What type of lighting is best for under cabinet lighting?


Under cabinet lighting is an essential aspect of modern kitchen design. It not only adds a layer of ambiance to your kitchen but also provides much-needed task lighting for cooking and other kitchen activities. As a result, under cabinet lighting has grown in popularity over the years. Under cabinet lighting comes in many different forms, including puck lights, strip lights, and linear lights. However, one of the most popular options for under-cabinet lighting is the strip light, particularly LED strip lights. In several ways, LED strip lights outperform other types of under cabinet lighting, making them an excellent choice for your kitchen. In the article, we will discuss the benefits of using LED strip lights for under cabinet lighting and how to order under cabinet lights to fit specific requirements from our products’ perspective.

Under cabinet lights illuminate a kitchen space

One of the most significant benefits of LED strip lights is their energy efficiency. LED lights use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, meaning that they can save you money on your electricity bill while also reducing your environmental impact. In fact, LED lights use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last up to 25 times longer, which means that you won't have to replace them as often.

Another advantage of LED strip lights is their versatility. LED strip lights come in a range of colors, from warm whites to cool whites to RGB color-changing options, which means that you can customize your kitchen lighting to suit your preferences. Additionally, LED strip lights are available in different lengths, widths, and densities, allowing you to choose the perfect lighting solution for your kitchen.

GL LED provides customized under cabinet lighting fixtures to meet different lighting requirements. The following steps are general guidance on how to place an order with us for your under cabinet lighting system.

Step 1 - Select a color temperature

Different color temperatures create different moods and atmospheres in your kitchen space. GL  LED provides various color temperatures (candle white 2700K; warm white 3000K; natural white 4000K) to meet your specific lighting needs.

Under cabinet lights rendering comparison between 2700K, 3000K, and 4000K color temperatures.

Step 2 - Select a specific model of strip light with a desired lumen output

Given a certain color temperature, GL LED offers many types of LED strip lights with different brightness ranging from 200Lm/ft up to 800Lm/ft. Please check out our LED strip lights here for more information.


Step 3 - Select proper aluminum channels to match a proposed installation method

Depending upon the type of cabinets and the lighting effects desired, GL LED provides various aluminum channels (extrusions) to fit different width requirements and installation options, including surface mount, shallow recess mount, and deep recess mount. Please check out our aluminum channels here.

Surface mount, shallow recess, and deep recess installation options for under cabinet lights.


Step 4 - Prepare a detailed measurement list or a layout diagram to show how the under cabinet light fixture lengths will be segmented.   

It is recommended that the ordered fixture length be 1 inch less than the width of the cabinet bottom.

Under cabinet light fixtures length measurement instruction

Step 5 - Select a wire location for each under cabinet light fixture

For each light fixture, either a lead wire (connect to a power supply), a connection wire (connect to the next fixture), or both are needed depending on a specific fixture layout requirement. GL LED is able to customize the location from where the wires are coming out from the fixture and provide flexibility on hiding the wires to present a neat appearance.

  1. Rear location: lead wire/connection wire can come out of the rear side of each fixture through compatible end caps.
  2. Back location: lead wire/connection wire can come out of the back side of each fixture through the aluminum channel.
  3. Side location: lead wire/connection wire can come out of the rear side of each fixture through the aluminum channel.
Location of wires coming from under cabinet light fixtures

Step 6 - Select connection types between under cabinet light fixtures

In case that the under cabinet fixtures need to be connected to each other or connect to a transformer, GL LED provides four types of connections for single color strip lights using the following connectors:

  1. Hard wire 
  2. DC connector
  3. Dupont connector
  4. Waterproof connector
Connection types of under cabinet light fixtures

Step 7 - Seamless connection of the under cabinet light fixtures

A default length of our aluminum channels is 94”, and light fixtures longer than 94” can also be connected seamlessly without using end caps to produce a sleek and neat lighting appearance.   

Seamless connection of under cabinet light fixtures

Step 8 - Select compatible transformers and controllers 

Compatible transformers and controllers are critical components for an LED lighting system. GL LED offers various types of transformers and compatible dimmers or controllers to work around specific lighting requirements. 

Dimming methods covered by the transformers and dimmers include phase dimming (Triac, ELV, MLV), 0-10V dimming, 1-10V dimming, Potentiometer, and 10V PWM dimming.

Types of dimmers or controllers include hardwired and wireless and provide different options to control your lights. 

Once all the above information is confirmed, GL LED is able to make the customized light fixtures and deliver the order in a timely manner. Please contact us if you have any questions about under cabinet lights.

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