Under Cabinet Lighting Bulbs: All-to-Know to Choose the Best One

Under cabinet lighting is a great choice for adding atmosphere as well as a space-saving supplemental lighting solution for your kitchen or bar area. It doesn’t have to be limited to your kitchen, though. It can be added to basements, workshops, laundry rooms, bathrooms, or anywhere you may have needed extra illumination under your cabinets.

In this article, let’s explore the Common Types of Under Cabinet Lighting Bulbs and the designs that are best suited for the space you want to use.

What are under cabinet lighting bulbs?

Under cabinet lighting is one of the most useful upgrades you can make to your kitchen, workplace, or shelving. One of the simplest home upgrades to increase your property worth is upgrading or installing new cabinet lighting, especially if you’re wanting to present your home for sale.

Under cabinet lighting, whether in the kitchen or the office, provides uniformly dispersed light that gives ambient light as well as task lighting for when you’re looking up a recipe or reading a report.

Common Types of Under Cabinet Lighting Bulbs

Common Types of Under Cabinet Lighting Bulbs
Common Types of Under Cabinet Lighting Bulbs

Find one that suits your demands and aesthetic—start by figuring out what kind of lighting you prefer:

#1. LED

Under cabinet lighting with LED is the newest and most energy-efficient alternative. LEDs consume 25% less energy than xenon lights and half the energy of fluorescent lights. Because LED light bulbs last longer than typical under cabinet lights, you’ll save money on replacement bulbs and maintenance during the life of the fixture.

LED under cabinet fixtures are wider than LED light bars, however, the bars can be interconnected to provide consistent light distribution over a large area of counter space. Our LED fixtures feature a lower, warmer color temperature, making them perfect for wood surfaces and other applications with a lot of colors. Consider xenon under cabinet fixtures if you have granite counters and want a brighter blue-white light.

LED tape light is the easiest to install, even though it is not part of a fixture like the under cabinet lights in this category. The tape lights have an adhesive backing; peel off the backing and arrange the lights along the cabinet’s rim. Strip lights are available in a variety of colors and can be used to create a distinctive backsplash effect.

***Refer to more: Top 9 Best LED Lights For Kitchen Ceiling: Top Choices in 2022

LED Under Cabinet Lighting Bulbs
LED Under Cabinet Lighting Bulbs

#2. Fluorescent

This is a popular option for kitchen cabinets and pantries, particularly if you’re looking for a low-cost, energy-efficient solution. To create the same Lumens or amount of light, fluorescent under cabinet lighting consumes around half as many Watts as xenon lights.

Fluorescents have a disadvantage in that their color rendering is weak, causing colors to appear washed out. These are an excellent alternative if you’re looking for task lights to assist you to cut onions or reducing eye strain from overhead illumination. If you wish to accentuate a colorful backsplash or artwork, we recommend xenon lights or LED under cabinet lights with a higher color rendering index.

#3. Incandescent, Halogen, or Xenon bulbs

Despite being an older technology, xenon under cabinet lighting is still prized for its accurate color reproduction. Granite or marble countertops and backsplashes look their finest when lit by Xenon’s clean, white light.

Although these classic bulbs have the lowest initial cost of any under-cabinet choice, they also emit a lot of heat, which can make them uncomfortable to work under for long periods of time—especially in the kitchen—and they aren’t as energy efficient as the alternatives.

If you’re using xenon, keep flowers, fruits, and candies away from the lights. Instead of leaving the lights on all day, use them as task lights, turning them on and off as needed.

Different fixture types of under cabinet lighting bulbs

Different fixture types of under cabinet lighting bulbs
Different fixture types of under cabinet lighting bulbs

There are several different types of fixtures that will work beneath your cabinets in any space, including:

#1. Strip or “bar” lights

Bar lights are a configurable, linkable alternative for under cabinet lighting that delivers an even layer of lighting that is well-suited to performing duties in the kitchen and adjacent rooms. Strip lights are ideal for irregular lengths or lengthy rows of cabinetry since they are simple to connect several units and come in a number of lengths. They also emit little to no heat, which makes them pleasant to work with.

Because of their inexpensive cost and ease of cleaning, they are highly popular. They’re also available with high IP ratings for use near sinks and stoves, where they might be splashed.

Fluorescent lighting, on the other hand, produces color and quality of light that some people dislike.

Strip or bar lights are available in plug-in or hardwired versions, and depending on the fixture, can be placed with screws or adhesive backing.

Place the light fixture close to the front of the cabinets and point it down and in toward the wall to avoid glare and make it easier to see underneath the cabinets.

***Refer to more: Best LED Light Bar for the money: Top 8 highly-recommended in 2022

#2. Round or “puck” lights

Round lights, also known as “puck” lights because of their resemblance to hockey pucks, are a simple solution to add lighting beneath any cabinet. They’re a trendy way to add to the illumination in any area because they’re easy to install (and uninstall if you’re renting), low-profile, and come in a range of shapes and colors.

They’re most commonly made with LEDs these days, and they can be quite bright and cool in color, so test them out or read the package for lumen and color correlated temperature (CCT) information before buying.

Round or “puck” lights
Round or “puck” lights

They do, however, emit circles of light due to their shape. They create pools of light and shadows if placed incorrectly, offering less even illumination than other solutions. Also, battery-powered solutions can quickly deplete batteries if used frequently for lengthy periods of time, so only use them when absolutely required.

Before attaching or screwing the lights into the cabinets, measure and note the distances between each light. 8–12 inches between each bulb is recommended for consistent lighting. Place them closer together to avoid light from pooling or scalloping.

To make them flush with the cabinets, drill a portion of the way through the wood and fasten the mounting cap with screws or adhesive backing, as directed on the packing.

#3. Rope lights

Rope lights are a surprisingly adaptable lighting choice that can be utilized to add accent lighting or décor just about everywhere in your home, including under cabinets, thanks to their flexibility. While they are bendable, don’t push them any further than they want to go, since this could harm the wiring and casing.

Because it can be quite dark, you should check the lumen levels before purchasing. It can only bend cleanly around sharp corners without destroying internal components, and it is only utilized for straight lines or curves.

They’ll also be expensive to replace because the only method to replace individual lights once they’ve burned out is to replace the entire rope.

Rope lights can be attached with an adhesive strip, or screw hooks or clips can be installed along the front side of the cabinets for even more convenience. If the LEDs burn out or you want to change the color of your rope light, you may easily remove it and replace it with a new one.

Rope lights
Rope lights

Rope lights may also be simply fitted underneath cabinets near the floor for toe-kick illumination—ideal for increasing atmosphere and late-night lighting that won’t wake you up all the way—due to their low profile. To keep them secure from being bumped, place them near the back of the cabinet, near the toe kick.

#4. Tape or LED strip lights

Tape lights, the most discreet under cabinet lighting option, have a very low profile and, like rope lights, provide a very uniform layer of lighting due to their length and even light placement. They’re versatile, come in a variety of colors, and some brands can even be dimmed. They can also be cut to size or cut and joined to fit into corners.

Because they’re typically used for ambiance, they’re not necessarily the brightest option—check lumen levels before purchasing.

When the individual diodes (lights) begin to burn out, you must replace the entire light strip, just like with rope lights, which is rather costly.

Tape lights come in both plug-in and hardwire versions. Contact a licensed electrician for hardwiring and cutting. Simply adhere them to the sticky backing or clips and plug them in for plug-in alternatives. You should install them near the front of the cabinet, just like the other types of under cabinet lighting (except for toe kick lights, which should be placed toward the back for protection.)

***Refer to more: Best LED Color Change: Top 8 Highly Recommended Choices 2022

Under cabinet lighting bulbs: Hard-wired or wireless?

Under cabinet lighting bulbs Hard-wired or wireless
Under cabinet lighting bulbs Hard-wired or wireless

Many forms of under cabinet lighting are available in hardwired, plug-in, and wireless configurations. Each of these solutions has its own set of benefits, so which one is best for you will be determined by your objectives, budget, tastes, and cabinet layout.

#1. Hard-wired Lamps

Hardwired lamps have no unsightly wires or visible drivers, but you’ll need to hire an electrician to install them or wire your under cabinet lighting while you’re building or renovating. This is usually the most costly choice.

Plug-in lights are simple to set up; all they require is close proximity to an outlet. The biggest disadvantage is that they are not necessarily as well-hidden as their hardwired equivalents.

#2. Wireless lamps

Wireless bulbs are typically simple to remove, making them excellent for rental settings. They also offer the advantage of having no visible cables, although they are powered by batteries, which may need to be updated on a regular basis. To save money, you should get rechargeable batteries.

In terms of light color temperature and brightness, wireless under cabinet lighting options are likewise limited.

***Refer to more: Best desk lamp with wireless charging: Top 6 Expert Picks 2022

Things you should consider when installing under cabinet lighting bulbs

Considerations when installing under cabinet lighting bulbs
Considerations when installing under cabinet lighting bulbs

#1. Bulb Types

The quantity of light you get and how much energy your fixture uses are both influenced by the type of lamp you choose. As a result, before installing under cabinet lighting bulbs, you should decide on the purpose and budget.

Chart of under cabinet lighting options.

#2. Color Temperature

Cabinets, surfaces, and food can all be affected by the color temperature of the bulb. CCT stands for “correlated color temperature” and is measured in kelvins (K). Warm light is produced by temperatures between 2,700 and 3,500K, while cool light is produced by temperatures between 3,500 and 5,000K. Warm-glow lights are ideal for ambient lighting. Cooler temperatures produce more light, which is ideal for task lighting.

#3. Lighting Placement

Check the profile of the light fixture you chose to be sure it will fit in the recess under your upper cabinets. This is crucial for aesthetics as well as reducing or eliminating glare, which is particularly significant for persons sitting across the room.

To reduce glare, attach the light fixture to the front of the cabinet, just beyond the face frame, and point it toward the backsplash.

If you can’t locate a suitable fixture profile, decorate the front border of the cabinet with decorative molding.

#4. Lighting Systems

Add-ons are available for several under cabinet lighting systems, allowing you to personalize your kitchen. For a more functional office, add docking stations, speakers, tablet cradles, and hidden plugs in addition to lighting.

***Refer to more: Top 8 Best Kitchen Lights for Low Ceiling: Expert Picks in 2022


Choosing under-cabinet light bulbs is a smart choice to create an atmosphere in your room. However, you need to carefully consider the factors we pointed out in the above article to choose the most suitable under cabinet lighting bulbs for your space and use!

Hope this article will help you in choosing under cabinet lighting bulbs!