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A Comprehensive Guide to Kitchen Counter Lighting

As the place where family and friends gather to share meals and memories, the kitchen is often considered the heart of a home. With modern kitchen cabinet lighting, a homeowner can make the most inviting room feel even warmer and cozier. Whether a kitchen is French traditional or modern and minimal, the right combination of cabinet lighting can elevate the design to a whole new level. Phantom’s Elite and Ultra lighting systems can be customized to create any number of styles to complement any kitchen layout or design. In the hands of a talented designer and installer, like Phantom LED strips can be custom built for any space and offer a cohesive fit.

To summarize, there are three types of kitchen lighting in relation to the cabinetry:

  1. Cove Lighting (Above Cabinetry) Fixtures placed above shelving or cabinetry provide an extra layer of illumination that fills the space. Because they are installed close to the ceiling, the fixtures bounce light off the top of the room and illuminate the whole room. Similar to the visual effects of cove lighting, this adds dimension and depth to any room. Please click here to read more about the aesthetic benefits of cove lighting in the kitchen.
  2. Display Lighting (Within Cabinetry) Fixtures placed inside shelving or glass-front cabinets are ideal for displaying decor items or precious dishes because they highlight the detail of ceramic or China and give glassware an ethereal glow. Our Elite and Ultra recessed lighting strips are available in a range of color temperatures, so they can be customized to bring out the best in your decor.
  3. Countertop Lighting (Below Cabinetry) Fixtures that are placed under shelving units are also known as task systems, as they provide function as well as form. Task fixture systems provide spot illumination for countertops, making it easier for people to prepare food and clean. Task fixtures, like most other LED strip systems, are designed to remain concealed.

In this article, we’ll be taking a specific and comprehensive look at the features and benefits of countertop lighting, also known as task lighting or under-cabinet lighting.

One of the easiest ways to make a major visual upgrade to a kitchen is with under-cabinet lighting. This technology is perfect for filling in those dark spots in the kitchen with bright, warm illumination, and it can greatly improve the room’s look and feel with no construction necessary. But kitchens are only one application, as the fixtures can also be useful in work spaces, pantries and commercial settings. No matter where the technology is placed, it will improve the room’s form and function without requiring constant maintenance.


The Benefits of Kitchen Counter Lighting

Increased Efficiency – Under-cabinet lighting used to be delivered with incandescent or fluorescent fixtures, but this is no longer the case. Now, LED strips are considered the superior choice, as they provide more output, better efficiency, and better precision than older technologies. With their ultra-low profile, they are easy to hide from view, and the average LED fixture lasts more than twice as long as an incandescent bulb, and it will retain its look even when it is close to burning out.

LED under-cabinet kitchen lights can also play a contributing role in reducing cooling costs. Most people who invest in under cabinet fixtures tend to want to leave them on in the kitchen if and when it is safe to do so. A hot-burning light source is going to trigger the thermostat to activate the HVAC system, driving up power bills in the process. However, LED bulbs emit light electronically, rather than chemically, through the ignition of gas in a sealed glass container. This makes them a very low-heat source of illumination, perfectly safe to burn throughout the night, and negligible in terms of impact on room temperature.

Increased Aesthetics – Kitchen counter lighting is essential to the aesthetics of a well-designed kitchen and provides much needed illumination for kitchen tasks. Dark spots beneath cabinets make it very difficult to work with cutlery, read measurements, and distinguish ingredients easily. Food preparation is therefore hindered and can become unsafe without an adequate source of glare-free under-cabinet light. It becomes even more difficult if the light is unevenly distributed or brighter in some places than in others. When designed and installed by professionals, task illumination can make a room feel more sophisticated, more spacious, and even cleaner.

Concealment is necessary because these fixtures are usually installed at eye level. Of course, because they are at eye level, they can be just as functional as aesthetically pleasing – they make the room look better, feel better, and function better. LED task lighting strips are perfect for the kitchen, where they can be installed behind a piece of trim and fitted to the cabinet. The aiming trim, which Phantom Lighting can provide, will ensure the fixture is metered properly and won’t overpower the space. With metal glare shields softening the illumination, there aren’t any distracting shadows present.

Increased Functionality – Besides the aesthetic appeal of under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, there is a functional improvement to be had. Better lighting improves the safety and efficiency of the cooking process – from chopping vegetables to measuring ingredients, a well-lit workspace is always a good thing to have. With our dimmable task lighting system, the perfect light output levels can be achieved for any situation – dimmed low for mood lighting at a dinner party, set to medium for trying out that new recipe, and put on high for deep-cleaning the counters.

Increased Versatility – Outside of the kitchen, there are still plenty of applications where Phantom’s under-cabinet lighting can bring about major improvement. Home offices, garages, and other work spaces are some examples of great places to have additional lighting in a residential setting. Larger homes that have features such as cocktail bars, wine cellars, butlers’ pantries, or walk-in closets offer even more opportunities to improve both function and form with the right lighting. In a business, like a doctor’s or attorney’s personal office, under-cabinet lighting not only adds to the function of a built-in desk, but also elevates the overall ambiance and adds an extra element of professionalism to the experience.


Phantom’s countertop lighting makes the whole room look like it’s glowing, and not just merely blasted with bright illumination. It’s the kind of effect that will draw people into the space. To get started with a design plan for the countertops in your home or office, give us a call toll-free at 800-863-1184 or fill out the Request a Quote form on our website.