Under cabinet lighting is a relatively inexpensive and surprisingly effective method of enhancing the look and feel of your kitchen. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also serves a functional purpose by creating more light on work tops which are otherwise left in shadow. To get the best possible results for minimal effort, why not try using self-adhesive LED Strip Lights?
To install strip lights you will need to measure the length of your cabinets and ensure there is a suitable mains power supply close by. When taking measurements, always bear in mind that strip lights can only be cut at 2.5, 5 or 10 cm intervals, so round up or down where necessary.
LED Strips can be powered from a standard mains outlet or they can be wired into an existing lighting circuit. The question you need to ask yourself is whether you want your strip lights to come on at the same time as your main kitchen lights or if you want to be able to control them independently.
As LED Strips have a self-adhesive backing you won't need to purchase any additional mounts or attachments, but if you are installing them near any sinks, kettles or other potential sources of condensation, it is worth investing in at least an IP65 rated coating to prevent against short-circuits.
As a rule-of-thumb, cool white LED Strip Lights are the best single colour strips to use in this application as the light is clear and bright.
Don't forget to explore the possibilities of a dimmer switch as this will allow you to vary the brightness of your strips. For dimmability you will need either a dimmable driver or a 12V dimmer switch which installs between the driver and the strip lights.
In most kitchens you will find that the cabinets are not connected in one continuous run, but are instead separated by gaps. This can present a problem if you want to install LED Strips on all your cabinets, but only have one power point available. This can be overcome by connecting your strips in series or parallel using 12V cable.
In the former case you will simply bridge the gap between each cabinet with a length of cable, in the latter case each strip is run back to the power supply separately. If possible we always recommend connecting in parallel as this minimizes the likelihood of voltage drop.
So to recap:
- Take Measurements,
- Make sure there is a power point available,
- Choose an IP65 rated coating if necessary,
- Choose a colour temperature to match the decor,
- Pay attention to the spacing of your cabinets and work out how you will connect your strip lights back to your power point.
Of course it isn't just the underside of your kitchen cabinets that can benefit from LED Strip Lights. They can also be installed along the top side facing towards the ceiling and along the kickboards.
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