Choosing Energy-Saving Under Cabinet Lights


Kitchen renovation in the works? When updating your kitchen with energy-efficiency in mind, be sure to look to the lights. Efficient under cabinet or under counter lights are extremely effective at cutting down your energy use, without sacrificing style or quality.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite under cabinet lights, what makes them energy-efficient, and what makes them great for the kitchen:


1. LED Thin Under Cabinet Task Lights

LED Under Cabinet

These classic ENERGY STAR qualified LED lights can produce nearly 36 lumens of light for every watt of energy they use, depending on the length of the fixture. They also have a rated-life of up to 50,000 hours, so you know they’re reliable. These lights will fit in with the decor of almost any kitchen, producing bright white light, and available in 2 different finishes. See them here.

2. LED Very Thin Light Bars

LED Light Bar

The very thin design of these LED light bars allows them to hide under cabinets with ease. You’d never even know they were under there until you flipped the switch and flooded your counter tops with warm white light. But, the impact these fixtures make on your energy bill is much more obvious. Depending on which length you choose, the light bars use between 2.5 and 6.25 watts of power. See them here.

3. LED Low Voltage Recessed Puck Light Kit

recessed LED puck lights

If round puck lights, as opposed to linear fixtures, are more your style, this LED kit is one of our favorite options. These lights can be plugged in or battery operated, so you can install the lights anywhere you need them. Each light uses only 1 watt of energy to produce clean, cool white light. Compared to the average xenon puck light, that’s about 95% less energy! See them here.

4. Color-Changing LED Tape Lights

Colored LED Tape Lights

One of the most creative options for your under cabinet lighting are color-changing LED tape lights. These thin, adhesive-backed lights let you change the look and mood of your kitchen at will. Take it from a moody bistro to an energizing game room in seconds! And all this doesn’t take away from the fixture’s energy-efficiency one bit – one reel of tape lights only use 40 watts of power. A single foot only needs 2.5 watts! See them here.

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1. T2 Fluorescent Thin Under Cabinet Lights

Fluorescent Under cabinet lighting

These under cabinet lights provide many of the same benefits as the LED Thin Under Cabinet Task Lights listed above, but they come at a more affordable price upfront. They’re ENERGY STAR qualified, come in 3 different finishes, and depending on the length of the fixture, they use between 6 and 24 watts of power. The T2 light bulb will produce light for up to 8,000 hours before you need to replace it. See them here.

2. Microfluorescent T4 Light Fixtures


If you require a slightly lower-profile fluorescent under cabinet light, you can’t go wrong with a good microfluorescent. The lights come in 9 different lengths and 3 different color temperatures, so you’re sure to find just the thing to fit your lighting project requirements. The lights use between 6 and 28 watts of power each and lasts an average of 16,000 hours. See them here.

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1. Xenon Thin Under Cabinet Task Lights

xenon under cab 1

Why add xenon lights to this list when LEDs and fluorescents use so much less energy? Well, for starters, xenon lights use much less energy and give off much less heat than standard incandescent lights, so they make excellent under cabinet lights. While their average energy use isn’t anything to brag about compared to LEDs and fluorescents, when used with a dimmer switch, they can actually save you quite a bit of electricity. See them here.

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What kind of under cabinets do you use in your kitchen? We’re all ears!

Annie Josey

Annie Josey

Annie was the E-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Pegasus Lighting from June 2012 to October 2013. She has a background in English literature, and loves using language to help illuminate the world. So covering lighting news and tips naturally fit her interests. In her personal time she enjoys painting, biking, and reading.

  • Terry Gatchell

    Hello Annie, i want to install the xenon thin under cabinets and want to know how long the power cord is on these units and also what length of unit would u recommend if the two cabinets i have are 41″ and 35″ thanks Terry

    • Deanna Alrutz

      Hey Terry! The length of the power cord for the Xenon Thin Under Cabinet Task Light (found here: is 6 feet. Generally with linear fixtures you want to match the length of the cabinet as closely as possible, so for your 35″ cabinet, you’d probably want to get the 32″ fixture. For the 41″ cabinet, you could link a 22″ fixture (which is about 24″ with a male connector and cord) and a 14″ fixture together. Check out our under cabinet lighting eBook for more help choosing your lights! You can download it for free here: