For an easy do-it-yourself option, select a plug-in fixture. They attach to the underside of a cabinet or shelf and can be plugged into any nearby outlet. These fixtures must be turned on and off using a switch on the unit, and the wires are not hidden. Tape or rope lights are one plug-in option. These clear plastic tubes are filled with small LED bulbs that cast a soft glow.
For a seamless look, consider investing in hard-wired light fixtures, which become virtually invisible once installed. Recessed puck lights are low-profile lights that must be installed directly into shelves and, if not done during new home construction, require modifications to the cabinet. Unless you have experience doing electrical work, a professional will need to install these and other hard-wired models, which must tap into a power source or have a new circuit added to the area. Other hard-wired options include custom-size track lights and slim-line strip lights.
- Traditional incandescent bulbs are the most affordable option and provide a bright, warm light, but they have the shortest life span and use more energy than other lights.
- LED lights are extremely efficient and generate very little heat, but their light isn't as natural as other options. Their expensive price tag is offset by a very long life span.
- Halogen lights are efficient, long-lasting, bright, and offer a natural yellow-white light. Excessive heat can be a problem so they are best used with a dimmer.
- Xenon lights are similar to halogen lights but burn brighter and with less heat. They are expensive but have the longest life span of all bulbs.
- Fluorescent lights are extremely energy-efficient, long-lasting, and low-heat. Fluorescent lights emit a cool, greenish-blue hue".
Barnes, Kathy. "Undercabinet Lighting." Better Homes & Gardens. Bhg.com, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.bhg.com/kitchen/lighting/undercabinet-lighting/>.