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Under-cabinet lighting options that are functional and don’t break the bank

Have you ever wandered into your kitchen late at night to grab a glass of water, only to be struck with the dilemma of fumbling in the dark, or worse, squinting through the blinding overhead light? 

It’s certainly an uncomfortable situation, but thankfully, under-cabinet lights can offer a solution. Under-cabinet lights are small LED light sources that tuck neatly under your kitchen cabinets, illuminating your counter space. There are many different styles of under-cabinet lights, and we have a few that we think top all the rest!

Why lighting affects mood

It may sound silly at first, but lighting plays a significant role in your mood. While overhead kitchen lights are great around dinner time, they can become too bright and exhaustive later at night. Under-cabinet lights allow our eyes to relax and adjust to the dark without being totally blinded.

Like the situation mentioned above, under-cabinet lights present a nice balance between glaring light and complete darkness. What’s especially great about under-cabinet lights is that some are battery-powered and switch on and off as needed, while others can remain on throughout the entire night.

They also come in different shades and brightness, meaning you can find the perfect under-cabinet lights that suit your home’s needs.

under cabinet lighting in kitchen

How does lighting affect productivity?

Along with mood, lighting can set the pace of productivity. Too much exposure to harsh overhead lighting can be draining and can negatively affect our emotional health. Many bright white lights radiate blue light, which, with constant contact, is terrible for our vision.

Computers, phones, and tablets radiate the same blue light, interrupting sleep cycles and hindering immune systems. 

Softer and warmer yellow lights are often suggested for use, particularly after dark. This is because warm yellow lights are not harsh on the eyes and create an atmosphere of coziness and relaxation.

The body’s natural melatonin chemical process works more effectively when lights are dimmer and less harsh.

Under-cabinet lighting solutions

Several under-cabinet lighting solutions work for any  home. Some homes were equipped with under-cabinet lighting upon construction or during a renovation. If your home doesn’t have installed under-cabinet lighting, don’t worry!

Below we’ve listed some of our favorite under-cabinet lighting solutions for homes that don’t already have them built in.

Puck lights

Puck lights are small circular lights that emanate bright to dim light to illuminate under cabinets. Puck lights are often battery-powered and turn on and off by pressing their center. HELPLEX offers packs of six and 12 puck lights that come with an adhesive backing to attach seamlessly under your cabinets.

The great thing about the adhesive tape is that it doesn’t require any drills or screws for installation. Additionally, the adhesion can be taken off when needed with little to no mess.


Lightbars are another favorite for under-cabinet lighting. Lightbars are just as they sound: Thin bars that attach below your cabinets to produce light. While many lightbars illuminate using a bright white light, you can find some that offer dimming solutions.

Most lightbars operate via a cord that is plugged into a nearby outlet. However, others are battery operated and turn on with a switch. 

The lightbars by Otinlai are charged using a USB and then attached via adhesion and magnets to any space under your cabinet. They are easy to install and simple to detach and move if necessary. What makes these lightbars unique is that they are motion sensored. They turn on and off based on movement, which means you don’t have to fumble around for a light switch at night.

kitchen under cabinet lighting

Tape lights

A cheaper option for under-cabinet lights would be to use tape lights. Tape lights are small LED lights strung on a thin tape. They attach by adhesive underneath your cabinets and are powered by being plugged into an outlet or with a battery-operated remote control. 

Tape lights are one of the more versatile lighting solutions as they can be strung wherever necessary. They also come in a range of colors or include color-changing qualities with the push of a button. This allows you to use a soft yellow or orange glow if necessary.

Wobane offers a few different styles of tape lights that work great for any kitchen. With varying colors of lighting and tape lengths to choose from, it’s one of the better brands to look into when purchasing tape lights. 

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Amelia Wilson
Amelia Wilson (author pen name Amelia J. Wilson) is a content writer in Greenwood, IN. She often enjoys topics on…
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