In part one of our under-cabinet lighting blog extravaganza (two posts can be considered an extravaganza, right?), we discussed the things you needed to consider before you go out and buy under-cabinet lighting. Thing such as color temperature, depth, and actual hot/cold temperature. If you didn’t read that post, you can take it home and catch up with the rest of the class tomorrow. Today, we’ll be discussing the three main kinds of under-cabinet lighting, their pros and cons, and whether the Japanese Iron Chef will ever come out on DVD in America. (Hint: Unfortunately, no).
Traditional Under-Cabinet Lighting
Traditional Under-Cabinet Lighting usually consists of incandescent bulbs in a long strip. The bulbs are usually Xenon, Halogen, LED, or fluorescent, and the light can be extremely bright. The strips can be hard-wired or adapted for plug-ins, and can be chained together to form longer rows or to match 90 degree angles. Halogen and Xenon bulbs can be easy to find at your local hardware store or favorite online retailer, while sometimes the fluorescent bulbs may be a bit harder to find, depending on the size used. The Lights can be dimmed (except for the fluorescent), and most Xenon or Halogen light bars come with two different brightness settings: bright, and super blind-you-like-the-sun bright (or super-happy-funtime-bright in Japan). The downside of Xenon and Halogen light bars is the heat they put out. They usually have a plastic cover over the bulbs to shield you from the heat, but it can still get hot. Enough to burn your fingers hot, even with the shield. Also, over time, if the plastic shield is of lower quality, it can become brittle and yellow from the heat. Also, the bulbs tend to burn out quicker than a regular incandescent light bulb due to the heat. With a fluorescent light bar, you don’t have to worry about the heat, but you lose dimming capability. LED strip lights combine the best of Halogen/Xenon and Fluorescent, but can be more expensive.
LED Strip Under-Cabinet Lighting
One of the newest products in recent years for under-cabinet lighting is LED strip tape. Simply put, LED strip tape is a set of LED bulbs with sticky tape on the back that stick up wherever you want them to go. They can be hardwired or plugged in, and are customizable in length. In fact, the installation on it is so easy, you really don’t even need an electrician, as everything (except hard-wiring) is simply plug and go. LED strip tape is fully dimmable and comes in a variety of color temperatures. The downside of LED strip tape is that it is a bit more expensive than a light bar. About $15 a foot is a good estimate. However, LED strip tape pays for itself in the first year due to the low cost of usage and the fact it’s guaranteed for years, some up to 7 years! Another downside would be if a light ever goes out, you would have to replace the whole run of tape since the lights aren’t interchangeable. We’ve been selling this for over a year now, and I have yet to see one go out, though. Also, it is a bit on the non-pretty side to look at, but chances are you will never, ever see it.
Legrand Track Under-Cabinet Lighting Systems
Now, the Legrand Adorne under-cabinet lighting systems are the best you can get. Not only do they provide various lighting options, such as retractable puck lights or add-on light bars, but they also provide convenience for other parts of your life, as well. You can mount your tablet computer on the cradle and have a place to keep it safe above your counters while you work on a recipe. You can attach speakers in the interchangeable outlets and wirelessly stream music over a bluetooth connection. You can insert plugins for your USB devices. You can also dim your lights. Your imagination is the only limit.
The Legrand Adorne under-cabinet lighting systems do tend to be more expensive than either traditional light
bars or LED strip tape, but the added convenience and value more than make up for the cost. Also, all the options can be a little confusing, but give us a call, and we’ll be glad to help you get sorted out! Also, Legrand has a service where if you give them your blueprints, they’ll show you exactly what you need!
No matter what you choose, count on Lighting and Locks for all the best deals on under-cabinet lighting. And Grumpy Cat pictures. We always have Grumpy Cat pictures. Though, as always for our lawyers, Grumpy Cat does not endorse Lighting and Locks because Grumpy Cat hates everything.