Building our retirement home. SWMBO wants lighting on bottom of upper
kitchen cabinets and I prefer European style cabinets without a face frame.
Would much appreciate any suggestions for some kind of lighting
configuration or type that won't look awkward considering there's no face
frame to hide the lights and/or wiring.
May build the carcasses myself and farm out doors and drawers so if there's
some way I should build them to alleviate my problem, please advise.
Many thanks in advance.
If you don't mind the extra work, you can build a double bottom in a
European style, with a 1" space between the layers, and install recessed
halogen puck lights with remote transformers. I've done it a few times and
they look great. If you don't mind a fairly thin self-contained halogen
fixture, Juno makes the absolutely best ones I've ever used. They're called
something like "pro halogen", or Xenon, if you prefer. These fixtures come
with jacks built in on both sides, so you can snap an entire row together
without seeing cables or connectors. They work particularly well on European
You'll need about a 1" overhang (or valance) to effectively hide the
lights. You don't want any glare hitting you in the face. There are
now LEDs which take very little space. Rope lights might be what you
want, but I'd give LED a strong consideration for less heat, compact
size, availability and long-term cost. Some types of lighting may be
harsh, eerie or leave weird shadows, depending on what you have, so
maybe a temporary setup will be worthwhile.
As a side note: I built a 13-foot window valance so I can put
indirect lighting on top of it. After much experimentation it turned
out that a cheap string of multi-colored Christmas lights gave the
warm white T8 flourescent are great and 75% more efficent than halogen
or incandesant, In a kitchen you generate alot of heat, and halogens
are hot and hard on the AC and bill. I use them under and above
cabinets. With no board hanging down all lighting will be visable.
1. Build the cabinets with the bottoms about 3" above the bottom of the
sides and back.
2. Put a valence strip under the bottom so that it is flush with sides and
3. Install cabinet(s)
4. Drill a hole thru the back under the bottom and feed thru romex
5. Wire in a single bulb fluorescent fixture and attach it to the back.
Decide on the fixture to be used before building the boxes as some of them
require more room than others.
Some years ago I got a short fluorescent for under my cabinet, over the
range. Makes a world of difference. About five bucks at Walmart. Or fifteen
bucks at Home Depot.
I've not tried the new LED under the counter lights. They may be OK. I like
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.