Under-cabinet lighting

01 March 2024

Under-cabinet lighting is a popular way to add extra illumination to your home in a subtle and stylish way. LED strip lights are in high demand for this purpose — they don't emit heat, they're energy efficient, and they're easy to install. Discover how to use LED strip lights to create effective under-cabinet lighting. 

Task lighting vs. ambient lighting

Under-cabinet lighting can serve two different needs: task or ambient lighting. Task lighting is dedicated light focused on helping you complete a specific task, such as cooking, working, or reading. Ambient lighting is more general, providing overall warmth and depth to a space. While ambient lighting usually refers to the primary source of light in a room, under-cabinet lighting can contribute to this type of light as well — when combined with ceiling lights and floor lamps, for example. 

Kitchen under-cabinet LED lighting

Adding strip lights under your kitchen cabinets gives you focused, bright light for cooking, food preparation, and washing dishes. LED strip lights are a popular choice for kitchen cabinets, as they provide light directly over the space you're working in.  

Before you install your under-cabinet lighting, think about the type of countertop you have — the light will be shining directly onto it, after all. If you have a light-colored or glossy countertop, your strip light will not need to be as bright — the counter will bounce and reflect light upwards. However, if your countertop is a darker color or matte, it will absorb light — so the brightness of your strip light will need to be stronger.

Philips Hue lightstrips offer the most flexibility for kitchen under-cabinet lighting. With wireless smart light, you can dim and brighten your lightstrips for different times of day or cast your kitchen in colorful light to set the scene for a romantic dinner or party.

Woman reaching for a book on a shelf with undercabinet lighting.

Where to mount under cabinet lighting

Mount your strip lights at the closer edge of the cabinet, which maximizes the light by casting it across your countertop rather than directing it at your backsplash. You can conceal your strip light by mounting it behind the bottom-front rail of your cabinet. Be careful that the rail does not block any light — test your placement before removing the adhesive backing and attaching it to the cabinet. 

Installing LED strip lights under cabinets

Installing LED strip lights under your cabinets is easy, especially with Philips Hue lightstrips — there's no drilling or rewiring required. Peel the cover off the adhesive backing to attach your strip light to any solid surface. Strip light too long? Cut it to size along the designated cut lines. However, don't forget that you can even bend it around curved surfaces, so you may not need to cut it at all!

If you want a longer strip light running under the length of your kitchen cabinets, use a strip light extension. With Philips Hue lightstrip extension you can extend them to a maximum length of 10 meters — all you need to do is connect your lightstrips together using the included connector pieces. 

*When a bulb displays "Up to" a certain number of lumens in its specifications, it displays the maximum lumen output of the bulb. It shows how bright the bulb can get at 2700 K (White bulbs) or 4000 K (White ambiance or White and colour ambiance bulbs). Learn more about brightness