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Under-cabinet lighting adds ambiance to a room, and practical task lighting above counters and in other workspaces.
We researched dozens of fixtures and ranked them on efficiency, ease of installation, brightness, and longevity. Our favorite is the Enbrighten Premium LED Linkable Under Cabinet Light Fixture, which has a functional and aesthetic soft white light and can connect to other Enbrighten lights to form a continuous light controlled by one switch.
Here are the best cabinet lights available.
Best Overall: Enbrighten Premium LED Linkable Under Cabinet Light Fixture, Model 38848
The best cabinet lighting systems offer bright light and a long-lasting design that elevates a space like our best overall pick—the Enbrighten Premium LED Linkable Under Cabinet Light Fixture. This energy-efficient LED light fixture emits 803 lumens of soft, diffused white light (without hot spots) that's great for accent lighting and functionality in many different spaces.
This LED light panel is 24 inches wide, and the beam angle is a focused 99.8 degrees, which makes it suitable for kitchen prep areas or over the sink. It requires no assembly beyond plugging into a wall outlet, but you can also convert this fixture into a direct wire under-cabinet light. If you prefer a network of lights, a notable feature is that you can connect up to 30 of the bars together to control with a single light switch. This application could be most helpful under kitchen cabinets where you want some soft lighting spread around the room.
While some users report the light is too bright or dim, controlling this light is convenient, thanks to the toggle switch with off, low, and high settings. This product also comes with limited lifetime warranty support.
What do buyers say? 600+ Home Depot reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
Best Budget: Brilliant Evolution 8.5-Inch Under Cabinet Light Bar
You can achieve the high-end look of under cabinet lighting on a budget if you opt for an affordable light bar like this 8.5-inch version from Brilliant Evolution. Though it’s smaller than many other under cabinet light fixtures on the market, it offers 65 lumens of task light on surfaces. You’ll need to power it with AA batteries, but the LED bulb inside will last for up to 50,000 hours of use. Whether you have a small kitchen or a small budget, this wireless under cabinet light is a good alternative to more expensive plug-in or direct wire options.
Best Puck Light: Ecolight 3-Pack Battery Puck Light
Puck lights are another option for providing illumination under cabinets. Instead of a long light bar, using a round under cabinet light gives you more focused illumination and creates a different aesthetic. The Ecolight Puck Light 6-Pack is a great option for creating soft lighting underneath your cabinets or in other areas of the home, such as a closet. They adhere easily using damage-free 3M strips.
You’ll get minimal lumens out of each individual light—they emit just 40 lumens each—but you can use all three to create a unique lighting solution. Each light has a convenient tap on and off activation, making it easy for anyone to use.
Best Motion-Activated: Black+Decker LED 5-Bar Under Cabinet Lights Kit
For light when and where you need it, shop for a motion-activated under cabinet light—like this version from Black+Decker. Available as a single light bar or as a linkable set of three or five lights, these motion-activated LED lights with 10 dimmer settings are popular for their easy installation and operation.
Each light measures 9 inches long, can be linked to other Black+Decker under cabinet lights, and plugs into a nearby power outlet. The built-in motion sensor gives you a hands-free way to turn on the lights. This is a great setup if your outlet lacks an on-off switch or if you frequently have messy hands in the kitchen while cooking or cleaning and want to turn on the light without touching anything. It also means you can have light only when you need it, without worrying about turning it off when you don’t.
Best Battery: Ecolight 12-in Battery Under Cabinet Light Bar
Don’t worry about wiring or available outlets when you opt for a battery-operated under cabinet light like this affordable option from Ecolight. The 12-inch LED light is powered by six AA batteries and mounts under cabinets using damage-free 3M adhesive strips. A fresh set of batteries will give you about 44 hours of battery life, according to the manufacturer.
The fact that these under cabinet lights have a built-in timer for automatic shut-off after one, five, or 15 minutes helps to extend battery life. However, you can also opt to just manually tap the light on or off. Inside this battery-powered under cabinet light is a bright white (4000K) LED bulb with 80 lumens.
Best Wireless: Brilliant Evolution LED White Wireless Under Cabinet Light
Shed some light without plugging in by choosing a wireless under cabinet light like this option from Brilliant Evolution. The pack of four light bars is completely wireless, so no direct wire or plug is needed. Instead, each 8.5-inch light bar is powered by three AA batteries—which will last for about 100 hours. You can tap the light to turn it on or off, or use the included remote control to operate the lights from a distance of up to 15 feet.
In kitchens with limited outlets or many competing appliances, wireless under cabinet lighting is an ideal solution. Each LED bulb inside these Brilliant Evolution light fixtures emits warm white light (3000K) and 80 lumens.
Best Hardwired: GE Enbrighten LED Under Cabinet Light
A hardwired under cabinet light gives you plenty of glow with no worries about battery life or outlet availability. The GE Enbrighten is available in 12- and 24-inch lengths to suit your space and has a long-lasting LED bulb, good for up to 50,000 hours with 1,105 lumens. One of the most impressive features is the switch that lets you select from three light temperatures: warm white (3000K), cool white (4000K), and daylight (5000K). Use the daylight or cool white light temperature for tasks where you need crisp, bright light, and then switch to warm white for softer, ambient lighting.
This direct-wire under cabinet light needs to be hardwired for operation, which is a task best left to an electrician unless you have extensive experience with electrical projects. Doing so frees up your under cabinet outlets and also eliminates dangling cords or unsightly plugs, giving your under cabinet lighting a clean, professional appearance.
Best Rechargeable : LightBiz LED Under Cabinet Light Bar
Cut the cord and skip frequent battery replacement by choosing a rechargeable under cabinet light like this set from LightBiz. Each 24-LED under cabinet light bar can be mounted to any magnetic surface and includes an adhesive magnetic strip to make installing these light bars extremely simple in your kitchen, closet, or anywhere else.
Light output is more limited when compared to hardwired under cabinet lighting options. But with 150 lumens and a 120-degree beam, this set is sufficient for providing spotlighting wherever you need it. This under cabinet light can be set to Always On mode, or you can use two different motion sensing modes. Battery life is obviously limited if you opt for continuous operation. But in the motion sensor mode, these under cabinet lights have a battery life of seven to 20 days. Recharge easily using a USB cable in just two to three hours. The magnetic installation system means it is super simple to remove the light, charge it, and then quickly reinstall this under cabinet lighting.
The Enbrighten Premium LED Linkable Under Cabinet Light (view on Home Depot) offers the type of bright, focused light you need and is available in a popular 24-inch length to fit your cabinet configuration. In addition, this light tops the list because it can be used as a plug-in light fixture or can be hardwired into your electrical system. However, if you're looking for an under cabinet light that doesn't require either, check out the affordable, battery-operated version from Brilliant Evolution (view on Wayfair). The 8.5-inch light bar mounts easily and uses a AA battery for illumination.
What to Look For
There are two primary types of under cabinet light: light bars and puck lights. Light bars come in various lengths to match your cabinet configuration, but 24-inches is a standard size. Some light bars are linkable, meaning you use a single switch to power a series of lights. Puck lights are popular for adding focused areas of light under cabinets. They are battery-operated and usually sold in sets.
Under cabinet lights must plugged into an outlet, hardwired, or use batteries for operation. Hardwired under cabinet lights offer a neat, tidy appearance with no cords or the need to take up an outlet plug in your kitchen. Plug-in lights, however, are quicker and easier to install. Battery-operated under cabinet lights eliminate the hassle of hardwired installation and don't need to be plugged in, but the batteries will require regular replacement or recharging.
Choose under cabinet lighting with a light output that matches your needs and purpose. You should consider how bright you want the light to be, which is measured in lumens. Aesthetic under cabinet light might measure as little as 40 lumens, while task lighting options might have 800 or more lumens. You might also choose under cabinet lighting with a specific color temperature; perhaps soft, warm light for ambience or bright, daylight bulbs for better visibility when working in the kitchen. Some under cabinet lights give you the option of choosing between multiple light color temperatures.
How long do LED under cabinet lights last?
Should under cabinet lighting be warm or cool?
The answer depends on your purpose for installing under cabinet lighting. If you are adding task lighting to illuminate kitchen prep, cooking, and cleaning activities, then a cool daylight bulb in the 5000K range is the best choice. However, if you want a more ambient under cabinet lighting option, then pick a warm light with a color temperature in the 3000K range.
Do under cabinet lights go in front or back?
Most people will want to install under cabinet lights at the front edge of their cabinets, just behind the rail. This will ensure that the majority of the countertop below receives illumination, while also hiding the lighting fixture behind the rail. However, if you would rather illuminate your backsplash as a focal point in the kitchen, then you could opt to install under cabinet lighting towards the back of your cabinets. This results in reduced lighting at the front of the countertops, so it's not the best option if you are relying on under cabinet light to enhance visibility on your work surface.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Erica Puisis has been covering the latest gadgets and products that enhance your home for The Spruce since 2017. In her own space, she is a big fan of having the right light for every task and has used light bars and puck lights to create brighter kitchen and closets in her home.