Home / Style Guide / Learn About Cabinet / Accent Lighting / Cabinet / Accent Lighting Guide Cabinet / Accent Lighting Guide Cabinet lighting systems – the key ingredient needed to successfully layer light. Residences and light commercial spaces typically contain recessed ceiling and surface-mounted lighting fixtures. A complete lighting systems package should also include cabinet lighting. These work to layer the light and create an environment that provides greater functionality and aesthetic appeal for the homeowner/user. Plan Ahead It is a good idea to think about the desired lighting effects for a space before construction or remodeling begins. Often times, the choices made impact the placement of wires, so careful planning can avoid added costs, rework or contractor call-backs. Take a look at your space, and think about each functional area individually. Consider how it is used, as well as the mood you are seeking to evoke to then determine where lighting would be most impactful. When choosing a light consider the greatest light output that may be needed. With dimming, you can always reduce the amount of light in a space as needed. Under cabinets Under-cabinet lighting completes the definition of a well-lit kitchen. When shadowing from overhead lighting occurs on high-function areas like countertops, stoves and sinks, under-cabinet fixtures provide the supplemental light needed for a more usable work space. In many cases, under-cabinet lighting is also used as a night light for the kitchen. Rather than burning all the high-wattage ceiling units, cabinet lights, even at a low level (if they are equipped with a multi-level switch), will provide adequate light for most evening activities.If you do nothing else, under-cabinet lighting should be included in every kitchen design. It is also important to remember that cabinets are being installed in a number of areas outside the kitchen. Don’t forget cabinet lighting in the garage, laundry room, pantry and closets. Over cabinets Lighting the open space between the top of cabinets and the ceiling, can add an element of intrigue and interest. Since this space is often used to display unique decorative pieces and plants, the addition of both accent and ambient lighting can work to enhance the visual appeal. Lighting over the cabinets helps to visually expand the room and give the appearance of a much larger space. Under counters Lighting concealed under the edge of a counter can be an effective way to illuminate the interior of drawers when they have been extended. It also serves to set off the architectural edge of the counter. Under-counter lighting is a relatively new concept. If this is a lighting option under consideration, it may be wise to discuss concealment options with the countertop contractor. Toekick lighting Toekick lighting is a great way to define the baseline edges of cabinets. It can also serve as a great nightlight, preventing accidents and adding intrigue to a room. Properly positioned, toekick lighting gives the visual illusion of floating cabinetry and can add depth to interesting floor covering. In dimly lit spaces, the subtle light will define the room’s architecture while providing added safety. Under tables / benches Adding light under tables and benches will visually enlarge the room. The dark spaces that disappeared into the corners will now come alive. Illuminating these unusual areas will set the room apart and draw interest to the space. Coves / tray ceilings Both Cove and Tray ceiling styles are architectural details worthy of attention in a home. With a cove ceiling, adding soft light can draw the eye up – creating the illusion of added height by highlighting its curved nature. With tray ceilings, the layered effect adds visual interest which can be further accentuated with the addition of light. Since the lighting here is intended to create visual interest more so than add functionality to a room, low lumen levels can be utilized to the desired effect.