The 10 Best Under Cabinet Lighting Options of 2023

Updated: Oct. 17, 2023

The best under cabinet lighting fixtures transform dim, dull countertops into a bright and welcoming workspace.

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Inlight 18 Inch Swivel Led Under Cabinet Lights Ecomm Amazon.comVIA MERCHANT

While ceiling-mounted light fixtures get most of the attention, finding the best under-cabinet lighting can be just as beneficial. For those selling a home, it can even increase a home’s value overall. According to Lowe’s lighting and home expert Gary McCoy, “Adding under-cabinet lighting may help draw buyers in and support an appealing ambiance.”

The best under-cabinet lighting not only reduces the chances of injury or mistakes when preparing food, it also makes the overall experience much more enjoyable when you can clearly see what you’re doing. Under-cabinet lighting isn’t just functional—it can be aesthetic as well. A soft glow from underneath your cabinets can revolutionize your kitchen space, giving it a high-end, professional look. They can also highlight a unique backsplash, and when used as a night light, allow you to maneuver through a room without having to turn on the overhead lights.

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Best Overall Under-Cabinet Lighting

Swivel LED Under-Cabinet Light

A light bar or strip is one of the best under-cabinet lighting options. It puts down a wide, uniform bank of light, perfect for lighting a workspace or kitchen countertop. This versatile LED swivel bar also rotates up to 90 degrees, allowing you to direct the light in a way that avoids shadows on the intended area.

Plug this 120-volt light into an outlet or hardwire it to a circuit. Its modular construction also lets you link multiple bar lights—up to 20 units—from a single power source. It’s dimmable and sheds a soft white light.

Pros

  • Projects a wide, consistent beam
  • Durable glass and aluminum construction
  • Available in six length options

Cons

  • Relatively expensive if you want multiple bars

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Best Battery-Powered Under-Cabinet Lighting

GE LED Under-Cabinet Light

If you love the idea of an under-cabinet light but are on a tight budget, the 12-inch GE light bar kit is less than $20. This AA battery-powered LED unit turns on with a tap of the lens, and its optional power-off timer ensures you don’t waste battery life. Mounting options include both fastener-free installations with double-sided tape and screws with anchors.

Like most battery-powered lights, this product produces less light to extend its battery life. For reference, it only sheds about 50 lumens, compared to the 300 lumens from the hardwired model listed above. But if you don’t need bright, vibrant lighting, this affordable under-cabinet bar is an ideal choice.

Pros

  • Easy on the wallet
  • Trusted brand name
  • Compact size fits in tight areas

Cons

  • Requires periodic battery changes
  • May not be long enough for some users

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Best Puck Under-Cabinet Lighting

Dimmable LED Puck Light Kit

Another popular style of under-cabinet light is puck lighting—they resemble hockey pucks. These LED puck lights are easy to install, simply plug in and they’re ready to go. Choose between either surface-mounted or recessed installation. A 55-inch lead wire makes it easy to access the necessary outlet. Each individual puck has 18 super-bright LEDs, and their slim profile provides a sleek, unobtrusive look. Choose from a white or bronze color finish to best suit your lighting design needs.

Pros

  • Bronze pucks create an intentional, high-end look
  • Lightweight construction is easy to install
  • Comes in three or six-pack kits

Cons

  • Cannot daisy-chain
  • These aren’t damp-rated, so they’re not the best choice for areas with excessive steam or dampness

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Eshine Led Dimmable Under Cabinet Lighting via merchant

Best Wireless Under-Cabinet Lighting

Motion-Activated Cabinet Light

If you want your under cabinet lights to function as a night light, or simply kick on as you approach, check out EShine’s motion-activated light. Wave your hand to brighten up any space with 430 lumens. If that’s too much, hold your hand near the sensor to dim the light as needed.

Available in cool or warm white, both models come dimmable and run from a standard 120-volt outlet. The wireless lights are installed with screw mounts or double-sided tape.

Pros

  • Touch-free brightness control
  • Available in two colors
  • Installed without marring cabinets

Cons

  • Steam can potentially activate the light by accident

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Brilliant Evolution Wired Under Cabinet Lights 12 In Plug In Led Under Cabinet Light Bar Light With Remote via merchant

Best Remote-Controlled Under-Cabinet Lighting

Brilliant Evolution Bar Lights

Want touchless control over your lights without cluttering your phone with yet another app? This six-pack of 12-inch bar lights from Brilliant Evolution keeps things simple. Power the lights by plugging them into a standard electrical outlet and daisy-chain them from there. We especially like that the daisy-chain cables come in lengths of six-, 18-, 30- and 50-inches.

There’s also a three-inch connector so you can mix-and-match cables to get the perfect length. The LEDs are a warm white, which gives off a combined 2,190 lumens. Best of all, the lights are controlled by a 10-button remote. The remote is small enough to tuck away but large enough for easy button identification.

Pros

  • Remote works up to 50 feet away
  • Optional timer with four settings
  • Mounts with tape or screws

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

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Best Peel-and-Stick Under-Cabinet Lighting

Circular LED Cabinet Lights

If easy installation is on your wish list, you can’t beat Eshine’s easy peel-and-stick under-counter lighting. Available in daylight or warm white models, this six-pack of ultra-slim puck lights runs off a central hub that plugs into a standard outlet. The hub design means that you can’t daisy-chain them, but each light has a 19-inch cord so they cover a large area. The six combined lights produce 900 lumens, more than enough to illuminate almost any countertop workspace.

Pros

  • Reliable double-sided 3M adhesive patches
  • Hand wave sensor offers touch-free operation
  • Dimmable

Cons

  • Some users may prefer a manual switch over motion control

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Best LED Under-Cabinet Lighting

Lepotec 50-LED Cabinet Light Bars

If you love the idea of wireless under-cabinet lighting but hate the thought of chucking used batteries into a landfill, these rechargeable Lepotec lights are the answer. Charge the batteries with the USB adapter and this two-pack of LED lights will light up your countertop (or the inside of dark closets, cupboards, etc., the uses are endless!). They also provide hands-free operation and a motion-activated night light.

Pros

  • Charge without having to remove the lights
  • Motion sensor setting optional
  • Convenient charging indicator light

Cons

  • Some users complain of frequent recharging

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Best Smart Under Cabinet Lighting

Kasa Smart Premium LED Light Strip

Kitchens are a workspace and gathering area, and your kitchen lighting should address both needs. The Kasa Smart Premium LED Light Strip covers both functions. Hands-free operation means you’ll never fumble with a light switch again while working with wet or greasy hands. This kit comes with a light strip and power adapter that plugs into any standard outlet.

Connect the lights to your WiFi, and use any voice assistant to activate or adjust the lights as needed. No smart speaker? Then use the free Kasa app to control the lights from your smartphone. The app also works with editor-tested Kasa finds like their light switches and smart plugs. Enjoy a full range of brightness, hues and color temperatures. Set a custom balance or use a preset mode for cooking or entertaining.

Pros

  • Controlled by your voice, an app or manual switch
  • Produces 1400 lumens
  • Easy to cut to size

Cons

  • Complicated for users who want a more straightforward operation

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Best Under-Cabinet Lighting for Plants

LED Plant Grow Light Strips

Installing LED grow lights under cabinets is a recent trend that’s gaining traction among folks who like farming their own herbs and vegetables indoors. Grow lights, like these LED plant grow light strips, are installed similarly to other under-cabinet lighting using double-sided tape. Four brightness levels provide ample lighting for any plant stage, from seedling to harvest time.

The lights emit all wavelengths, including blue, red and green, which promote chlorophyll production and seedling development. Available in either a pinkish glow or yellow hue, each of the 96 LEDs mimics true sunlight for healthy plant growth.

Pros

  • Easy to install using the included adhesive
  • Mimics sunlight for healthy plant growth
  • Link together or mount separately

Cons

  • No timer included, but compatible with timers purchased separately

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Xenon Under Cabinet Light Bar via merchant

Best Hardwired Under-Cabinet Lighting

Xenon Under-Cabinet Light Bar

Some folks prefer LEDs for their modern look, brighter lights and long lifespan. However, some still prefer xenon and halogen thanks to better quality control options that affect temperature and color output. For those unwilling to make the switch to LED for their kitchen and bathroom lighting, this xenon under-cabinet light bar is the perfect pick.

The bar hardwires in and provides a warm glow. An easily accessible hinged top provides access to the interior of the bar, making it easy to swap out xenon bulbs. In addition, the design keeps airflow in mind to minimize the heat xenon lights are notorious for.

Pros

  • Less heat output than traditional xenon lights
  • Provides 1125 lumens of light
  • Rated for up to 3,500 hours of runtime per bulb

Cons

  • Not rated for damp conditions

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Under Cabinet Lighting Bright Kitchen
Courtesy @styledesignboulevard/Instagram

What to Consider When Buying Under-Cabinet Lighting

“There are several considerations when buying under cabinet lighting,” says McCoy. “First, determine if it is to help create task lighting or if the lighting is to help create ambiance. This will help determine lighting placement, bulb type and fixture style.”

To ensure you choose the best under-cabinet lighting option for your space, take the time to consider a few factors before purchasing. Apart from aesthetics and taking measurements, we recommend checking safety ratings and energy efficiency standards so that you can rest assured that your new lighting system is up to code.

Think about how comfortable you are with different types of installation. If you’re not an experienced DIY-er, consider going with a model that’s simple to install, like peel-and-stick lights. Plug-and-play models are also relatively straightforward to install, you simply plug them into a standard power outlet.

If you have the electrical experience and want to create a sleek, seamless look, think about choosing a model that can be hardwired into your home’s existing power supply. Some under cabinet lights use batteries, which eliminates wiring, but then requires periodic replacement.

Also, keep in mind how much light you need. If you want to ensure you’re providing as much light as possible, go with the highest lumen output. For those choosing under-cabinet lighting for aesthetics—or those using it as a night light—lumens are less of a priority.

Why You Should Trust Us

Having spent more than five years as a residential and commercial carpenter in NYC, specializing in custom furniture construction and installation, I use my hands-on experience and expert insight to craft product reviews, buying guides, and how-to articles. This includes installing custom under-cabinet lighting.

Emily Way is an associate shopping editor for Family Handyman with experience researching products and recommending the best designs to consumers. She researched and updated this piece. Way consulted Gary McCoy, Lowe’s lighting expert. As a store manager with decades of experience in the home improvement industry, McCoy is an expert across all product categories, including under-cabinet lighting.

How We Found the Best Under-Cabinet Lighting

We researched hundreds of under-cabinet lighting options, taking into account the different types, cost and desired look. Then, we spoke to a home expert to clarify what makes under-cabinet lighting a good bargain (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we combed through user reviews to see how real people interact with under-cabinet lighting.

FAQs

How does under-cabinet lighting work?

Under-cabinet lighting works by either plugging directly into a standard power outlet, hardwiring into your home’s existing power supply or using batteries. Some feature an internal battery, which can be recharged via USB. Hardwiring is the most intensive installation method and requires an electrician, but it provides a clean, wire-free look. It also allows users to operate with a wall switch (or a smart switch) and provides dimming capabilities.

For non-hardwired lighting that requires installation, the process is relatively simple. According to McCoy, adding accent lighting under a cabinet is similar to the process of wiring other kitchen lighting fixtures. “Puck lights, tape lights and rope lights all have different methods of installation and usage. Plug-in and battery lights are extremely DIY friendly for installation and quick gratification, but hardwired lights require a skilled electrician for installation, ” he says.

Does under-cabinet lighting add value to a home?

Yes, under-cabinet lights can definitely add value to your home. When installed correctly, it’s a sophisticated look that adds a high-end feel to a kitchen. The soft glow can also draw the eye to an impressive backsplash, while also making a room feel taller and more spacious.

Considering its relatively low cost, under-cabinet lighting is a small investment with a big return, whether for yourself or future owners. It’s important to note that professionally installed fixtures or lighting without wires or cords obviously adds more value than quickly mounted tape lights plugged into a visible outlet.

How many under-cabinet lights do I need?

It’s best to maintain a consistent, uniform look across all your cabinets, so you’ll need to purchase as many units as needed to stretch the length of your cabinets. According to the Lighting Research Center, “Select the longest length that will fit in the shortest-length cabinet and then use multiple fixtures of the same length to cover the cabinet.” For puck lights, they recommend one unit for every eight to 12 inches of cabinet length.

Similarly, McCoy advises that the number of lights needed will depend on the size and layout of your space. “The amount of cabinet lights needed for a space is dependent on both the amount of real estate available underneath a cabinet area and how much light is desired,” he says. “Different types of under-cabinet lights all vary in brightness and length. Generally, rope lights are sold in 12-, 24- and 120-volt variants to help give a variety as to how bright the light will be.”