There are several common ways to conceal under cabinet lighting in your kitchen or under your upper cabinets. Concealing your lighting helps hide unsightly wiring and can help redirect the lighting downwards to higher usage countertop areas, which can be helpful in a kitchen. It’s important to plan your preferred lighting concealment option in advance, rather than afterwards, as you may not be able to add this later. Let’s explore our most popular options, if you have ever asked yourself, how do you hide under cabinet lighting?
STRAIGHT VALANCE MOULDING
This is most common light valance option. This is a piece of matching straight material that gets cut and attached to the bottom of the cabinet using L-Brackets or Pin Nails from the inside. This type of light valance comes in many different heights, routing profiles, and design types. This is by far the most economical choice for your space to hide your under cabinet lighting.
LIGHT BOX MODIFICATION
The light box cabinet modification can be built into your upper cabinets, which is used to house and conceal wires and under cabinet lighting. Puck lights can also be recessed into the cabinet floor when the light box modification is used. Some cabinetry firms allow homeowners to dictate the height of the box for this cabinet modification as low as 7/8” for simple wiring and up to 6” high, allowing space to conceal electrical outlets to be mounted and exposed on the bottom side of the cabinet for that streamline look. While other semi-custom cabinet firms offer one standard height, which is typically about an 1 ¼” box height, so the door hinge drilling location can remain unchanged.
The best part is that the box can be removed to allow the installer to drill for wiring, recessed puck lights and electrical boxes. The light box will match the cabinet interior so it esthetically blends with the inside of the cabinet and you’ll hardly know it’s even there.
RECESSED FLOOR WALL CABINETS
Another option is called the recessed floor option. This is done by raising the floor or bottom of the cabinet upwards, so the cabinet door hangs past the bottom floor of the cabinet. This remaining area or void is perfect to conceal puck or LED strip under cabinet lighting when the cabinet door is closed. In the above and below photos, there is an additional optional Rout 1 Side Valance Moulding that needs to be ordered which is applied on site at the time of install.
Some homeowners prefer to have no under cabinet lighting concealment and don’t mind having the under cabinet light showing. In this case, it is recommended you select a light that has a finished appearance/housing, so it isn’t unsightly to look at. There are many types of exposed LED puck lights available through your electrician or Big Box Store.
One interesting under cabinet light is a Triangle Design, which sits tight to the wall and cascades the light on an angle to direct the lighting to a more useful area on the countertops.
Using an under cabinet lighting valance or a concealment method is an optional and not mandatory. Some opt to have the lighting fixture exposed and forfeit the light valance for a more streamline look. Of course, you’ll want to choose a sleeker lighting and have tidy wiring, as everything will be exposed. Most homeowners would agree that under cabinet lighting is worth investing in.
It’s important to plan your preferred lighting concealment option in advance, so your cabinets can be built accordingly. Although it may seem easy to add a bottom light valance moulding afterwards, this is sometimes not possible due to Code Clearance Requirements. Proper heights and clearances need to be accounted for and designed from the get-go to ensure you are within code compliance and don’t limit your home insurance. Always consult with your Professional Kitchen Designer, Interior Designer, or General Contractor to ensure that proper design measures and heights are allocated to ensure you are in compliance with building code clearances.
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