Under-cabinet lighting is usually used in the kitchen. It works by aiming light directly at your countertops, which eliminates shadows, making your cooking and food-preparation surface much easier to see. Under-cabinet lighting is also attractive, especially when paired with countertops that contain natural materials. Under-cabinet lights are also quite easy to install. In addition, they can be used in garages to light up work spaces, in bathrooms and under laundry cabinets as well.
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Types of Under-Cabinet Lighting
Under-cabinet lighting ranges from modern, institutional lights (even pendant and on a track) to the classic round "hockey puck" lights. The latter are still the most popular choice, according to home remodelling websites, due to their easy installation and low profile and cost. In addition, the small, round under-cabinet lights also come in a battery-operated variety, which means that small transformers do not need to be installed. This is because most low-voltage under-cabinet lights use 12 volts of electricity in a direct current, which differs from the usual 120-volt household alternating current.
Under-cabinet lights should be installed so that every 25 to 30 inches of counter space is lit by one light. The lights should not be able to be seen when standing in the kitchen. If you can see the housing of your lights protruding from under the cabinets, you might need to install a bottom trim on your cabinets to hide the lights.
Installing Under-Cabinet Lights
It is best to hire an electrician if you are planning on using electric under-cabinet lights. The electrician will install the transformers mentioned in Section 2 (probably in a nearby pantry or closet), as well as running the wires from each light along the bottom of the cabinets. You can even ask your electrician to wire them so that they will turn on when you turn on the main kitchen lights.
Battery-operated under-cabinet lights have either small screws that allow you to screw them directly into the bottom of the cabinets, or (more commonly) adhesive tape. Simply peel the backing off the tape and press the light firmly onto the bottom of the cabinet. Battery-operated lights, however, will need to be turned on one at a time.