Installing lights in a cabinet should support its main function and complement its form without physical obstruction or visual distraction. Display lighting in kitchen cabinets also has to create an added decorative appeal that will further enhance its interior space and contents. It is important that these basics are firmly fixed in your mind before you try to make any decisions on what you should buy for your kitchen.
In-cabinet lighting has two main types: puck and linear strips. Both of these lights have their own unique advantages and strengths specific to where they are installed and how they will be used. If you do not understand their own strengths, you might find yourself frustrated when you start shopping online and can get quickly overwhelmed by the endless range of contradictory and confusing sales hype and information. But it is really not that hard when you break down the main features of these two kinds of in-cabinet lighting fixtures.
A puck light is mounted in the center of the upper top space of the cabinet, shining illumination downward in a widening circular spread. A linear strip light is mounted either along the bottom or vertical top wall space, or along the horizontal top-front cabinet strut. Linear strips are great for all LED cabinet lighting applications except for those with mirrored back panels. They also offer great task lighting for cabinets above eye level where the fixture and wiring of puck lighting will likely appear unsightly to visitors opening cabinet doors.
Over-the-Counter Kitchen Cabinets
Low-voltage lighting strip lights are a great choice for these types of cabinets. A puck light in a kitchen cabinet will be very visible to the one opening the cabinet. The fixture often has visible wiring and its more intense light concentration can also work against the decorative design elements of the bigger and more hospitality-oriented kitchens of today.
Under-Counter Kitchen Cabinets
On the other hand, the direct opposite is true for bigger kitchen cabinets placed near the floor that store pots and pans. Puck lights in these cabinets are hidden from normal view, and their more intense light output makes it easier to quickly locate cookware and utensils. A good source of task lighting is fluorescent under-cabinet kitchen lighting when you are trying to illuminate countertop space.
Fine Antique and Curio Cabinets
If a more decorative appearance is your topmost consideration, linear strip lights are without a doubt more attractive than puck lights. Linear in-cabinet lighting strips are designed to hide themselves along vertical or horizontal shelf edges. Thus, those opening the cabinet can better see the lighted contents without ever noticing the fixtures.
By knowing these basic facts, you can determine ahead of time the type of light that will work best for your particular purpose. You can also look for kitchen lighting solutions online to give you inspiration on the right one that will work for your home. If you are still not sure of the perfect kind of lights for your glass cabinets and how to apply them, talk to a kitchen cabinet designer for more information and ideas on custom kitchen cabinets with glass.