Though essential in every kitchen, your cabinets can cause some serious shadowing issues, usually along your countertop which is where you need light most.
The quick fix would be to purchase a few lights, plug them in, and chase the shadows away, but what if you don’t have any outlets nearby?
Well, you could always hire a professional to install recessed lights in your cabinetry and have them wire the fixtures up to your main circuit board, but needless to say, these can cost a pretty penny. The solution? Wireless under cabinet lighting!
Yep, these magical fixtures do indeed exist, and having spent that past month testing them out, I’m fully qualified to give you the low down on four of the very best!
What Does The Best Wireless Under Cabinet Lighting Look Like?
Lighting is always subjective, and as one of the most popular styles of lighting, you have tons of choices when it comes to wireless under cabinet fixtures. Consequently, it’s impossible to crown just one type.
In my opinion, the best cabinet lighting elevates a space in terms of both aesthetics and functionality, and the lights that tick these two boxes for one person may be completely off the mark for the next.
Having said that, I can absolutely give you some tips to get you started.
- Color Temperature
Color temperature is measured in Kelvins. Lower Kelvin scores are warmer and slightly yellowed in tone, while lights that score higher on the kelvin scale appear colder and faintly blue.
It’s best not to go too far in either direction for cabinet lighting, as it should be good task lighting but not sterile. The sweet spot is anywhere between 3000 and 5000K.
- Linear Luminosity
Linear lighting essentially just means lights that are oriented in a straight, narrow line. Being that cabinets follow the same orientation, many feel that linear lights are the most effective option.
- Battery Life
I’d recommend looking for something that offers you between 50 and 100 hours of run time on a single charge.
For cabinet lighting, I’d suggest choosing something sleek and slimline, as you don’t want it to augment your established interior rather than dominate it. If you can, treat 1” as the threshold.
Adhesive backs facilitate the easiest installation, but choosing something with multiple methods of installation is a good idea, as flexibility is always welcome.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
For a single or short sequence of cabinets, you won’t find a much better option than this wireless light bar from Brilliant Evolution. It’s a 65 lumens design with a mild 3000K color temperature.
During my tests, I found that it really made the grain in my wood cabinets pop, yet the light wasn’t so warm as to make it useless for kitchen tasks. That said, it may be a little too cozy for modern kitchens.
Installation was effortless. You can use screws or adhesive tape (I used the latter), so you can have it up and running in seconds.
My only real gripe is that it doesn’t come with recharge batteries.
- Price — You’ll barely notice this expense.
- Tape or screw mount — Flexible installation
- 100 hour battery life — That’s a lot of light, folks!
- Not rechargeable — You’d have to buy a discrete battery charger for that.
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As you can surmise from the name, this LED bar is dimmable, which is a nice touch.
With three brightness levels, you can switch between a mild glow for mood lighting or as a night light for midnight snacking, or a brighter task-oriented output.
I also really enjoyed the motion sensor during my testing. Not only does it save battery life by keeping the light off when unneeded, it adds a really smart element to your kitchen aesthetic.
For installation, I used the magnetic strip, as this meant I had easy access to the light for recharging.
Yep, you read that right, these lights are rechargeable, which will save you money in the long run.
- Rechargeable — No replacement batteries required
- Easy installation — Magnetic strip is fantastic
- Dimmable — Best of mood- and task-oriented lighting
- Price — One isn’t much, but a few will quickly add up.
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This 6-pack of LED puck lights are perfect if you want to dot your lights around the place rather than have one large light focused in one area.
With a 55 lumen output, they’re just bright enough to help with tasks as long as they’re not too high up from the counter, but what really impressed me during testing was the 100 hour runtime.
They’re not rechargeable, but with this kind of longevity, it’s a very small drawback.
They also come with a nifty remote control with dimmer and auto timer functionality, for ultimate customization.
- 100 hour runtime — Should keep you going a while.
- 6-pack — Lots of light for your money!
- Remote control — Easy to use and highly adjustable
- Not rechargeable — Unless you buy a battery charger
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Arriving as a pair, these Tipace light bars are a fantastic option for those who want quality cabinet lights that do all the work for them.
They’re rechargeable, which means no last minute trips to the store for replacement batteries, they have a motion sensor that enables self-operation, and they’re installed using a magnetic strip, which makes the recharge process an absolute delight.
They also have a lovely, sleek aluminum body, which could really contribute towards a crisp modern aesthetic.
If I’m being totally honest, the motion sensor could be a little more responsive, but other than that, I love these lights.
- Rechargeable — Easy on the wallet
- Magnetic installation — Simple to remove
- Aluminum frame — Robust and elegant
- Motions sensor — It could be better.
Wireless Under Cabinet Lighting: The Installation Process
One of the main draws of wireless under cabinet lighting is that installation is almost always going to be a total breeze.
Right off the bat, you know there’ll be no complicated electronics involved, and for most, you won’t even need any tools.
One thing to keep in mind before installation, though, is access. Wireless lights run on batteries, and batteries will eventually run out.
Some lights will be rechargeable; others won’t, but the similarity across the board is that you’ll need to be able to reach them easily.
On top of that, consider…
- How many of your chosen fixtures you’ll need to provide sufficient light in your shadowy spots.
- Doing a dry run on placement before dedicating to the installation.
- Checking that any remotes or motion sensors are fully functional before beginning.
- Priming the surface before you begin.
Will My Wireless Under Cabinet Lights Come With Batteries?
Some wireless lights do indeed come with batteries, while others do not. I’d always recommend checking this before making a purchase so you can properly prepare.
9 times out of 10, these lights run on either AA or AAA batteries. You’ll usually need three or four of whichever battery format the light needs.
Wireless Light Fixture Positioning
You can position your wireless under cabinet lighting however you like. This is the beauty of not being tethered to a wall outlet, but if you want some suggestions, consider the following:
- Puck Lights
It’s recommended that puck lights are installed in the central point between the wall and the lip of your cabinet.
In terms of the space you should leave between each individual puck light, it depends how functional you want the area to be.
If it’s an active zone, you’ll want to keep the spread of light pretty consistent, meaning they should be stationed slightly closer together.
If you don’t mind a small lapse in luminance here and there, then stationing them further apart is A-ok.
- Strip Lights
You can shift these further from the wall, so they’re closer to the edge of the cabinets. They won’t have the widest beam, so you’ll want it closer to you, thereby utilizing as much of it as possible for culinary tasks.
- Stick Lights
This type of light can be almost right up against the lip of the cupboard, ensuring the most luminous section of the beam shines right down in front of you, then gently fades across the less usable space towards the wall.
It can be very satisfying to purchase a vast network of wireless lights, but to get them all working in unison, they use special sensors that allow them to communicate in the absence of physical cables.
You can kind of think of these sensors as an invisible string, just like the one shared between your TV and TV remote, but just as actual strings can become tangled, so can the invisible string shared by your under cabinet lighting and other electronics.
To ensure these strings don’t get tangled in frequency knots, before installation, be sure to check they all work properly in the general location.
If your light fixtures feature a wireless logo, installing them so the logo is facing outwards usually helps to boost the IR signal slightly, facilitating strong communication.
What Does The Mounting Process Of Wireless Cabinet Lights Look Like?
The three most common types of mount for wireless under cabinet lights are screws, double-coated tissue tape, and magnets.
If you’re handy with a drill and you’re after a more permanent fixture, then by all means, screw your lights into place.
But this does limit you somewhat when it comes to changing batteries or recharging the lights, as you won’t be able to remove them easily.
- Double-Coated Tissue Tape
More of a DI-WHYYYY than a DIY person? I don’t blame you, and with double-coated tissue tape, you can avoid it altogether — woo!
All you have to do with this type of mount is measure out the right length of tape, prime it, then use it to stick your lights in position. Easy, right?
Well, yes, it is the easiest method, but although your lights won’t be screwed into place, it can be pretty difficult getting them off the surface once stuck on. Plus the tape is known to leave residue in some instances.
Magnets are my personal favorite. This method involves fitting a metal strip to the underside of your cabinets.
The lights themselves will have a magnetic base plate that holds them to the thin metal strip.
Held in place only by the magic of magnetism, you can remove your lights without any bother, making managing them during recharges or battery replacements a cinch.
Powering Cabinet Lighting: What Are My Options?
Power-wise, your options are four-fold:
- Regular batteries
- Rechargeable batteries
- 110–240 V house voltage
- Low V outlet plug power supply
House voltage essentially refers to any lights wired into your house electrics like your overheads. If you have a dedicated wall switch for your lights, this is the category they fall into.
Low voltage adapters allow you to plug your lights into a wall outlet. These adapters dial down that 110–240 V to a more manageable 12 or 24 V.
However, neither of these methods is relevant to today’s topic. If you want wireless under cabinet lights, you need to rely on batteries, namely AA or AAAs.
Will Wireless Under Cabinet Lighting Lift Property Value?
Being that wireless lights are usually very affordable options that anyone can purchase and install, they’re unlikely to add value to your property, but they may well be an enticing incentive for prospective buyers.
Recessed cabinet lighting wired into your home’s electrical panel, on the other hand, probably will take the value of your property up a little, as this is a very in-demand feature right now.
Did you find what you were looking for today? I tried my best to include, not just the best of the best wireless lights, but a healthy variety of different kinds too, so everyone could take something away from this post.