10 Best Under Cabinet Lighting Options
Under cabinet lights are perfect for illuminating countertop workspaces and setting an ambient mood. Here are 10 noteworthy options.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Family Handyman, via retailers (3)
Buying Under Cabinet Lighting
- Power source. Is the light 120-volt, low-voltage or battery powered? If it’s 120-volt, is it direct wired or plug-in?
- Type of light. There are many options on the market, including LED strips, LED bulbs, incandescent bulbs and fluorescent or halogen bulbs. LEDs are the most energy efficient. For more, check out our guide to light bulbs.
- Modular installation. Some 120-volt and low-voltage under cabinet lights can be connected or daisy-chained together, making installation easier and requiring less outlet access.
- Purpose of lighting. If you’re lighting a work space, choose stronger, more direct lights positioned where your head or hands can’t cast shadows on your work area. If it’s an eating or accent area, then color and temperature of the light is more important than the positioning.
- Convenience. Some lights come with a remote control or motion sensor. Some are dimmable or offer a range of color display options.
Best Light Bar Under Cabinet Lighting
A light bar or strip light puts down a wide, uniform bank of light, perfect for lighting a workspace or kitchen countertop. ETi’s 18-in. LED Under Cabinet Light also rotates up to 90 degrees, allowing you to direct the light in a way that avoids shadows on your work space.
This 120-volt light can be plugged into an outlet or hardwired to a circuit. Its modular construction lets you link multiple bar lights from a single power source. It’s dimmable and sheds a soft white light. This Energy Star light is rated for damp locations and comes with a five-year warranty.
Best Puck Under Cabinet Lighting
Another popular style of under cabinet light is puck lighting, so named because they resemble hockey pucks. This three-LED Puck Light from Commercial Electric runs on 120-volt electricity (plugged-in or hardwired), draws less than 10 watts of power, and allows you to daisy-chain up to 10 pucks from a single power source.
Each puck offers three color temperatures (warm white, soft white and bright white) determined by a switch on the back of the unit. Much like the previous bar light, these are Energy Star rated and come with a five-year warranty. Note: These aren’t damp rated, so they’re not the best choice for areas with excessive steam or dampness.
Best Battery-Powered Light-Bar Style Under Cabinet Lighting
If you love the idea of an under cabinet light but lack a convenient outlet or junction box, consider the Ecolight 12-in. Light Bar. 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. The six-year warranty is a nice touch. Mounting options include fastener-free installation with double-sided tape.
Like most battery-powered lights, this product produces less light to extend battery life. It only sheds about 80 lumens, compared to the 500 lumens from the hardwired ECi model listed earlier. But if you don’t need bright, vibrant light, this affordable under cabinet bar light is a great choice.
Best LED Tape Under Cabinet Lighting
For the ultimate in hidden under cabinet lights, consider an LED tape light. Good Earth Lighting’s Tape Light is a perfect example of this format’s strengths.
Self-adhesive and flexible, a single eight-foot length can be trimmed and rejoined to fit your space. It plugs into a standard 110-volt outlet. At full brightness and length it produces 930 lumens at a warm 3,000 K color temperature. And if that’s too much light, the included dimmer switch will help you determine the perfect balance for your location.
Best Under Cabinet Lighting for Kitchens
Kitchens are a work space and gathering area, and your kitchen lighting should address both needs. The Philips Tunable WiFi-Connected 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 can plug into a 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 WiZ app to control the lights from your smart phone.
Enjoy a full range of brightness, hues and color temperatures. Set a custom balance or use a preset mode for cooking or entertaining. (Note: This is not compatible with the Philips Hue app.)
Best Motion-Sensing Under Cabinet Lighting
If you want your under cabinet light to function as a night light, or simply kick on as you approach, check out the EShine Motion-Activated Cabinet Light. Wave your hand to brighten up your work 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 are dimmable and run from a standard 120-volt outlet. The lights can be installed with screw mounts or double-sided tape.
Best Remote-Controlled Under Cabinet Lighting
Want touchless control over your lights without cluttering your phone with yet another app? This six-pack of 12-in. Bar Lights from Brilliant Evolution keeps things simple.
Power the lights by plugging into a standard 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 that give off a combined 2,190 lumens. Best of all, it’s controlled by a ten-button remote that’s small enough to tuck away, but large enough to easily read the labels.
Best Under Cabinet Lighting for a Workshop
For most under cabinet lights, a DIY workshop is a hazardous landscape filled with dust, debris and the occasional bits of flying wood or metal. Luckily, these rugged LED Puck Lights from Westek are up to the task!
The magnetic backing lets you attach it to any convenient metal surface, and the tap-to-activate control puts lighting at your fingertips. The rugged casing withstands abuse and cuts down on dust penetration. It’s powered by AAA batteries with estimated 20-hour run time on full brightness — longer if used in dim mode as a night light.
The brightness level is our only quibble. Full power is 50 lumens, sufficient for direct light on a task but not enough to illuminate a full workspace. That makes it a useful accessory rather than a primary illuminator.
Best Peel-and-Stick Under Cabinet Lighting
If easy installation is on your wishlist, you can’t beat the LE Peel-and-Stick Under Cabinet Lights.
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 an eight-foot cord so they cover a large area. All six combined produce 1,020 lumens of light, more than enough to illuminate almost any countertop work space.
Best Rechargeable Motion-Sensing Under Cabinet Lighting
If you love the idea of wireless under cabinet light but hate the thought of chucking used batteries into a landfill, consider these Rechargeable Under Cabinet Lights from Otinlai.
Charge the batteries with a USB adapter and this three-pack of LED lights will light up your countertop. They also provide hands-free operation and a motion-activated night light.