Question about under cabinet lighting

pdx7700September 20, 2013

How do I know if I "need" it? My kitchen is open to the family room, which will have glass doors to the backyard. The kitchen itself has 1 large window and 3 small windows.

I am doing a upper-mid level whole house remodel, and looking to trim unnecessary expenses. But, we hope for this to be our long-term home, so I don't want to regret anything either.

I would love some input - thank you!

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I don't know if we "needed" undercab lighting - we lived in this kitchen for 24 years without it - but I think we're going to love it! We live far enough north that it's by 5 pm, so we need all the light we can get in the house in the evenings.

It was one of the few things DH insisted on for our new kitchen (the other was soft-close hinges and drawer glides).

UCL are pretty easy to put in during a remodel (assuming you'll have an electrician in anyway), but I imagine a lot harder to put in later. Perhaps there are other things you can delay for now to save money.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Again, I didn't "need" it, but my aging eyes will appreciate it at times. I re-did all the lighting in my kitchen, and was quite surprised by how bright the LED ceiling lights are -- so maybe they alone would have been sufficient for the counter space. Or, I could have eliminated 2 of the ceiling lights with the UCLs in.

You can put them in later if you have your electrician put in outlets or something now to allow it, while walls and spaces behind the cabs are accessed.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Sophie Wheeler

All kitchens need to light their work surface. Under cabinet lighting does the BEST job of it, because there is zero chance of shadows. It also adds a nice warm ambiance that really shows kitchens to their best and helps a great deal with their appeal at selling time. Lighting is #2 of the most neglected aspects of a kitchen redo, and it's one of the MOST important for appearance as well as function. Don't give your kitchen short shrift on it. (Venting is the #1 most neglected aspect of a functioning kitchen. Don't neglect it either.)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:02PM
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There are plenty of under cabinet lighting options that should be pretty easy to install after the fact, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. It is something that you should be able to install later if you think it is needed.

Worse case is you might have to have an electrician come in and install a switched outlet for power, though there are also plenty of options that include built in switches so you could just use an existing outlet.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:11PM
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This post was edited by Regenshire on Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 13:15

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:12PM
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I do think that UCL helps in making it easier to work at the counters, in aesthetics as well as resale. You can install a UCL system for not a lot. We did ours for less than $200 as a DIY project. See the link below for details on it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our UCL Install

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Thank you everyone! Sounds inexpensive for a nice benefit.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 4:44PM
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I can't imagine your finding a single person who installed undercabinet lighting and regretted it.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:14PM
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