Cabinet and accent lighting adds depth, dimension and visual interest to a variety of spaces. Whether you’re new to the idea or just want to know more about cabinet lighting, you’ve come to the right place.
What is Cabinet and Accent Lighting?
An ideal lighting design goes beyond a centralized ceiling fixture and includes multiple layers of light. General (ambient) light offers overall illumination, task lighting shines focused light on workspaces and accent lighting adds style. A lighting system can be used to create all of these effects in a variety of spaces.
Why Do I Need it?
First, it provides useful illumination for everyday tasks, such as preparing ingredients for a delicious dish, locating the right tool for a DIY project or quickly separating laundry. It makes work (or play) in highly functional spaces safe and easy, no matter the time of day.
Second, it spotlights the finest features of your space, like your perfectly laid subway tile, a gorgeous cove ceiling or your grandmother’s vintage china.
And, because it’s designed to tuck cleanly inside and under cabinets, it provides well-placed light without visible fixtures or distracting wires. It can also make a space appear larger, add cozy warmth or set the right mood.
What are the Types of Cabinet or Accent Lighting?
For a more in-depth look at cabinet lighting applications, take a look at our Cabinet Lighting Project Planning article.
- Under Cabinet or Shelf Lighting
Provides the extra light needed for a more usable workspace, while adding visual interest and ambiance.
Over Cabinet Lighting
Lights the open space between the top of cabinets and the ceiling to increase aesthetic appeal and make a space feel larger.
Under Counter Lighting
Illuminates the interior of open drawers or sets off the architectural edge of a counter.
Inside Cabinet Lighting
Highlights decorative items or shines light in deep areas.
Toe Kick Lighting
Illuminates footpaths or creates the illusion of floating cabinets.
Cove and Tray Lighting
Directs light upward toward the ceiling and down adjacent walls. It may be used as primary lighting or for aesthetic accent.
Which Lighting Fixtures or System Do I Need?
Under Cabinet Lighting Fixtures (LED, Fluorescent)
Delivers superior light output without a spotlight effect so solid-surface countertops reflect beautifully without pinpoints of light. Available in hardwired and plug-in options.
6U Series LED Under Cabinet Lighting Fixtures
Provides high-quality, highly efficient light that delivers a spot-free, smooth reflection along countertops. Change color temperatures from 2700K to 3000K with a flip of a switch to customize your desired end effect.
4U Series LED Under Cabinet Lighting Fixtures
Provides a gently diffused, highly efficient light delivery that is dimmable with a standard wall dimmer switch.
Fluorescent Under Cabinet Lighting Fixtures
Ideal for garages, laundry rooms or small spaces with only one or two cabinets.
Hard Strip Lighting
Features the rigidness of a light fixture in a more compact size. Perfect for inside, under or above cabinets.
LED Tape Lighting
A thin, wired strip of flexible material that features evenly spaced LED chips, and cut marks to allow trimming to varying lengths. Ideal for inside, under or above most cabinets, along with many cove and tray applications.
LED Accent Discs / Pucks
These compact, disk-shaped fixtures are low voltage but provide ample diffused light output. Excellent for highlighting the interior of glass-faced cabinets or above small niches.
Can I Do it Myself?
This depends on you – your knowledge and experience, timeline and budget. If you have electrical know-how or prefer plug-in options, you may be able to take on your cabinet lighting project on your own. On the flip side, hardwired lighting requires more planning and skill, but it offers many more design options.
Regardless of the path you choose, it pays to plan ahead. And, as always, we’re here to help. Take a look at our Cabinet Lighting: Project Planning and Cabinet Lighting: Installation Considerations articles to learn more.
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