3 Ways To Light Your Kitchen Cabinets


The space above your kitchen cabinets is easy to ignore but lighting this often-forgotten area of the kitchen can make the space look professionally designed. By illuminating this spot you add visual interest to the room while giving it dimension. Fixtures positioned here give the illusion of height and make the kitchen as a whole feel larger. LED strip lighting or under-cabinet lighting (sometimes known as puck lights or even cabinet downlights) work best to cast an inviting glow on the wall and ceiling above. The fixtures themselves won’t be seen but the illumination they offer has a dramatic impact on the look and feel of the space. Selecting LEDs for this area of the home is a must because they don’t get hot and won’t damage your cabinet or start a fire.


Under-cabinet lighting looks luxurious but it’s also highly functional. When standing at the kitchen counter preparing food or reading from a recipe book, you have your back to the ceiling light source, limiting the amount of illumination that reaches your counter-top. Under-cabinet fixtures bathe your counter-top in light so you can see what you are doing. But remember – their position is key when installing them. If your goal is to highlight a decorative backsplash or storage jars or impressive appliances on the counter, then position the fixture at the back of the cabinet near the wall. If task lighting is more important to you then install them towards the front of the cabinet. As with over-cabinet lighting, strip lights or under-cabinet lighting work best here.

Keep in mind that the light should be spread evenly across the counter so use the longest fixture that fits or, if using under-cabinet fixtures, space them out evenly. You’ll also want to match the temperature of your under-cabinet lighting to that of your ceiling lights to achieve a cohesive look.


Open cabinets and glass front cabinets housing attractive crockery or decorative glassware benefit from having accent lighting installed inside. Strip lights and puck lights both work well in this space – the former illuminates the entire interior cabinet, while the latter creates more of a spotlight effect.

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