Halogen Vs LED Under Cabinet Lighting

Website design By BotEap.comUnder cabinet lighting is a great feature in any kitchen, offering functional light to desperate counter space that would otherwise be shaded by wall cabinets above. Not only is it practical, but under cabinet lighting also provides a unique and attractive aesthetic to enhance any kitchen décor.

Website design By BotEap.comWhen shopping for under cabinet lighting, it’s important to understand what types of lighting are available and the advantages and disadvantages of each. The two main sources of under cabinet light are halogen lighting and LED lighting. While each option installs cleanly and offers generous amounts of light, there are many differences between the two.

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Website design By BotEap.comBefore looking at under cabinet lighting products, understand the fundamental characteristics of each type of light source. Halogen lights work similarly to incandescent lights in that they produce light by burning a tungsten filament when connected to a power source. The only difference is that the glass bulb enclosing the filament is filled with gas from the halogen group. This allows the glass to stay closer to the filament without melting; thus allowing the bulb size to be more compact. The halogen helps recirculate the burned tungsten atoms back into the filament, making it last longer. To ensure the glass doesn’t melt, it needs to be thicker to handle the higher heat load.

Website design By BotEap.comFor various reasons, halogen lights have been popularly used as an under cabinet light source. They are compact bulbs that last longer; making them an ideal bulb to mount under a cabinet. Unfortunately, they still consume the same amount of energy as incandescent lights and burn even more.

Website design By BotEap.comlight emits diodes

Website design By BotEap.comLED (light-emitting diode) lights generate light by emitting photons of energy. This is a purer form of light that does not produce energy in the form of heat. The LED is created by assembling a semiconductor material such as aluminum gallium arsenide inside a lens connected to a power source. The science is all within the semiconductor. Across a semiconductor there is a PN junction. When an energy source excites electrons across this PN junction, visible light is produced in the form of photons. Using LEDs as the light source offers the most efficient lighting. Because it doesn’t waste energy to produce unnecessary heat, it’s considered the most energy-efficient light source and an ideal light source for under-cabinet lighting.

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Website design By BotEap.comHow manufacturers have applied these technologies to under-cabinet lighting products reflects the properties of each source. Because halogen bulbs produce so much heat, they are usually mounted on a 120V light bar that also uses an air circulation system to cool the bulb and cabinet surface. This wastes more energy producing light and the lamp is often bulkier and more visible than desired.

Website design By BotEap.comLED under cabinet lights are drastically more compact. They do not require a cooling system and because they consume very little power, they often run on low voltage sources. A 12-volt AC/DC adapter can effectively illuminate countertop space under 12 or more feet of cabinets. And because the strips run on low-voltage power, installation is simplified. LED light strips and components can be connected in a chain of male to female plugs that originate from the power supply that simply plugs into an outlet. Low voltage adapters can also be wired into the standard conduit supply in addition to dimmer switches, resulting in a clean, professional installation with even more energy efficient capabilities.

Website design By BotEap.comWhen comparing the properties of halogen and LED lighting, it may not be clear why halogen under cabinet lighting existed. The answer is simply that LEDs never produced usable amounts of light until recent developments in semiconductor technology. Now that more capable semiconductors are being developed, LEDs are being implemented in many different consumer products, in ways that never seemed imaginable.

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