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Undercabinet lighting is usually installed beneath kitchen cabinets to eliminate shadows on countertops and cooking areas. It is also used to illuminate workspaces on desks with overhead cabinets, or to highlight objects on shelves. It can create a calming and decorative atmosphere in any room of the house.
The five main types of bulbs used in undercabinet lighting are fluorescent, halogen, incandescent, xenon and LED.
Fluorescent lights are most commonly found in kitchens, laundries, garage and in commercial settings. They are energy efficient, long-lived and create a bright work areas.
Halogen bulbs emit a white light that is not as harsh as fluorescent lighting. These bulbs last up to 2000 hours. They burn hot, but some fixtures designed specifically for halogen bulbs will absorb the heat. Puck-type lighting falls into this category and is probably the most popular choice.
Incandescent light is warm, but not very bright. The bulbs are the least expensive source of under-cabinet lighting, but they only last up to 1000 hours and are not energy efficient. Like halogen lights, they create a lot of heat. The advantage is that they can easily be dimmed to provide soft lighting at night.
Xenon bulbs also emit a soft light, but they are bright enough for most tasks. Their cost and efficiency is comparable to halogens, but they last up to 10,000 hours and don't create a lot of heat.
LED lighting is the newest form of underdcabinet lighting available. It provides a relatively warm, bright light that can be dimmed and uses very little electricity. These fixtures are also the most expensive.