LED Under-cabinet Lighting

by Linda
(Oakville ON Canada)

Our kitchen is almost together. Suddenly our contractor is asking us to switch to LED under cabinet lighting as the Xenon and Halogens are running too hot and the light bulbs are burning out fast. These were to be recessed into a panel.

I don't like the light of the LED, and I haven't seen a warm white that I consider warm.

We have a bank of shallow cabinets that run over a peninsula so the lights needs to be attractive there as they are higher up.

The cabinets are flushed at the bottom with a panel to accommodate a recessed light...
(which is why the lights are getting too hot I think...)

Can you tell me what your recommendation is and what kind of lights do you recommend?

I appreciate your help!

MY ANSWER:

I agree with you - the light from LED under-cabinet lighting isn't as warm as that of Xenon lights. Kind of like the difference between the new fluorescent bulbs and a good old-fashioned incandescent light bulb in a living room lamp...just doesn't give the room the same feel.

I have low-voltage Xenon lighting under my kitchen cabinets and yes, they get warm but haven't been a problem. They were installed over 11 years ago and I haven't had a bulb burn out yet! (If yours are burning out quickly there may be an issue with the electrical wiring.)

I use them every day - sometimes for several hours. If your use of these lights - especially over your peninsula - will be used mainly for task lighting, I don't see that using the Xenon should be an issue.

However, there are advantages to using LED's. They're dimmable - if you're going to use your lights as ambient lighting and leave them on for long periods to light the kitchen and nearby spaces, LED lighting would be best.

I know some LED's are marketed as "warm white" but they're still on the brighter side of the spectrum. It is your house and your kitchen, so talk it over with your contractor. Getting what YOU want is the most important thing of all.

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