The best solution for task lighting in a kitchen is a light close to the working surface, directed at it with nothing in the way. The underside of an upper cabinet provides the perfect spot.

There are all sorts of under-cabinet lights to choose from, from pucks to LED strips to fluorescents to tracks. Variables include brightness, heat, dimmability, mountings, and even color of light. Prices vary, ranging from about $15 for a Xenon puck to several hundred dollars for high-end LEDs. It’s a good idea to consult a lighting professional for assistance when making your choice.

The very name “under-cabinet light” indicates the need for several trades. Don’t gloss over that. Get the framer, cabinet maker, and electrician on board up front. Each will have questions and comments pertinent to the others.

Most under-cabinet lights are low voltage, requiring a transformer, though line-voltage lights can also be used. We’ve shown tips for both types here.