There are essentially two types of cabinet lighting to install; task lighting and accent lighting. The cabinets you want to add lighting to could be in any room of your home but, by and large, adding lights to cabinets in the kitchen is by far the most common.
Task Cabinet Lighting
Task lighting added to a cabinet is installed to help illuminate the work surface under or in a cabinet, for whatever task you might wish to carry out. Task cabinet lights make a lot of sense when fitted to bathroom and kitchen cabinets, as those are the two rooms where you’re likely to want to work at something under or by the cabinet.
For a bathroom cabinet having illumination around a mirrored cabinet can help you or your family and partners when shaving, putting on make-up etc. Being in a very damp environment any bathroom cabinet light fittings must conform to the required safety regulations and be installed by a qualified electrician.
Although the kitchen is another damp environment it doesn’t present quite the problems that the bathroom does. Quite often in a kitchen the cabinets will overhang the work surface creating areas that are not fully illuminated by the ceiling lights. Adding small strip fluorescent lights or track halogen ones can dramatically improve the light that you have to work with.
Accent lighting in cabinets is when you add the lights simply to improve the ambience, or feel, of a room. There’s no reason at all why you shouldn’t also add accent lights to your bathroom, or even kitchen cabinets – especially if you have a large kitchen that is an integral living space in your home. However, accent cabinet lights are more usually added to cabinets in your lounge, dining room or bedrooms to either provide a low light alternative to the ceiling lights or to help display the contents of the cabinet.
To create a low light effect through lighting in a cabinet, use low voltage LED lights or for a really special effect, try track or rope LEDs. Alternatively if you want to use the cabinet lighting to enhance the display in the cabinet, then use halogen or xenon bulbs.
Your Energy Bill
Fitting either LED bulbs, the new low energy fluorescent bulbs. low voltage halogen, or even better xenon bulbs all consume less power than conventional the old incandescent light bulb and last longer too. So, when planning your cabinet lighting, do make sure that you are thinking in terms of these new types of bulbs.
By saving energy you’re automatically keeping the increase to the amount of electricity you will use to a minimum, which also means the rise in your energy bill will be minimal as well. Furthermore, low voltage lighting such as cabinet LEDs is both easy and safe to install, carrying no risk of electrocution.
As stated above, kitchen cabinet lighting is invariably installed to help you see whilst working in the kitchen. If you choose to install track lighting under the cabinets why not consider installing the same make and model of track lighting as the main, ceiling mounted, kitchen lighting as well?
Look for a supplier who can provide individual lights of the same type in two sizes; a small one for under the cabinets and a larger one for the ceiling track.