Where to Install Under Cabinet LED Lighting

When it comes to installing LED lighting one of the most frequently asked questions seems to be “Where do I install my LED Lighting”? After working here for quite some time, I have found there is no “right” or “wrong” answer, the answer lies within the application itself. Let’s explore a few common mounting options for LED lighting to see what will work for your project.

Lighting at the Back of the Cabinet

If you are replacing florescent fixtures, most often these units are located at the back of the cabinet closest to the wall. back install led lighting option

Situating a LED panel, or flexible strip here might be convenient if you are planning on using existing cable drops, but you may run into a few issues here.

  • First off , the LED lights are most visible at this position of the cabinet. If you are across the kitchen or sitting down you may be able to see the individual light diodes, which is not be the most visually appealing choice
  • Secondly, a majority of the tasks preformed at a counter top, like cutting vegetables or reading a cookbook, generally occur closer to the front of the cabinet. So naturally this is where you will need the most efficient lighting.

In most situations then, the back of the cabinet is not the most practical location for your new LED lights. Lighting directly from the center of the cabinet may also result in some of the same issues as placing the LED light strips at the back of the cabinet. So what is the best alternative?

Lighting at the Front of the Cabinet

For majority of our under cabinet LED lighting projects we typically recommend placing the strips about 2 inches away from the front lip of the cabinet. This will allow the strips to be hidden from almost any angle, and provide great task lighting for all of your needs.

mounting install led lighting options front of cabinet

When mounting the lights at the front of the cabinet, we often run into a few typical questions:

  • What if I don’t like the reflection?” Keeping in mind LEDs are a light source, they can be reflective off stone counter tops. This is something that most people don’t notice, or aren’t bothered by. For those who dislike the so called “dot effect” you can place the LEDs along the inside lip of the cabinet, presuming you have a gap that will accommodate the width of the LED panel or Flexible Strip. The mounting option on the lip minimizes the reflection of the diodes, and still provides great task lighting (virtually without being seen).
  • Do I need to mount strips down the sides of the cabinets?” This is not typically something we recommend, unless you have unusually deep cabinets. Lighting around the cabinet box can create “hot spots” and make certain areas much brighter than others. This will also increase the visibility of the panels or flexible strips towards the center and back of the cabinet. Lastly the resistors and diodes on the strips themselves are somewhat fragile. Leaving these exposed on the sides of the cabinets may make the LED strips more susceptible to damage.

In the end mounting of the strips will be your personal preference. We recommend temporarily mounting your new strips and panels with painters tape to determine which is the right fit for your project.

For more information or tips on how to ensure you have the best system possible shoot us an email: orders@inspiredled.com or give us a call: 480-941-4286.