The development of cheap and very versatile LED lights has allowed homeowners to bring a new and effective method of lighting into play.
The LED light operates in a different way to other forms of lighting, and is safe and long-lasting, and lends itself to many innovative and affordable internal lighting solutions.
One of the most popular interior lighting trends is LED under cabinet lighting. It’s an excellent way of adding extra light and atmosphere or enhancing the features of your kitchen.
These types of interior lighting techniques can of course also be used in other rooms where there may be shelves or cabinets that might benefit from accent up-lighting, such as garage storage units or TV stands. LEDs around the home can be used to create a beautiful cozy feel, or a vibrant party vibe depending on the colors used.
Under cabinet lighting comes in a wide variety of different types but we’ll be focusing on how to install under cabinet LED lighting kits that plug into the wall as they are the easiest to fit, the simplest to use and among the most common.
What Type Do You Need?
The first thing to do is have a close look at the location where you will be wiring your under cabinet LED lights, as when you see how affordable these lights can be, you will surely want them in more than one place.
The reason you need to check these spaces out is that under cabinet LED lights comes in more than one type, they are as follows:
- LED Strip Lights – among the most popular of the under cabinet type, the LED strip light is as described; a long, thin strip of LED’s in various lengths, that fits neatly under the cabinet in a recess. The benefit of these strips of lights is that, in most cases, they can be cut to fit the length of the space concerned very easily.
- Light Bars – another form of a strip light, LED light bars are solid rigid forms containing LED’s, again available in different lengths, that can be used alone of by linking several together. These are also very effective, but cannot be cut to shape.
- Puck Lights – these small, singular lights make a great spotlight and are frequently used overhead, but can also be very effective lighting under the cabinet, and are surprisingly easy to fit.
So, now you know the difference between the three main types, how do you choose which is best for you? If you have a recess and want to light a space that is quite long, you are perhaps best with the economic, versatile and very easy to use strip lights, the type on a flexible string that can be cut into sections.
If you have a short space and want a subtle recess light, LED light tubes few should do the job very well, and is suitably affordable.
For spot light effects, undoubtedly the puck light is the way to go.
Those are the three main types of LED under cabinet lights, so what else do you need to know about how to fit them?
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Choosing The Most Suitable Power Source
LED lights come in three main power types: hard-wired mains, plug in mains, and battery powered.
If you do want your under cabinet lights to be hard-wired into the system, you will need a qualified electrician, so we are assuming that the lights you have are the simple, plug-in variety.
Before that, let’s talk about LED puck lights. These are often individual items, usually bought in packs of 2-3, and as such may be battery operated. These models are very simple to fit – usually by a simple screw-in surround or even by an adhesive patch on the back – and are very cheap.
However, needing to change the battery quite often is not ideal, so if you can, choose a model that comes with a plug-in transformer or adapter.
The easiest type to fit is strip LED under cabinet lighting. As they’re manufactured on a thin but strong plastic wire and you can simply use appropriate tacks to put them in place. This is best done carefully so you don’t break the casing and is made all the easier by the fact you can cut the wire to length.
Some LED strip lights are designed with connecting joints so you can link them together – this also applies to the rigid LED tube lights, which will need your handyman skills in fitting simple screwed-in mounts to the surface, so you can extend your lighting as much as you wish.
How To Install LED Strip Lights Under Cabinets
Back to the non-rigid strip light, and you will find that among the most popular are those that come in a ‘tape’ form. These could not be easier to fix in place.
The LED strip is fitted with an adhesive reverse – covered by a protective film – that you use to simply apply it to the surface you want the lights to fit upon.
- Measure the length of the space you want to light, and cut your tape to fit.
- Attach the wires that connect to the transformer before you move to the next step by following the manufacturer instructions.
- Thoroughly clean the surface onto which the tape will fit.
- Carefully remove the backing paper.
- Apply the tape to the surface where needed.
It really is that simple, and we recommend a final trick that will make it even neater: screw your transformer under the cupboard towards the back where it won’t be seen. This way, you can make sure the wires are not visible.
The great thing about under cabinet lighting is that it gives you a fresh and very attractive type of light, and you can also choose from different whites, plus a range of colors.
LED is versatile, easy to fit, and the way to go, so why not have a look at under cabinet lighting for your home?