Under Kitchen Cabinet Lighting . Space Issues?

Hey all. We are thinking of redoing our kitchen and were thinking that under cabinet lighting would be a nice addition. I know that the hardwired version uses a transformer, but my big question is do the lights mounted under the cabinet protrude up into the cabinets and take away space? (kind of defeats the purpose)
The lights I saw at the diy store seem kind of big to go under the cabinets.
any help or personal experience would be appreciated. Thanks
--
Dragonfire


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I just finished a kitchen remodel and did a lot of research, mostly by Googling and using forums such as this, and looked at lots of setups in lighting stores and in remodeled and new houses in my area. Settled on the Kichler series of low voltage undercabinet modular Xenon lights, with similar spectrum to halogen. We are totally happy with the effect, and their utility. They come in several lengths and number of bulbs per unit, so can be tailored to the cabinet lengths you have. I used everything from the single bulb unit, up to the four bulb unit. They have two position rocker switches, for subtle and bright work light level, but are gang switched to a wall switch for convenience. The light boxes have diffuser glass windows, come in a few color choices, and self contained stepdown transformers, modular plug in wires, and compact plastic junction boxes to hook up the 110v pigtails to the modular wiring. We had the cabinets made with 1 1/2 inch lips, so the one-inch thick light boxes are hidden, unless you are near floor level. The electrician left 110v romex pigtails sticking out under each run of cabinets, all switched to the switch at the kitchen entrance - and tend to mostly leave the boxes on the low light rocker setting (it would have been better located at the sink!) I got the units at Reliance Lighting (www.rlights.com) in Salt Lake City. They have competitive prices and are super to work with. I generally found the lighting choices at big box stores really wanting, and cheap looking. I tended to go to high end lighting-only stores, look at real set ups, consult with my electrician, who has installed thousands of lights, then go to the internet for the best prices. I bought literally all my electrical and most plumbing on the net. When making large orders, many online retailers feature free shipping. Bottom Line, very little is given up for the small space needed for the lights, and the lights are essential in my view, as no ceiling light will penetrate under the cabinets.
Don't forget potential other lighting needs. We put strings of incandescent rope lights on the top of the cabinets behind the crown moulding to kill the dark areas of the kitchen corners, halogen spots over the sink area, and about 15 ceiling compact low voltage halogen track lights for general lighting. The halogen track fixtures we got from www.eclecticlighting.com , a Texas company. They have good prices on bulbs of all focal lengths and wattages, but from time to time have slow shipping times. Good Luck.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Self contained units like Roger described are the easiest to install and wire. He used Kitchler brand, but there are a number of companies that make similar types. Wac makes one which uses 120 volt lamps and no transformer as well. In my experience I've found the fluorescent models problematic, the halogen very nice but to hot, and the Xenon all around excellent

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know what type of lights you are looking at, but we have a $10 thin fluorescent light that does the job. Two screws to hold it and plug it in.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
When I did my remodel 12 years ago, I used the "thin" 7 watt fluorescents. I mounted them in the 1" space under the cabinet. I also built a thin wood cover to finish the cabinet bottom, leaving a hole for the light. I had to add about 1/8" finished wood spacer between the cabinet bottom and the new cover to make it all work. I think I actually saw some new 7 watt units which were even thinner than mine, so the spacer wouldn't be necessary. Some may question the small wattage (7 watts), however, we find them quite adequate.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.