What are the Lights Under Cabinets Called?

Are you wondering what the lights under the cabinets are called? Installing lights under your cabinet makes it easier to do various tasks. It is an easy and affordable way to add task efficiency and visual depth into the space. These lights are ideal for kitchen or bathroom countertops. Check out the rest of the article below to find out more about this type of light and their benefits.

What are the lights under cabinets called? The lights under the cabinets are commonly referred to as under cabinet lights. However, they are also known by different names like task lighting fixtures, under cupboard lighting, undermount lights, and kitchen under cabinet lights.

Installing under cabinet lights makes a room more inviting. You can choose from a wide array of options available which includes strip lights, rope lights, and puck lights. These lights are easy to install and had a shallow shape so they perfectly fit in small spaces. Moreover, under cabinet lights can be cut according to the size that you require which makes it more convenient.

What are the lights under cabinets called
Image by kannapoonan from Pixabay

What are Under Cabinet Lights?

Under cabinet lighting are light fixtures that are usually installed underneath the cabinets providing light to the space below. These types of lighting are considered among the most useful and convenient lighting applications that you can install at home. Under-cabinet lighting is hidden so it can blend with the decors in your home. You can usually find them in areas where additional light is required like the kitchens and bathrooms.

How Do Under Cabinet Lights Work?

Under cabinet lights work by providing adequate lighting to your countertops. They can be powered using hardwire, battery, or plug-in. Furthermore, you can choose between line voltage and low voltage. Line voltage means that the lights run on the same voltage as the rest of your house. On the other hand, low voltage means that a transformer is needed to convert the voltage supply of your home to a much lower voltage.


These are light strips that plug into a socket. If your kitchen has sockets hidden under the cabinets, you can use this for under cabinet lights.


Under cabinet lights that are hardwired are directly connected to a switch. You can choose to have only one switch for all of the under cabinet lights that you installed or you can also group them so that each can be turned on independently. You can also check out this article that we have shared that discusses what color of LED light is best for the kitchen. We have shared tips and information that you can refer to.


Under cabinet lights that are battery-powered pucks are a great option for older model kitchens or bathrooms. They are mostly wireless for easy installation and use. Battery-powered lights can either be strips or pucks. However, a disadvantage of using this type of light is that you need to regularly replace the batteries. Take note that the batteries have a shorter light span as compared to the light bulb. Nowadays, you can find under cabinet lights that can be controlled using a remote control.

Types of Under Cabinet Lighting

Puck lights, fluorescent fixtures, xenon fixtures, LED fixtures, and LED strip lights are some of the under cabinet lighting that you can choose from. Under cabinet lighting is mostly designed as a system that contains various individual components. Let us learn more about the different types of under cabinet lighting below.

Xenon Fixtures

These lights are among the oldest technologies when it comes to under cabinet lighting, but they are still popular because of their color rendering index. Xenon fixtures provide clean and white light that is ideal for granite and marble or granite countertops. The downside is that they get really hot. It is recommended that you use this type of under cabinet lighting as task lighting rather than an all-day light source.

Puck Lights

Another option that you can choose is the puck lights. They are shaped like a hockey puck and are a popular type of light for under cabinet. Halogen, LED or xenon can be used for puck lights. To have the best color purity, make sure to choose a CRI of about 100 which is the same as the halogen bulbs. On the other hand, you can choose LED if you prefer to have a low-heat emission bulb that lasts for a long time. Puck lights are usually battery-powered. The installation is easy as they often come with an adhesive back. All that you need to do is to stick them to the underside of cabinets.

Fluorescent Fixtures

You can also choose fluorescent fixtures for the under cabinet lights. The fluorescent fixtures that are sold on the market today have T5 bulbs. This is smaller as compared to the T12 bulbs and the light that it emits is also different. Fluorescent under cabinet lights are a good option if you want something that is functional and not too fancy.

LED Fixtures

LED fixtures are among the most popular under cabinet lights that you can purchase. You can choose between LED fixtures and LED light bars. One of the benefits that you can get from LED fixtures is that they are efficient and versatile. They are available in various color temperatures and brightness levels.

LED Strip Light

Another option that you can have for under cabinet lights is LED strip light. This light is thin, lightweight, and compact. LED strip lights that are properly installed stay hidden under the cabinet with only the lights illuminating the space. However, LED strip lights are not as bright as compared to other under cabinet lights. Hence, they are mostly used as accent lighting. You can also check out this article titled, can you use LED strip lights under cabinets? We have shared tips and information about the topic that you can refer to.

✅ Video – How to Install LED Strip Lights Under Kitchen Cabinets (Under Cabinet LED Lighting) DIY

Jumper man Tech shared the video below on YouTube. It shows how to install LED strip lights under kitchen cabinets. It is an easy DIY project that you can do if you need extra lighting for your kitchen countertops. Check out the video below for the visual demonstration.

How to Choose the Best Under Cabinet Lighting

Placement and available space, power options, and color temperatures are some of the factors that you need to consider when choosing under cabinet lighting. Let us discuss more these factors below.

Placement and Space

One of the things that you need to consider when choosing an under cabinet lighting is placement and space. Determine how much available space there is under the cabinet. It is ideal that under cabinet light fixtures are hidden for a clean and seamless look. When properly installed, the light fixture will be out of the way of usable space below.

Before purchasing an under cabinet light, you need to measure the space under the cabinet. This way, you can decide on the type of light that you need to use. Moreover, think about the placement of the lights. Take note that light bars and puck lights are thicker so they are ideal for under cabinet lighting because they will not take up a lot of space.

Power Options

Another thing that you need to consider is the power option of the under cabinet lighting. These can be hardwired, plug-in, or battery-operated. Some power options will require the services of a professional for the installation. Aside from that, the power option of an under cabinet light can affect its price. For instance, you need to hire an electrician for installing direct-wire cabinet lights.

The good thing is that if you already have an older under cabinet lighting, you can change it into an LED version. This is easy to do because the wiring is already there. Moreover, plug-in under cabinet lights will need an outlet to work, while battery-powered lights require battery replacements.

Color Temperature

You also need to consider the color temperature of the under cabinet lights that you choose. The color temperature affects how the cabinets and countertops appear. Furthermore, color temperature is measured in Kelvins. For a warm glow, choose a color temperature between 2,700K and 3,500K. If you want to have a cool light, choose a color temperature between 3,500K and 5,000K. Warm lights are ideal for ambient lighting while cool lights are best for task lighting. You can also check out this article that discusses what the best color for under cabinet lighting is. We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Is LED Light Good for Under Kitchen Cabinets?

LED is an ideal choice for under cabinet lighting especially in kitchens and bathrooms. They provide minimum heat and also operate well in high humidity. LED under cabinet lights are also energy-efficient and long-lasting.

Where Do Under Cabinet Lights Go?

Under cabinet lights are usually placed to the front of the cabinet. If the lighting has a lens, make sure to place it toward the backsplash. Proper installation of under cabinet lights is important because it affects how much area that the light can cover.

How Bright Should Kitchen Under Cabinet Lights Be?

The kitchen under cabinet lights should have at least 500 lumens. To have the best lighting result, choose LEDs that emit a minimum of 400 lumens per foot. We have also written this article that discusses if under cabinet lighting should be warm or cool. Check out the article to learn more about the topic.


In this article, we have discussed what the lights under the cabinets are called. We have found out that it is commonly referred to as under cabinet lighting, but there are other terms for it as well. No matter what it is called, under cabinet lighting can enhance the ambiance in the room and also provides additional illumination. You can find a wide array of styles, types, and installation methods that you can choose from. Thank you for reading!

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