JD Lighting Official Blog

Want to eliminate shadows? Under-Cabinet Lighting is the solution

Struggling to see properly in your kitchen? You are not alone. Like numerous other homeowners we have spoken with, shadows are on their top list of concerns when it comes to cooking and food preparation. But fear not, there’s a very good chance that under-cabinet lights can solve most of your problem.

Under-cabinet lighting is one of the best upgrades you can make to your home lighting. Ideal for use in kitchens, home offices and study rooms, under-cabinet lights are our go-to solution to getting rid of shadows on workspaces. Under-cabinet lighting is absolutely vital in the kitchen. One of our lighting technicians says, “The most common recurring issue with conventional kitchens is that homeowners often place downlights and spotlights behind the kitchen counter. When the lights are switched on, the light source will hit the back of the person using the kitchen, unintentionally causing his or her shadow to be cast right on the kitchen counter surface.” Under-cabinet lights solve this issue by essentially placing a light source directly in front and in close proximity to the working hands. Aside from its functional purpose, under-cabinet lights has the added benefit of creating a wonderful ambiance effect through bouncing the light off the kitchen backsplash. It is a win-win situation!

Choices of Under-Cabinet Lighting

Now that we know how useful under-cabinet lighting is, how do we go about implementing it to our own kitchen?

Here’s what you need to know. There are three main methods to achieve under-cabinet lighting: LED strip lights, mini downlights, and fluorescent or LED linear tubes. Each method has its own set of pros and cons and the best option really comes down to personal preference.

1. LED Strip Lights

LED strip lights essentially consist of multiple closely arranged individual LED’s that form a long, slim flexible belt. It is a highly versatile and adaptable light that can be added to a variety of places. LED strip lights are our personal choice for under-cabinet lighting due to the following reasons: its small discreet appearance disappears out of sight; it produces high output and energy efficient at the same time; and its self-adhesive back allows for effortless installation.

We do recommend installing LED strip light channels (also called profiles, extrusions, or channel guides) as they help to diffuse the light and offer a more polished, professional look to your under-cabinet lighting. These channels come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on your personal preference.


  • Effortless installation with DIY friendly self-adhesive back that can be cut to fit specific length
  • Visually discreet, low profile appearance that disappears out of sight
  • High output and energy efficient
  • Long-lasting LEDs reduce maintenance inconveniences


  • Higher upfront cost than the other two options

2. Mini Downlights

Downlights are not just for the ceiling! Certain downlights are specially designed for use under the cabinet such as the Atom Mini Downlight Collection. These mini downlights sit flush under the cabinet and can be spaced in a row to create a visually interesting and functional under-cabinet lighting.


  • Discreet, low profile appearance that disappears out of sight
  • High output and energy efficient
  • Long-lasting LEDs reduce maintenance inconveniences


  • Requires electrician to install
  • Slightly reduces your internal cabinet space volume to accommodate for the downlight body
  • Light output is not as evenly spaced as LED strip lights but some sees it as aesthetically pleasing

3. Fluorescent/LED Linear Tubes

You may remember fluorescent tubes for their annoying flickering and the aggravating warm-up period every time you turn them on but today’s fluorescent tubes are much improved from their predecessors. If fluorescent doesn’t convince you, linear tubes now come in LED versions too. Fluorescent/LED linear tubes are an affordable option for under-cabinet lighting. Going with this option does require the use of a cover to block the light from reflecting directly to the eyes.


  • Most affordable of the three options
  • High output and reasonably energy efficient
  • Long-lasting in LED version


  • Requires a cover to block the light from hitting the eyes directly
  • Less discreet than LED strip lights and downlights

At the end of the day, whichever method you choose to do your under-cabinet lighting, we are certain you will be very pleased with the result. The best part is, they can be done relatively easily and inexpensively in the grand scheme of things. What’s not to love? Give our team a shout-out if you think this article has been useful to you or someone you know.