In-Cabinet Lighting: How to Add Life to Your Kitchen Cabinets

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Do you want to know one of the secrets to achieving an HGTV kitchen remodel dream? In-cabinet lighting! This small detail can take your kitchen to the next level by adding some highlights to the overall design. 

Cabinet Lighting Options

When it comes to lighting the inside of cabinets, there are three primary options for the types of lights available to use. 

  • Tape Lighting
  • Strip Lighting
  • Puck Lighting

All three are a good choice when used in the correct situation. Let’s take a look at some of the design options to find out where each of them fit in. 

Cabinet Construction Options

A cabinet with solid shelves will need to be lit differently than a cabinet with glass shelves. For solid shelved cabinets, strip or tape lighting will be required under each shelf or installed vertically around the inside of the cabinet frame. This design technique will ensure the strip or tape light equally illuminates each shelf. 

For a glass shelved cabinet, you still have the option to install lighting on every shelf. However, since the glass will allow light from above to filter down, installing a puck light in the top of the cabinet becomes a good option. 

Light Temperature Options

Once lighting placement has been decided, it’s time to think about the temperature you want your lighting to have. All three lighting options have a wide range of warm and cool light to choose from. When considering how cool or warm you want the lighting, remember that collectibles or dishes that will be displayed in the cabinet could look off with the wrong color, it’s best to test it out before choosing. 

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Setting the Mood with Switching Options

A great way to create mood in a kitchen is with dimmable lighting. Put these in-cabinet lights on a dimmer, and they now can create a peaceful and calming space for night time routines. It will still be easy to move around the space while avoiding blinding lights. 

A Few Tips for Planning

If in-cabinet lighting is on your wish list, it’s best to begin planning for this at the start of the design phase. Exploring your lighting design options and the number of lights and switches that will be needed ahead of time, will prevent delays or complications from arising later on during construction.

It’s also important to consider your lighting options when selecting cabinets. Some cabinets lines will need to be modified to accommodate in-cabinet lighting. Other more custom cabinets sometimes come prepared, but not always. Just be prepared for possible customization when it comes to in-cabinet lighting. 

Cost Considerations

Of course, the more custom something is, the more it’s likely to cost. Adding more time to the carpenter’s schedule to work in these lights will almost certainly impact pricing. However, all of these things can be figured out ahead of time, so no one is surprised at the end with a huge bill.

In-cabinet lighting is an excellent way to add that extra spark to a kitchen remodel. If you have questions about this topic please feel free to leave them in the comment section below.


Our goal with these pieces is to help you get the information you need to make educated choices for your home and family. If you’ve found this helpful, share it with others. If you have questions or would like to request other topics to be covered, please use the comment section below and we’ll make sure you get you the answers you need. 

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