For 35-42 inches, 5-7 hockey lights. For 43-50 inches, 6-8 hockey lights, and so on. Just measure your space and divide it accordingly. This ensures that the light level of the entire cabinet is consistent without causing shadows.
If you want to use a puck light to highlight a specific location on the counter, you should place a puck light directly above each point. Determine the place to be illuminated according to the number of puck lights to be purchased.
To make sure you have the correct number of lights, please test them. Since the puck lights are too small, you can temporarily tape them to the bottom of the cabinet. If the lighting is still insufficient, more puck lights can be added without the hassle of disassembling and/or relocating all other lights on the surface.
3, LED flexible light strips
LED flexible light bar products have a long life and low energy consumption, mainly using FPC to assemble circuit boards and SMD LEDs for assembly, which does not take up space. The flexible LED light bar is soft and flexible, and it is especially convenient to install at every nook.
1, Rich colors: The LED flexible light strips adopts high-brightness SMD LED as the light-emitting element, so it has the advantages of LED light-emitting elements, the light color is colorful, soft, and no glare. It can be used not only for decoration purposes, but also for lighting purposes.
2, Flexibility: LED flexible light strips uses a very flexible FPC as the substrate, which can be bent at will without breaking, and is easy to shape, suitable for various advertising modeling needs.
3, Low heat generation: The light-emitting element of the LED flexible strip light is LEDs. Because the power of a single LED is very low, generally 0.04~0.08W, the heat generation is not high. It can be used as decorative lighting in the fish tank, without generating a lot of heat, causing the water temperature to rise and affecting the growth of ornamental fish.
4, Super energy-saving: The power of the LED flexible light strips with 1210 LED chips is only 4.8W per meter, and The power of the LED flexible light strips with 5050 LED chips is only 7.2W per meter. Compared with traditional lighting and decorative lamps, the power is several times lower, but the effect is better a lot of.
5, Environmental protection: Whether the LED flexible light strips is composed of LED or FPC, its materials are all environmentally friendly materials, which are recyclable and will not cause environmental pollution and damage due to large-scale use.
6, Safety: The LED flexible light strips uses a low-voltage DC 12V OR 24V power supply voltage, so it is very safe to use. Both the elderly and children can be used safely without causing safety hazards.
7, Easy installation: The LED flexible light strips is very easy to install. It can be installed on a variety of supporting surfaces with fixing clips, wire ducts, iron wires, iron nets, etc. In addition, because the LED flexible light bar is light and thin, the fixed function can also be realized by using double-sided tape. It can be installed without professionals, and you can truly enjoy the fun of DIY decoration.
8, Long lifespan: The normal lifespan of the LED flexible light strips is 80,000 to 100,000 hours, and it works 24 hours a day without stopping, and its lifespan is almost 10 years. Therefore, the lifespan of LED flexible light strips is several times longer than that of traditional lamps.
9, Wide range of applications: Because of its softness, lightness and color, LED flexible light strips are widely used in building contours, steps, booths, bridges, hotels, KTV decorative lighting, as well as the production of advertising signs, and various large-scale animations. , Calligraphy and painting advertising design and other places. With the gradual maturity of LED flexible light strips technology, its application range will be more extensive.
Under the counter light bar without aluminum profile, it is very flexible and very suitable for small and shallow spaces. The light bar is very thin and does not take up a lot of space in the depth direction. The installation is very simple, just put it on a flat surface, and no screws are required to install it, only use 3M tape to paste it on the surface of the cabinet, closet, under the counter, bookshelf, wardrobe, workbench, etc.
Even better, it allows you to arrange the lights yourself. Each set has three “U”-shaped connectors and expansion connectors, which can be disconnected and reconfigured through the included hardware. You can connect them continuously to form a 2m long light strip, or you can divide them into 4 lines to connect together and use them as a 10*20 inch panel light.
LED flexible light strips are usually in the form of rolls. They are cut on the spot and are located in a specific position on the strip, so you can DIY the appropriate amount of light and illuminate the area you need. Most bar lights are not dimmable or require an additional dimmer switch.
Benefit by sticky adhesives and standard plugs, they are a quick and easy installation option that only needs to be glued and connected without screws. One of the disadvantages is that the tape lamp may fall over time. And because it does not have a light barrier, it is easy to get dust on the LED and make the light look dim.
Now there are no more than these three shapes of cabinet lights on the market. Of course, there are also very few strange shapes of LED cabinet lights, such as triangles and trapezoids, but very, very few people will use them.
Ⅳ. How to Install LED Under Cabinet Lights?
How do you want to power the under-cabinet lights? Whether it is hard-wired, plugged into a power source, or powered by a battery, it actually depends on how much freedom you have in your space and the effort you have to put in during installation. So far, batteries that operate under cabinet lights are the easiest to install because they do not require any wiring, and adhesives are usually used to attach them to the surface. You can place them wherever you like without worrying about getting close to the power source. They are very suitable for use in rental kitchens, or when you are not yet ready for a wider lighting project.
However, these lamps have some disadvantages. In addition to the limited number of lamps used, the light from these lamps is usually not as high-quality as many plug-in or hard-wired lamps. In addition, you cannot connect all of them to a light switch or dimmer for convenient lighting control.
Lights that are plugged into regular outlets are easy to maintain and cost-effective. You’ll need direct access to the outlet, and if you intend to hide its power cord, you’ll have another small project on your hands. Simply connect all the lamp with the connectors or extension cords, and plug into the outlet, then you’re done.
2, Battery-powered and with USB charging interface
Battery-powered under cabinet lights allow you to place it where there is no electric outlet or it’s too far away to connect, such as place it to the closet, under the counter, wardrobe, etc. Just put it to the place where you want extra light, then you’re done, quick and no wiring required. Unfortunately, you’ll burn through batteries pretty often if you intend to leave the light on regularly or forget to turn it off.
3, LED Under Cabinet Light Fixtures Hardwired
Hard wire connection is the most professional and attractive choice under cabinet lights, because the light quality is very good, the choice of fixtures is diverse, there is no exposed wiring, you can use a dedicated wall switch or dimmer to control . However, these lights are also the most difficult to install. Because of the no-plug, you need to connect to a nearby power source or pull a new circuit to the required area to power the light correctly. Either way, electrical work is required, so if you feel uncomfortable yourself, you may want to consider hiring a professional to install direct line lights.
Hardwired under cabinet light fixtures provide more bright, uniform shelf lighting and task lighting. And they are linkable, giving you a continuous strip of under cabinet lights. In most of the case, they last longer than other under cabinet lightings.
After you choose your lights, you’ll first need to prepare for installation:
1, Plan the wiring. Where do you want to put the light switch? Near the cabinet? In addition to the rest of the kitchen lighting control? Determining this will help you know the amount of wiring required. The wires extend inside the wall and circulate from one fixture to another.
2, Place the light under the cabinet. For uniform lighting, we recommend that you use LED linear lights along the length of the cabinet, or use LED puck lights every 6 to 10 inches. In order to achieve the best effect of the lighting on the counter, we also recommend that you place the lighting close to the front of the cabinet. Finally, make sure that the lighting in the corner cabinets is balanced to cover the area evenly without causing shadows.
3, Collect tools and install hardware. Most under-cabinet fixtures come with a package of appropriate hardware that can be used for installation. This includes screws that will not penetrate the cabinet chassis. Correctly install the required cable sleeves and 26 gauge wire connectors.
√ 1-1/8″ spade bit
√ 1/2″ metal flex cable 14/2 plastic-sheathed cable
√ 1/2″ spade bit
√ Cable clamps
√ Fish tape
√ flex connectors
√ junction box
√ remodeling switch box
√ undercabinet lights
√ Wire nuts
√ Cordless drill
√ Non-contact voltage tester
√ Voltage tester
√ Wire stripper/cutter
Then, follow the steps below to install:
1, Disconnect the power. Find the correct circuit breaker, and then turn off the power to the switch socket where you want to connect the light.
2, Install the lights. Place the lights according to the way you laid out earlier. Disassemble the lights and screw them where you want to go. To simplify this operation, you may need to mark the bottom of the cabinet with a pencil.
3, Cut the wall. Depending on your tailgate, you may have to peel it away from where the lights are installed. Then, you should use a drywall saw to cut a channel behind the tailgate. The channel should extend from below the switch box to near the farthest lighting. Finally, use an electric drill to drill a hole in the stud so that you can thread the wire.
4, Lay the wires. At the bottom of each cabinet, again use a drill to make a hole for each wire through which light passes. Here, you may need a wire fish finder to pass the wires from one fixture down through the wall, through the channel, and then to the next fixture. If you want to install linkable lamps under the cabinet lamps, you can also use link cables to connect multiple lamps to a power source instead of connecting each lamp directly to the power source. This is a choice.
The horizontal runs of wiring are hidden in the backs of the lower cabinets. Vertical runs to the lights are fished through the stud cavities.
5, Connect the light to the power supply
6, Wiring switch. Make sure that the power on the switch socket is not turned on, then remove the socket. Tie the white wire and the connecting wire of the wire with the wire nut. Tighten the black wire from the socket to the bottom terminal of the switch, and then tighten the extinguished black wire to the top terminal of the switch.
7, Finishing touches. Wrap it with tape to cover the terminals of the switch. Then screw the switch back into the box. Install the switch cover.
8, Test light. Restore power to the lights, and then flip the switch to see if they are working.
9, Organize things. Finally, you can redo the drywall that must be cut for the wire passage and reinstall the backsplash.
Ⅴ. How to buy the best LED cabinet lights
What are the characteristics of a good LED cabinet lights? Do we buy the most expensive or the most beautiful? We can consider the following aspects:
Color and finish are important style elements. Although some of these lights are well hidden from view, others can be viewed from different angles. Choose materials and colors that are compatible with your cabinets for the most seamless appearance.
Functions such as smart control, voice control or compatibility with Alexa are now popular. But there are few lights with these functions, please make sure the lights are “smart” before buying.
Different lamp materials have different protective effects and arrangements for the lamp body. The lighting materials of cabinet lights mostly use aluminum, PC (polycarbonate, which has the best anti-aging, anti-ultraviolet, and impact resistance), and PMMA (acrylic). The PC material itself is colorless, and PC shells of different colors can be processed by adding different colorants as needed.
Accessories are also critical, each of which will affect the price and lifespan. For example, the terminal symbols do not meet the safety standards of various countries, the materials of the assembly clips and screws (will it rust, will it slip), the splitter, the quality of the power supply, aluminum tank, PC cover, control switch, and A small tail plug.
3, technological process
LED lighting can be applied to high-brightness fields due to the continuous improvement of LED chip production technology, LED upstream production technology is the core technology of the LED industry. The production of high-brightness LED chips has always been the goal of all countries in the world, and it is also the direction of LED development.
LED brightness is different, the price is different. The luminous body of the chip LED is a chip, and the price of different chips varies greatly. Chips in Japan and the United States are more expensive. Generally, the price of chips in Taiwan is lower than that in Japan and the United States, and the domestically produced chips are the lowest. LEDs with strong antistatic ability have a long life and are therefore expensive. Generally, LEDs with anti-static electricity greater than 700V can be used for LED lighting.
Leakage current LED is a unidirectional conductive light-emitting body. If there is a reverse current, it is called leakage. LEDs with large leakage current have short life and low price.
The key to different qualities of life is life, and life is determined by light decay. Low light decay, long life and high price.
4, Luminous flux and lighting uniformity
The uniformity of illuminance refers to the ratio of the minimum illuminance to the average illuminance on the specified surface. The more uniform the light distribution, the better the illuminance and the more comfortable the visual experience. The closer the uniformity of illuminance is to 1, the better; on the contrary, the smaller the more the visual fatigue. Uniform lighting makes it easier for people to have a good mood, and constant lighting will not produce visual dark spots or color spots. Generally, considering the distance between lamps and the design of the lamps themselves, LED linear lamps have better light uniformity compared with LED spotlights.
LEDs with the same wavelength have the same color. If the color is required to be the same, the price is high. It is difficult for manufacturers without LED spectrophotometers to produce products with pure colors
5, Brightness and glare
When working in the LED cabinet light environment, if there is glare that makes your eyes uncomfortable, it is very annoying. Glare can make people’s eyes tired easily, and even unclear vision, which brings great troubles to our lives and work.
How to prevent the glare of LED cabinet lights, how many manufacturers use to increase the PC cover to prevent the LED light source from being directly exposed to people’s sight, and the PC cover can make the light source softly radiate
6, Dimming ability and Convenience of use
When people work at the counter, they need to adjust different brightness to adapt to different time and environment; the dimming function can also save resources. When such a strong brightness is not needed, people can dim it appropriately to save some resources. We can use the embedded dimmer switch to control the brightness, or connect to a compatible dimmer switch, and even use a smart phone to control the lighting equipment. You can adjust their brightness anywhere, allowing you to be in a different environment Can maintain a good mood.
7, Color-rendering index（CRI）& correlated color temperature（CCT）
The color rendering index of LED is the parameter of the color reduction ability of LED lamp, which is mainly used to define the difference of color rendering of different LED light sources. The lower the color rendering index, the more distorted the color from the naked eye. The color rendering index is not unique to LEDs, it is a parameter that all light sources have, which is the ability to restore colors. The CRI of cabinet lights on the market is greater than 80. If you have high requirements for the quality of life, you need to buy LED cabinet lights with CRI>90, which will make your world more real.
CCT is the abbreviation of correlated color temperature, which means correlated color temperature. The CCT value range of general cabinet lights is 2700K~7000K.
When people work at the counter, the choice of correlated color temperature (CCT) depends on the style of decoration and personal preference. For wood tones, warm-toned tiles, copper-toned metal backsplashes or warm-toned walls, a warm color temperature in the range of 2700 to 3500K is suitable; for decorative glass tiles, glass shelves, cool-toned tiles or gray For the metallic color, cold CCT in the range of 3500 to 5000k is suitable.
Whether it is cabinet lights or other types of lamps, the power supply is a very important accessory. A good power supply can even determine the service life of a lamp.
The adapter is the heart of every LED lamp. Standing or falling of the adapter will directly affect the service life and smoothing effect of the entire lamp. It is recommended to choose IC dual-capacitor drive, the life will be longer, and the adapter must be a brand. This is really important! This is my most important experience in the LED industry for more than ten years. Cost control can be adjusted from other aspects, but adapters must be carefully considered, and brand adapters are preferred.
Interconnection capability is one of the important functions of under-cabinet lighting, which reduces wiring time and simplifies installation. But when connecting bar cabinet lights, do not exceed the maximum service power. For example, if 1 light bar is 5w and the maximum service power is 30w, you can connect up to 6 light bars for continuous operation. If the maximum power is exceeded, it may reduce the lighting effect and even cause safety problems. (If you are not very clear, you could consult the lamp supplier, every lamp with interconnection capability has a maximum service power, and it cannot be connected infinitely)
After learning the knowledge of LED lights, we can choose excellent LED cabinet lights. Before buying, we must choose the LED cabinet lights that suit us according to the actual situation. Of course, if you have any other questions, please leave your comment below or contact us by email, we are happy to help you. Moreover, if you want to learn more about lighting, please continue to browse other related articles on our website.