How to Light Up Your Kitchen Designs with LEDs

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the kitchen remains the most popular room to remodel. This multi-functional space needs good illumination for cooking and other tasks, along with layers of lighting to add dimension and a personal stamp to the space. LED lighting is one of the most popular trends in interior design, offering efficiency in output, sleek profiles, and long life.

This versatility makes LEDs ideal for incorporating into kitchen cabinetry, where the color and quality of light output can enhance beautiful finishes in countertops, backsplash designs, and the cabinets themselves. As an added bonus, since LEDs don’t produce nearly as much heat as traditional bulbs, the fixtures won’t add to the already elevated warmth typical in kitchens.

Where to Use LEDs:

Under cabinet – LED tape or strip lighting, mounted at the front edge under the cabinet, delivers bright light to fully illuminate the countertop and backsplash. Task Lighting’s SG Strip Light and Rage Tape Light offer the highest lumen output, while the Vivid Tape Light, with the LEDs mounted closer together for a more seamless light, are Task Lighting’s top selling offerings.

sempriaLED Strip Light SG9 Series
sempriaLED Strip Light SG9 Series displays more seamless light

Inside cabinets – With minimal heat output and a small, easy-to-conceal profile, LEDs are a straightforward option for cabinet interiors. Use the angled fixtures or tape light housings to further conceal the light source. Vivid Tape Light is great for darker interiors that absorb light, and Radiance Tape Light is ideal for a subtle highlight or in cabinets with lighter interiors.

Radiance Tape Light in hutch

Drawers – Use illumaLED Sideview Tape Light to brighten up the interior of deep drawers. Paired with a sensor switch, lights turn on and off automatically when the drawer is open or closed.

Toe kick – Predominantly used to create a subtle ambiance in the kitchen, Drizzle Tape Light in the toe kick, paired with a motion sensor, is the perfect solution to provide ease and safety for midnight snackers.

TASK_Lighitng_Toe_Kick_Drizzle Series
Drizzle Tape Light in toe kick

Ceiling features – LEDs call attention to ceiling design details when used inside cove mouldings and above cabinets and island soffit clouds. The glow draws the eye upward, visually creating a larger space, while providing inviting indirect up lighting and a cozy setting for entertaining.

sempriaLED Mini Strip Light F Series
LEDs above cabinets draw eye upward

Best Practices for Incorporating LEDs:

Pay attention to color temperature
– Choose a color temperature that enhances surrounding surfaces. In a kitchen with stained wood cabinets, earth tones, and warm reds, use 2700K to 3000K LEDs for a warm, cozy ambiance. For white kitchens, LEDs in 4000K to 5000K provide a sophisticated, minimalist look. (Here’s a handy LED lighting guide to help you create the right ambiance for your project.) Install the different color temperatures in your showroom vignettes so that the homeowner can see and “feel” the difference.

CRI – Opt for LED fixtures with a high CRI rating for true color rendering of objects. All Task Lighting LED fixtures have a CRI rating 90+, which ensures a vibrant and natural look to food or other items on display.

Consider specialty lenses – LEDs may create “dots” on the countertop rather than spreading diffused light across the surface. All sempriaLED fixtures and illumaLED Tape Light housings have frosted lenses to soften the look.

LED dots reflected on countertop
Frosted lenses of sempriaLED fixtures and illumaLED Tape Light housings soften look

Plan ahead – When designing the electrical plan for the kitchen, make sure to account for hidden outlets above cabinets or in the sink base, along with any wires that need to run inside the walls. It’s much easier to address up front, so be sure to incorporate a strategy in the plans.

Ready to get started? Browse our wide range of LED lighting and accessories here.

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