Under Cabinet Lighting - Front, Back or Middle?


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Old 06-18-15, 10:33 AM
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Under Cabinet Lighting - Front, Back or Middle?

I previously asked a question about who I'd hire to install under cabinet lighting, but now I'd like to get a quick survey from the fine folks on this forum about whether the light strips should be installed toward the back of the cabinets by the wall, or the middle or front of the cabinets? From research I've been doing, it seems opinions vary on the correct location.

Not sure if it matters, but they are going over granite countertops, with a 4" granite backsplash and paint above that (possibly switching to tile in the future).

Thanks!!
 
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Old 06-18-15, 10:57 AM
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I put them as far forward away from wall as possible. That way they provide the most light over the working area of the countertop. This is for conventional cabinets with face frames that provide a recessed area to hide the fixture. If the recessed area is a lot deeper than the fixture, it may be better to set them back an inch or two to avoid the front frame from blocking any of the light.

If there's no recess, like some frameless cabinets, then you may want to set them further back so they are not as visible when standing at the counter.

One final consideration. I one had really bright LED strips and a highly polished countertop. I hooked up a strip in temporary fashion and found that with my initial choice for placement there was a really annoying glare/reflection. I placed the strips further back so the glare wasn't so obvious when working at the counter.

So there's no substitute for skywiring one and experimenting with your particular cabinets, fixtures, and countertop.

Hope this helps!
 
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Old 06-18-15, 11:17 AM
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I put them close to the front of the overhead cabinet. This gets the lights closer to the working area of the counter. Just keep in mind that no matter what under cabinet lighting you choose or where you located it there will be a visible reflection or glare depending on where you are standing. If there is one task you will do a lot from a fixed or known location you can position the lights to minimize the glare for that task.
 
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Old 06-18-15, 12:17 PM
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Thank you both for some great info!!! I was leaning towards putting them in the front, so I'm glad you confirmed that. I will definitely have to think about the glare issue though. I was looking at the LED tape lighting, so the glare may be a real issue with those.
 
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Old 06-18-15, 12:27 PM
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Yes, what these guys said. Most people want an even distribution of light on the countertop. This mean it is usually best to position them near the fronts of the cabinets. If you tuck them right behind the front lip of the cabinet, it'll create a sharp light/dark line on your countertops, which you don't want. And if you run them too close to the wall, you'll end up illuminating more of the wall than the tops.

For lighting above cabinets, it is usually best to do the same thing unless you plan on storing things above the cabinets, in which case it may be best to run your lights nearer to the wall.

If you're unsure, test the lights in a few locations before you afix them.
 
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Old 06-18-15, 01:18 PM
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Thanks, mirak! Got lot's of good advice from you all!!
 
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Old 06-18-15, 08:14 PM
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Plus........ by staying away from the wall your future tilework will look better. Installing lights near the wall causes the small imperfections of the unflat wall, grout line shadowing and lippage to be exaggerated making for a poor installation.

Jaz
 
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Old 06-18-15, 08:58 PM
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The only thing I/customers do not like about placing the lights away from the wall is you can see the cables feeding them.
 
 

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