Apart from the brightness it provides, what constitutes a good under-cabinet light? Is it the color? The features? Price?
Whatever the case may be, as a homeowner, finding the best under-cabinet light can be challenging, especially with so many options on the market. Brightness level and energy efficiency should be your main concern.
Our favorite is the Litever Under Cabinet Lighting Kit because it delivers adequate brightness and lends your counters a nice, warm ambiance. It also allows you to install it however you want and it comes with an installation kit to get it up and running. And best of all, it’s energy-efficient!
That said, finding the best under-cabinet lighting isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. It all comes down to your personal needs and preferences.
In this post, we’ve rounded up the best under cabinet lights on the market. We’ll also explore their features, pros and cons, and what you should think about before purchasing one.
Why Invest in Under Cabinet Lighting?
Lighting is an important part of any home. While most of us focus on overhead fixtures, under-cabinet lighting is an essential feature that we sometimes overlook.
Under cabinet lighting offers both functionality and visual appeal. It improves the visibility of your countertops, giving you more illumination for preparing food while creating a more inviting atmosphere. Plus, the lighting puts focus on your backsplash patterns.
Most under cabinet lighting also uses LED bulbs. These bulbs are known as highly energy efficient and are durable. This means that you’ll save money on electricity bills while updating your kitchen. It’s a versatile and practical option that provides you with a range of benefits.
Our Top Picks
|Best Overall||Litever Under Cabinet Lighting Kit||– LED; warm white- 31 watts- Can be plugged-in or hardwired- Comes with self-adhesive pads, mounting clips, wire clips, and extension cords- Includes LED dimmer||Check price|
|Best Strip||Philips Hue Smart Strip Light Kit||– LED- 20 watts- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Zigbee compatibility- Can be voice controlled through Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant- Comes in different colors||Check price|
|Best Puck Lights||Brilliant Evolution Stick on Lights||– LED; warm white- 5 watts- Comes with mounting tape, screws, and batteries- Can be installed with adhesive tape or screws- Comes with a wireless remote and selectable dimmer- Auto-off timer- Battery operated||Check price|
|Best Hardwired||UltraPro Under Cabinet Lights||– LED; soft, bright, and daylight white- Compatible with in-wall LED dimmer- Includes mounting hardware and push-in connectors- Manual and remote controlled||Check price|
|Best With Motion Sensor||LEPOTEC Motion Sensor Cabinet Light||– LED; white light- Comes with built-in magnet and adhesive tape- Adjustable working modes- Has motion sensor- USB rechargeable with 2500mAh battery||Check price|
|Best Multipurpose||RXWLKJ Stick-on Portable Light||– LED- Comes with built-in magnet and adhesive tape- Motion sensor- Comes with 850mAh rechargeable battery||Check price|
|Budget Pick||JUSJUBR Under Cabinet Light||– LED; soft white- 6 watts- Has a dimmer switch and memory function- Comes with double-sided tape and adhesive pads||Check price|
The Best Under Cabinet Lightings
Litever Under Cabinet Lighting Kit – Best Overall
If you’re in need of some bright and warm light under your kitchen cabinets, the Litever Under Cabinet Lighting Kit could be a wonderful choice.
One of the things that users love about this 31-watt lighting kit is that the lights don’t produce glaring or the annoying dots that many other LED lighting produce. And if you want, you can dim using the switch. However, if you have existing wall dimmers, it won’t be compatible.
Thankfully, even with all the parts in the inclusion, installing the lighting is easy since it comes with self-adhesive pads, mounting clips, mounting clips, and extension cords. However, it may take a bit of time to figure out how to install the kit. But once you do, you’ll have a nice under cabinet light.
What we like about this kit is that it gives you the option to plug in into an outlet or have an electrician hardwire it for you. You can also put it in various rooms in your house, but you can purchase a pulse-width modulation (PWM) separately.
Make sure not to stress the wire repeatedly upon installation as doing so can cause internal board connections to break. When this happens, just remove the end caps and re-solder the wire.
Overall, we consider this kit a great choice for high-quality, easy-to-install, and dependable under cabinet LED lighting.
– High illumination; provides a nice, warm ambiance
– Two-way installation
– Comes with everything you need to get it up and running
– Some users find it difficult to install
– Wire may break easily
Philips Hue Smart Strip Light Kit – Best Strip
Strip lights are versatile, easy to set up and light, and when integrated with smart capabilities, they create a fantastic under lighting cabinet. The Philips Hue Smart Strip Light Kit isn’t the most affordable on the market. But, it’s one of the best under-cabinet lights you could get.
You can shape it and mount it to any solid surface. And because it’s thin, it could be the best choice if you’re looking for low-profile accent lighting.
What we love most about this strip light is that you can control it wirelessly and set it to auto-turn off and on to conserve more energy. Plus, you can pick from different colors and white light tones, or synchronize them to music for an interactive experience.
The Philips Hue is compatible with smart home accessories, allowing you to manage your lighting with voice commands. One of our favorite features is the Hue Bridge which lets you connect it to different accessories.
You see, it’s a nice, compact light that packs a lot of features. However, the adhesive might not stick properly, which can make bending the corners tricky.
But, we think it’s a wonderful addition if you want a lively kitchen while preparing your food. Might be a bit expensive for a strip light, but you’ll appreciate the functionalities and convenience it can bring into your home.
– Versatile; easy to mold and mount
– Smart capabilities; can be controlled wirelessly
– Comes in various color choices
– Adhesive might not stick properly
Brilliant Evolution Stick on Lights – Best Puck Lights
Puck lights are a fuss-free solution to any lighting needs since installing them doesn’t involve complex wirings, requiring only adhesive tapes or screws. The Brilliant Evolution Stick-On Lights come with everything you need for bright counters.
This set of LED lights allows you to control it wherever you are in the kitchen through a remote. With the adjustable dimmer feature, you can change the brightness of the light to your liking. But, one of the features we appreciate about these lights is that you can set them to automatically turn off when not in use.
The brightness of these puck lights is something everyone appreciates. They provide a bright warm white glow that brings any space to life.
The puck lights run on triple AA batteries (included) with a total run duration of 100 hours. According to the manufacturer, that is 4 times longer than typical battery-operated lights. However, several users claim that they seem to die quickly.
That said, we think it’s a wonderful, inexpensive option for under-cabinet lighting. Plus, you don’t need to worry about utility bills since they don’t run on electricity!
– Versatile lighting
– Easy installation
– Comes with a convenient remote control
– Auto shut off
– Affordable and saves you money on utility bills
– Dies quickly; batteries may need frequent replacement
UltraPro Under Cabinet Lights – Best Hardwired
If you need a powerful under cabinet light, go hardwired. The UltraPro Under Cabinet Lights may be the ideal solution if you’re up to something high-quality that is both stylish and efficient.
What we appreciate about this product is that it’s compatible with in-wall LED dimmer switches. This allows you to quickly change the intensity and pick between 3 different color options: soft, strong, and daylight. It also allows you to set the proper lighting for every space, making it both visually appealing and comfortable.
Another great advantage of this 118-watt LED light is how simple it is to install. The kit includes all of the mounting hardware and push-in connections, making the setup quick and simple.
However, there are certain problems that some users encounter. For example, if you have 12-3 wiring in your home, you may find the installation process more difficult. The hardware is hidden inside the wire chamber. And you may need some extra modification and drilling to achieve the proper fit.
Also, the fixture is built with most of the room inside where the wires connect to your wiring on the left. So, if you have outdated fixture wiring, it can make it trciky to modify it with such a limited room. But if you’re patient, you should be able to install it in an hour or so.
Other than that, this LED light could be a fantastic lighting option that combines design and practicality.
– Powerful yet efficient
– Compatible with in-wall dimmer switches
– Customizable to 3 color options
– Easy installation
– Some users find it challenging to set up
LEPOTEC Motion Sensor Cabinet Light – Best With Motion Sensor
The Lepotec Motion Sensor Cabinet Lights are one of the top-rated under cabinet lightings in the market right now owing to its high brightness level compared to other motion-sensor capable models. If you’re looking to soften the ambiance of your kitchen without the glaring, this might be it.
These 3-watt LED lights emit light from the side, which gets reflected back to the light guide plate through the reflector. And then, it gets distributed evenly on the lamp through the diffuser plate.
The Lepotect lights can be stuck on any surface with the included adhesive tape. Or, you can stick them on any ironwork using the built-in magnet. The lights feature a three-mode switch that allows you to set it to always ON, Off, or Motion Sensor mode.
And speaking of the motion sensor feature, if you switch it to G-mode in the dark, the under cabinet lights will detect any human motion within a 10-foot or 120-degree range. But, if in 20 minutes it doesn’t detect any movements, it will automatically turn off.
One of the best things about the lights is that they come with a 2500mAh high-capacity rechargeable battery that is readily charged using the included USB wire. However, some users say that the battery dies quickly when in motion sensor mode. But all in all, we think it’s a wonderful addition to any kitchen counter.
– Detects human motions and auto shuts off
– Can be stuck on any surface
– Adjustable modes
– Battery dies quickly on motion sensor mode
RXWLKJ Stick-on Portable Light – Best Multipurpose
Whether you need to light up your kitchen, cabinets, or drawers, the RXWLKJ Portable Lights could be another excellent choice. You can place it anywhere you need it with its easy adhesive tapes. The built-in magnet makes it even easier to install on any ironwork.
Producing bright and soft light, you can charge the bar lights with the inbuilt rechargeable 850mAh battery. The battery isn’t as big as the previous product, but still, an excellent choice for saving money on energy bills.
Another thing we appreciate about these lights is that they have a motion sensor that detects human movements within 10 feet or a 120-degree range. And it turns off after around 20 seconds of inactivity. That said, some users find this feature to be not very sensitive.
Overall, this LED light is dependable and handy if you want a simple lighting solution. Plus, it doesn’t include drilling or additional controls.
– Detects human motions and auto shuts off
– Easy installation
– Motion sensor isn’t very sensitive
JUSJUBR Under Cabinet Light – Budget Pick
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, something functional and easy to install, then the JUSJUBR Under Cabinet Light could be the right one. It boasts high brightness while delivering a well-diffused light without the crazy LED dots.
The dimmable feature is also a good bonus given its price. It’s an essential feature that allows you to adjust the brightness to your liking. The memory function is also a convenient feature that recalls the last setting you used. This way, you won’t have to adjust it every time you switch it on.
The installation is simple. You can use the provided double-sided tape to secure the light bar to the underside of your cabinets or anywhere else you like without drilling. But, what we really appreciate about this product is the slim profile, which makes it even easier to install in just about any spot in your home.
And, because it’s slim, it’s almost invisible under the cabinets. Also, while some users may find it too small and with inadequate illumination, we think it all depends on where you use it. If you’re only going to use it to prepare food at the counter at night, we don’t see why you wouldn’t get it. The light is inexpensive, anyway.
– Lightweight and slim profile
– Easy installation
– May not provide adequate light
Things To Consider in Choosing the Best Under Cabinet Lighting
Choosing the best under cabinet lighting entails carefully keeping several factors in mind to make sure it’s the ideal fixture for you. When you shop, consider the following:
Under cabinet lighting can come in strips, bars, and puck lights. Strips are the most versatile since most of them can be cut to fit the corners of your cabinets. Light bars are handy and easy to install as well. Puck lights, on the other hand, are the easiest to install because they don’t require any complicated wiring.
When it comes to the bulb, choose something that is energy efficient.
Light-emitting diodes (LED) are the way to go. These energy-efficient under cabinet lights provide bright and even illumination for your counters and workspaces.
They come in a range of sizes, colors, and brightness levels. This makes them a great option for busy kitchens. LED lights also last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. And, they produce relatively minimal heat, so they are safe to use even for an extended period of time.
Fluorescent lights are also energy-efficient. These lights offer a bright, bright light, but they are more expensive to install and may switch on slowly.
Xenon lights emit warm, natural light. However, they generate a lot of heat so they’re not really ideal for use in the kitchen since that space gets hot enough when you cook food. And they are not as energy efficient as LED lights.
Halogen lights are also energy-efficient and provide a bright, white light. However, they can become quite hot and may not last as long as LED lights.
You have two options here: electrical and battery-operated.
For easy and fuss-free installation, go for battery-operated models. You may need to have the batteries replaced every now and then, though there are rechargeable models. But if you want a more powerful light over your counters, go hardwired. We find the motion sensors in lights respond better in this configuration.
This will help set the ambiance of your kitchen. Choose lights with a specific color temperature. Look for something that offers a soft, warm glow to set the ambiance. For enhanced visibility, bright daylight bulbs will do the trick.
Some under-cabinet lights also come equipped with smart features. These models give you the freedom to adjust the brightness and color of your lights at your fingertips. Or, you can just install dimmers to help manage the brightness levels.
This is a crucial consideration. The more heat output your under cabinet light produces, the higher the safety hazard, especially if you have a small kitchen with minimal ventilation. So, make sure to go for under-cabinet lighting with a light output that fits your kitchen setup.
You can look at the lumens rate of the lights. A 150 may be enough to provide even light over your counters. But, then again, consider what your needs are.
Are you a DIY-er? Is it easy to install?
Under-cabinet lights are available in three configurations: plug-in, battery, and hardwired. We find plug-ins and battery-operated models a lot easier to install. However, while hardwired lights require the help of a professional to be installed, they don’t involve that much maintenance.
What Type of Lighting Is Best for Under Cabinet?
LED is generally considered the best option for under-cabinet lighting. These lights have a high CRI (color rendering index). This means that they can display the true color of your surroundings when compared to other types of lights.
In addition, their versatility and energy efficiency makes them a popular choice. You can get them in various configurations like LED strips, which you can trim down to match the length of your cabinet. LED lights are also available in a range of colors and temperatures, giving you the ideal lighting for your space.
What Is the Most Energy-Efficient Under Cabinet Lighting?
The most energy-efficient under cabinet lighting is LED. It’s more energy-efficient than conventional bulbs, which have a significant cost owing to energy waste that is converted into heat. LED lighting generates less heat than incandescent and fluorescent lights. And this can help keep your kitchen cooler.
What Is the Best Lumens for Under Cabinet Lighting?
I depend on your needs. In general, under cabinet lighting should have a brightness range of 150 to 550 lumens per ft. That range provides adequate illumination for your kitchen counter while being visually appealing.
What Are the Disadvantages of Under Cabinet Lighting?
Because they are located beneath the cabinet, under cabinet lights aren’t as bright as other fixtures. And depending on the setup and type of fixtures used, they may also cast shadows or cause glare. But overall, the improved visibility and atmosphere in the kitchen exceed such downsides.
When it comes to under cabinet lighting, you’ll want it to do its job efficiently. You also want it to be reliable and durable in the long run.
Lucky for you, all of the recommendations we have discussed above are dependable products that deserve a spot in your kitchen.
Our top pick is the Litever Under Cabinet Lighting Kit because it provides adequate light while also creating a nice, warm environment on your countertops. It also lets you install it in whatever way you like, and it comes with an installation kit. What’s more? This lighting system is energy-efficient.
If you wish to explore more options, you may check out the rest of our curated list to find the best under-cabinet lighting for your kitchen counters.