Under cabinet lighting from Phantom Lighting offers premium quality undercabinet light with LED or Xenon festoon lamps, custom designed for every application. The lighting strip illuminates the work area below with the fixture installed on the underside of the cabinet. Ideally, under cabinet lighting fixtures should minimize their physical presence and conceal physical wiring as much as possible. While undercabinet lighting is technically geared toward practical activity, it is important to maintain aesthetic harmony with the surrounding environment and also produce the right type of illumination over the work area. Countertops and food preparation need an evenly distributed field of linear lighting rather than hot spots of light that appear brighter than the rest of the work area. The under cabinet light should blend comfortably with the general lighting of the room without producing discomforting glare.
Until recently, the most cost effective under cabinet lights were fluorescent. In fact, fluorescent was the lighting industry’s power saving mainstay since being invented in the early 20th century. People never really preferred them to incandescents because of the glare and flicker they became notorious for producing. Today, better circuit designs and superior fixtures have since made it possible to use Xenon and LED replacement bulbs in under cabinet strip lighting fixtures. Low voltage technology can also make any bulb type less of a power hog. Selecting LED under cabinet lighting now requires more of a designer’s eye than an electrical engineer’s technical skills. The ultimate goal in choosing the right fixture has now moved toward producing optimal lighting levels for work areas and creating balance and comfort with surrounding layers of light.
Under cabinet lights fall into one of two categories: puck lights and linear strip lights. Puck lights are circular in shape and mount in the center of the cabinet’s under side. Linear strips mount underneath either on the front end or the back end of the cabinet. Until recent years, display cabinet lights used fluorescent lamps designed to create an even spread of light and reduce energy costs at the same time. Both types of fixtures now, however, present certain drawbacks when it comes to optimal under cabinet lighting.
Puck under cabinet display lights experience difficulty creating an even field of illumination. If a puck light is installed in the center of the cabinet underside, it will create a bright circle of light called a “hot spot” immediately beneath itself. Also, by design, surface puck lights require exposed wiring and low voltage transformers that may be unsightly and appear as an afterthought. If sitting at tables, banquets or bar stools, one’s viewing angle changes and provides a clear view of these light sources. The only way to compensate for this is to install several of smaller puck lights in a series. Why do this if you can use a strip light products? In fact, with only rare exceptions, linear LED strip lights for under cabinet generally provide the best levels and distribution of light all around. Fluorescents will fit the bill in many respects, but in many instances will also create glare and seldom come with dimmable functionality. Furthermore, fluorescent strips are typically mounted near the back wall with the light thrown forward; putting too much illumination into a person’s eyes from a sitting position.
Phantom LED strips for under cabinet lighting offer a number of advantages over both fluorescent strips and puck lights. For one, Phantom strips mount near the front of the cabinet and throw the light backward. This keeps the light from directly blinding the eyes works very well on surfaces such as granite and marble countertops that are highly reflective by nature.
Phantom CM Series linear strips can be added on top of cabinets as a form of cove lighting, to complement the under cabinet lighting. This technique creates an added dimension to the overall effect of kitchen cabinet lighting.
Because each under cabinet light strip uses lamps that snap readily into the light strip itself, they do not require inconvenient bulb replacements that are common with puck lights. Also, unlike halogen bulbs in puck lights that become easily damaged by the oil from human fingers, Phantom lamps of all varieties (incandescent lamps, xenon lamps, and LED light bulbs, are designed to be handled and switched out by the end user without hassle to the person or damage to equipment.
Phantom strips are factory cut to the exact physical dimensions of the under cabinet surface. Light therefore mimics the contour of its surroundings more harmoniously, and glare and power savings combine into one chic, unobtrusive fixture that hides itself and lights the task at hand. Visit our lighting blog or contact us at 1-800-863-1184 to learn more about Phantom Lighting.