The 7 Best Under-Cabinet Lighting Options of 2022 to Illuminate Your Kitchen Countertops

Instantly brighten your countertop workspaces and set an ambient mood with the TorchStar Voice Control Smart LED Safe Lighting Kit.

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Best Under-Cabinet Lighting Options

Amazon

Good lighting goes a long way in any room of your home—but especially in the kitchen. Well-lit kitchen countertops provide a pleasant place to prepare meals and gather with friends and family.

While quality overhead lighting is important, it’s not the only place you should concentrate on. “The benefits of under-cabinet lighting are tremendous,” says Tim Vislay, director of sales for the Showroom Channel at Legrand. “It gives you light directly on the work surfaces as you prepare meals and eliminates shadows that can be created by your overhead lighting.”

There are myriad options available when it comes to under-cabinet lighting—built-in, strip, puck, and battery-powered, among others. To save you time and effort, we’ve put together a list of the best under-cabinet lighting you can buy today, taking into account factors like power source and installation, lighting type, and added features.

Our top pick is the TorchStar Voice Control Smart LED Safe Lighting Kit because it offers exceptional brightness and is easy to install. It also features a timer setting that allows you to schedule when your light strip turns on and off.

To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best under-cabinet lighting currently on the market.

Best Overall: TorchStar Voice Control Smart LED Safe Lighting Kit

TorchStar Voice Control Smart LED Safe Lighting Kit

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This strip lighting system is affordable, easy to install, and comes with six lighting bars.

Keep in Mind: The power cord is just under 5 feet long, which might be on the short side for larger kitchens.

Whether you’re baking cakes or mixing cocktails, the TorchStar Voice Control LED Safe Lighting Kit will help you enjoy more time in your kitchen. Our overall choice for the best under-cabinet lighting, this kit comes with six lighting bars, with each bar containing 18 pieces of high-quality LED chips that give off 150 lumens of brightness while using just 1.8 watts of energy.

The slim design makes this lighting strip perfect for a corner application, hiding seamlessly under counters and behind cabinet doors. Double-sided 3M tape backing and connector ends allow for easy installation and joining multiple strips together with the same power adapter, helping you tackle any size kitchen. Two mounting ears on each strip can be easily reinforced by screws (not included).

Other notable features include 0–100% dimming capability, timer function, and Alexa compatibility, letting you easily control your lighting system via voice commands such as, “Alexa, dim lights by 50%.” Smartphone app control is also available, which means you can switch the lights on and off or dim them whenever you are connected to WiFi.

Price at time of publish: $56

Product Details:

  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 0.59 x 0.41 inches per lighting bar
  • Wattage: 10.8W per lighting bar
  • Lumens: 150 per lighting bar
  • Color: Daylight (5000K)

Best Budget: Brilliant Evolution 8.5-Inch Under Cabinet Light Bar

Brilliant Evolution 8.5-Inch Under Cabinet Light Bar

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This light strip takes seconds to install.

Keep in Mind: The light requires three AA Batteries, which are not included.

If you’re looking for the best under-cabinet lighting for a small kitchen—or a specific area of a larger kitchen—consider this battery-operated LED wireless light strip by Brilliant Evolution.

Priced at under $20, this light is super bright and long-lasting, emitting a warm, white glow that’s perfect for brightening areas like your sink or stovetop. This LED bar light operates on three AA batteries (not included) and has a run time of over 100 hours. Turn your lights on and off by simply tapping the lens. You can also use the included remote control for added convenience. Installation is easy with adhesive tape or screws (both included).

Keep in mind these aren’t the longest lighting strips, measuring 8.5 inches long. This means you’ll need quite a few of them to illuminate your entire countertop, depending on the size of your kitchen. And because they run on batteries, they’re also not the best option if you plan on having them on for prolonged periods.

Price at time of publish: $14

Product Details:

  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 2 x 0.9 inches 
  • Wattage: 1W
  • Lumens: 65
  • Color: Warm white (3000K)

Best Splurge: EShine 12-Inch LED 3000K White Under-Cabinet Lighting

EShine 12-Inch LED 3000K White Under-Cabinet Lighting

Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: Light up your kitchen counters with (literally) the wave of a hand.

Keep in Mind: Only the 12-pack comes in 24 volt. The brand also sells a six-pack that comes in 12 volt. Be careful not to mix up voltage if you’re connecting multiple sets.

These 12-inch under-cabinet lights from EShine are a great option for anyone looking to add a bit of opulence to their kitchen. This 12-light set offers a 42-watt power supply in two color options—warm white and cool white.

Easily turn on/off with the wave of your hand thanks to a convenient IR sensor that acts as a controller unit for the rest of the lights in the chain. You can also gradually adjust to your desired level of brightness by simply holding your hand underneath the sensor – no need to wash your hands or reach for a remote.

When it comes to installation, this all-inclusive, expandable kit comes with everything you'll need for a quick install. Included is a full complement of screws, wire clips, and 3M stickers. Just be sure to position the sensor about an inch from the lip of the cabinet to ensure a good scan every time. Each LED bar has 30 LEDs and 230 Lumens brightness.

It’s important to note that EShine offers a variety of lighting kits. Due to voltage differences, these lights are not compatible with 12-Volt DC panels. If you plan to use any other accessories, you will want to make sure it is compatible with 24-volt.

Price at time of publish: $160

Product Details:

  • Product Dimensions: 11.81 x 0.38 x 1.13 inches per light
  • Wattage: 42W for all 12 lights
  • Lumens: 230 per light
  • Color: Warm white (3000K) and cool white (6000K)

Best Hardwired: UltraPro 48-Inch Direct Wire LED Light Fixture

UltraPro 48-Inch Direct Wire LED Light Fixture

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These lights don’t require plugging into an outlet, and they have no visible cords.

Keep in Mind: The installation for these lights is more extensive than other options on our list, so it may not be the best option if you aren’t DIY-savvy. We recommend hiring a pro.

Looking for the best under-cabinet lighting that’s hardwired? Take a look at this light from UltraPro. Hardwiring under-cabinet lighting is more complicated than installing other plug-and-play options. However, the result—no visible cords or power adapters using up your wall outlets—lends to a clean look that’s desirable in a kitchen.

The UltraPro 48-Inch Direct Wire LED Light Fixture offers a high-powered diffused LED light source with three color options: 2700K (soft), 3000K (bright), and 5000K (daylight). Whether it's a warm white light for ambiance or a cooler daylight look for functionality, you can customize your space to fit your needs and aesthetic. We also like the sleek, non-bulky design, which fits well with most kitchen cabinets.

Included is all the hardware needed for installation, including a direct wire for easy operation from a wall switch. Strain relief screws also help streamline the direct-wire process and keep your wiring setup safe and secure.

Keep in mind that these lights may be difficult to install if you’re not familiar with DIY wiring. We recommend hiring an electrician to ensure proper and safe installation.

Price at time of publish: $69

Product Details:

  • Product Dimensions: ‎48.82 x 3.15 x 1.5 inches 
  • Wattage: 20.6W
  • Lumens: 1585
  • Color: Three setting options: 2700K, 3000K, and 5000K

Best Rechargeable: SZOKLED Wireless Under Cabinet Lighting (Pack of Four)

SZOKLED Wireless Under Cabinet Lighting (Pack of Four)

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Magnet strips make installing these lights a breeze.

Keep in Mind: A full charge can take about two hours.

Battery-operated lighting is convenient until you find yourself out of replacement batteries. With this rechargeable lighting option by Szokled, you’ll save time, money, and the stress that comes with constantly remembering to buy batteries.

This pack includes four lights that are as simple and convenient as they come—each light is made up of 10 pure white LEDs with 100 lumens and 10 warm LEDs with 100 lumens, creating an ideal layer of color. The lights are easy to operate via the included remote with an on/off switch, dimming option, timer, and color change mode.

Turn on your entire set of lights using “auto” mode, or choose from three different color options –3000K, 4500K, or 6000K. You can also navigate through 10 levels of brightness, from 10% to 100%.

Preserve battery life by using the timer function. Automatic shut-off is available after 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Keep in mind that lights will turn off after 90 minutes if there is no timer setting selected.

We also love the included magnetic strip that makes these lights extremely easy to install—no hammers, drills, or screws are needed. These lights require four lithium-ion batteries (included) and take about two hours to fully recharge. The batteries can power the lights at 100% brightness for eight to nine hours before needing a charging session.

Price at time of publish: $41

Product Details:

  • Product Dimensions: ‎7.5 x 1.3 x 0.59 inches per light
  • Wattage: 1.5W
  • Lumens: 200 per light
  • Color: Three setting options: 3000K (soft), 4500K (bright), and 6000K (daylight)

Best Puck Lights: Brilliant Evolution Stick-On LED Lights (Pack of 6)

Brilliant Evolution Stick-On LED Lights (Pack of 6)

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These spotlights provide a high-end feel at a very accessible price.

Keep in Mind: Each individual light takes three AAA batteries.

Sometimes lighting is more about aesthetics than functionality. If you’re looking to add a bit of luxury to your kitchen without investing too much time or money, these LED puck lights are a great option.

Unlike strip lights, which provide balanced illumination across an area, puck lighting provides more of a spotlight, which can show off specific areas of your counter, including your coffee bar, cookbook or wine collection, vases, and other decor.

Easy to install with heavy-duty adhesive tape or screws (both included), these lights provide long-lasting brightness with a 3000K warm glow. Use the wireless remote to turn the lights on and off, adjust the brightness, and set the timer function—available for 15-, 30-, and 60-minute time intervals.

These lights are also touch-sensitive, which means you can also operate with a slight tap of the lens when you aren’t near the remote control. Keep in mind that each light requires three AAA batteries (included).

Price at time of publish: $35

Product Details:

  • Product Dimensions: ‎‎3.4 x 3.4 x 1.25 inches per light
  • Wattage: 5.04W
  • Lumens: 55 per light
  • Color: 3000K

Best Color-Changing: TJOY Multicolored LED Strip Lights

TJOY Multicolored LED Strip Lights

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These lights give you endless color options to fit any aesthetic.

Keep in Mind: They come in a roll, making it a challenge to get your strip to lay completely flat.

Bored by the idea of ordinary white lights and looking for a way to create colorful ambient lighting in your home? Then we recommend these multicolored strip lights by TJoy.

Each 25-foot strip (two included) is outfitted with high-quality 5050 LEDs to give you vibrant color and illumination. The 44-key remote controller comes with 20 preset colors, six DIY color options (mix hues of reds, blues, and yellows to create a custom color setting), and eight levels of brightness.

Installation is simple thanks to the cuttable and linkable design that lets you adjust the length of the strip to fit your space. Just cut along the marked areas to your desired length and link strips via the four-pin connector. The strong, self-adhesive mounting tape makes it easy to attach to any clean, dry surface. Just keep in mind it may take a bit of time to get the strip to lay flat since it comes in a roll.

Price at time of publish: $19

Product Details:

  • Product Dimensions: ‎‎Two 25-foot-long rolls (width and height measurements not listed)
  • Wattage: Not listed
  • Lumens: Not listed
  • Color: 20 preset colors, six DIY color options

The Bottom Line

We chose the TorchStar Voice Control Smart LED Safe Lighting Kit as the overall best under-cabinet lighting option because of its exceptional brightness and slew of features, including a dimming function and smart device compatibility. If you prefer a hardwired option, we recommend the UltraPro 48-Inch Direct Wire LED Light Fixture, which allows you to customize the lighting color. It’s also extremely streamlined and low-profile underneath cabinets.

What to Know About Under-Cabinet Lighting Before Shopping

Power Source and Installation

Regardless of the lighting scheme you choose, under-cabinet lights come with three installation choices: plug-in, battery, and hardwired. Plug-in lights and battery-operated lights are DIY-friendly for easy installation and instant gratification, although they may need to plug into outlets or require periodic battery replacements. Hardwired lights require a skilled electrician, but don’t require much maintenance after that.

Light Type

Under-cabinet lighting is available as pucks, strips, tape, and ropes.

Puck lights come in a variety of finishes and can be positioned straight down at the work surface or directed toward your backsplash for an ambient glow. How many puck lights you need depends on how much space you have. According to Lowes, you should buy one light for every 8 to 12 inches of space.

Light strips come in varying lengths and, if installed professionally, can be customized to fit under irregular cabinets. Lowe’s suggests, for the most even light distribution, to choose fixtures that match your cabinet length.

If you’re installing several light strips, you will need to look for linkable fixtures. This means you’ll have several fixtures connected, all using one outlet. You’ll control all of the fixtures, including dimming and on/off power, with one main fixture. Light strips also come in hard-wired options, which eliminates the need to plug them into a power outlet.

Other types of under-cabinet lighting, according to Lowe’s, include rope lights and tape lights, where small LEDs are embedded into a flexible strip that can be secured under your cabinets with peel-and-stick adhesive.

Light Purpose and Features

The best under-cabinet lighting can add depth, dimension, and visual interest to a variety of spaces, or highlight architectural features, like a tray or cove ceiling. They can also reduce the problem of shadows interfering with your working spaces, making food preparation safer.

The best under-cabinet lights come equipped with motion sensors, dimming capabilities, color options, and smartphone compatibility for better accessibility, the ability to create ambient light, and to control lighting from the couch or even outside the home.

Your Questions, Answered

How do I run power to under-cabinet lighting?

“A homeowner can easily learn how to install under-cabinet lighting,” says Nate Johnson, a real estate investment expert at NeighborWho. “With proper planning, this is a relatively easy DIY project that shouldn't take too long to complete.”

The most convenient way to install LED under cabinet lighting, Johnson says, is to hardwire it to a wall switch. This will allow you to dim them and turn them on or off without having to run wires and plugs throughout your space. If you are unsure how to proceed, Johnson recommends talking to an electrician first. 

“A good electrician can help you with your electrical concerns,” he says. “In addition, local industry professionals can make sure you are complying with all the required codes related to your city, county, and state.”

While hardwired LED lighting might be the most convenient, peel-and-stick LED tape might be the easiest. “There are many stick-and-go LED strips available on the market at a reasonable cost,” he says. “These either come battery-operated or [are] plugged in directly to a wall outlet. What’s amazing is you can outfit all of your cabinets in under 20 minutes and for under $50.”

Some of these light strips even come with smart assistants and smartphone integrations, allowing consumers to control them via voice or phone command. Other LED stick-and-go options boast motion sensor capabilities, turning on only when movement is detected to save on battery life too.

How do you hide under-cabinet lighting wires?

“By bundling the wiring carefully and compactly into a bundle, you can conceal under-cabinet lighting. The wires can then be tied in place with a tie wrap,” Johnson says. “You can then adhere it to the underside of the cabinet with staples (while taking care not to cut through the wiring and ruin all your hard work). Lighting fixtures should be connected to wall outlets with wiring long enough to reach the wall outlet itself.”

What kind of under-cabinet lighting is best?

Most experts would agree that the best option for under-cabinet lighting is LED. LED lights have a great color rendering index, also known as CRI, meaning they can reveal the actual color of objects compared to other lighting sources. LEDs also consume 75% less energy and last up to four times longer than fluorescent lights, or up to 40 times longer than the average incandescent bulb.

Who We Are

This article on the best under-cabinet lighting was written by Adria Greenhauff, who has been writing about food and lifestyle topics for over a decade. To come up with this list, she interviewed Tim Vislay, director of sales of the Showroom Channel at Legrand, and Nate Johnson, real estate investment expert at NeighborWho, both of whom have extensive experience in sourcing and installing under-cabinet lighting for a wide range of indoor living spaces.

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