Under cabinet lighting is a popular choice for homeowners who want to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of their kitchen space. It not only brightens up the work area but also adds a warm and cozy ambiance to the room. However, when it comes to choosing the right under cabinet lighting, many people get confused about how bright it should be. In this blog post, we will discuss the factors that determine the brightness of under cabinet lighting and help you make an informed decision.
Before we dive into the specifics, let’s first understand the importance of lighting in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it’s where we spend a lot of our time preparing meals, eating, and socializing. Good lighting is essential to create a comfortable and functional space. It helps us see what we’re doing and sets the mood for the room.
Table of Contents
1. Factors that determine the brightness of under cabinet lighting.
2. How to determine the right brightness level for under cabinet lighting
Factors that determine the brightness of under cabinet lighting.
Purpose of the Lighting:
The purpose of the lighting is the most critical factor that determines the brightness level of under cabinet lighting. The primary purpose of under cabinet lighting is to provide task lighting, which is essential for performing specific tasks such as chopping vegetables, preparing food, and cooking. If the lighting is too dim, it can lead to eye strain and make it difficult to perform these tasks. On the other hand, if the lighting is too bright, it can create glare and make it challenging to see. Therefore, the brightness level of under cabinet lighting should be appropriate for the purpose it serves.
Color temperature refers to the warmth or coolness of the light. The lower the temperature, the warmer and more yellow the light will be. The higher the temperature, the cooler and more blue the light will be. Warm white light (2700K-3000K) is best for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere, while cool white light (4000K-5000K) is ideal for task lighting. The color temperature of under cabinet lighting should be appropriate for the purpose it serves. For example, if the under cabinet lighting is primarily used for task lighting, a cooler color temperature would be more suitable.
Cabinet Material and Color:
The material and color of your cabinets can also affect the brightness level of under cabinet lighting. Dark cabinets absorb more light than light-colored cabinets, which means you’ll need a brighter option for dark cabinets. If you have dark-colored cabinets, you should consider a brighter option to ensure that the light is distributed evenly across the work surface. In contrast, if you have light-colored cabinets, you may not need a very bright option.
Height of the Cabinet:
The height of the cabinet also plays a role in determining the brightness level of under cabinet lighting. If your cabinets are higher than usual, you’ll need a brighter option to compensate for the height difference. If the under cabinet lighting is not bright enough, it can create shadows and make it difficult to see. The recommended brightness level for under cabinet lighting is between 200-400 lumens per linear foot. However, this can vary depending on the height of the cabinet.
Type of Bulb:
The type of bulb you choose can also affect the brightness level of under cabinet lighting. LED bulbs are the most popular option for under cabinet lighting because they’re energy-efficient and have a long lifespan. They also come in different brightness levels, so you can choose the right one for your needs. Halogen bulbs are another option, but they’re not as energy-efficient as LED bulbs, and they don’t last as long.
How to Determine the Right Brightness Level for Under Cabinet Lighting？
The right brightness level for under cabinet lighting depends on various factors such as the type of activities you perform in the kitchen, the color and material of the cabinet, the height of the ceiling, and the overall lighting of the room. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow to determine the right brightness level for your under cabinet lighting:
Consider the task: If you perform intricate tasks such as chopping vegetables or reading recipes under the cabinet, you will need brighter lights. On the other hand, if you use the lighting for ambiance, you can choose a lower brightness level.
Use the right color temperature: The color temperature of the light can affect the brightness level perception. A higher color temperature (more bluish-white) can appear brighter than a lower color temperature (more yellowish-white) even if the brightness is the same. A typical color temperature for kitchen lighting is around 2700-3000 Kelvin.
Determine the Lumens: Lumens is a measure of the brightness of the light. For under cabinet lighting, 200-300 lumens per linear foot is usually sufficient. However, if you need brighter light, you can go up to 500 lumens per linear foot.
Test the lighting: Before installing the under cabinet lighting, test the brightness level by placing temporary lights in the same location. This will help you to determine the right brightness level for your specific needs.
Dimming options: Consider using dimming options for your under cabinet lighting to adjust the brightness level as needed. This will provide more flexibility and control over the lighting.
By following these guidelines, you should be able to determine the right brightness level for your under cabinet lighting that suits your needs and preferences.
As a general rule of thumb, the brightness level of under cabinet lighting should be between 200-400 lumens per linear foot. However, this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above. For example, if your cabinets are dark-colored or higher than usual, you’ll need a brighter option.
In conclusion, the brightness level of under cabinet lighting depends on several factors, including the purpose of the lighting, color temperature, cabinet material and color, height of the cabinet, and type of bulb. By considering these factors, you can choose the right brightness level for your needs and create a comfortable and functional kitchen space.