Kitchen LED lights – installation ideas for your kitchen


Here at InStyle LED, we have been supplying commercial-grade LED tape lights at low prices to both end-users and trade for almost a decade. We have built a solid reputation on supplying quality, reliable LED Tape at very competitive prices. We stock all varieties of LED tape lights, and we have provided products for installation in a range of applications – from hotels to restaurants to bars to homes and more. Many of our customers have already installed our LED tape in impressive kitchen projects, for main ‘working light’ or for feature lighting, in single colours and colour-changing (RGB). But others have asked, “where can I use LED tape in my kitchen and what products and equipment will I need?”

So we’ve decided to write a blog to answer some of these questions, to offer you some design ideas – and help you choose the right way to install your kitchen strip lights.

What is LED tape lighting?

Kitchen LED strip lighting is a thin flexible light source, supplied on a reel, that can be installed almost anywhere. Each tape’s flexible PCB (printed circuit board) has many small LEDs mounted in a row, which will give a smooth effect when shining on a surface. The LEDs come in different shapes and sizes to provide different light levels. You can choose white kitchen LED lights of different shades, or colour-changing LEDs that can be wired up to a controller that lets you mix any colour of light you want.

Using LED tape for your kitchen LED lights gives many benefits – from its low running costs, through its compact size and flexibility, to its 50,000 hour long life.

Kitchen strip lighting can also be linked to dimmers and controllers to give you complete control. LED lights require a transformer to power them.

4.8 Watt 3528 SMD Cool White LED Tape on a reel

How can I use my LED tape in the kitchen?

Kitchens come in many shapes and sizes, and LED tape lighting may not be suitable for every one. But if you can use kitchen LED lights, they will give you stunning feature effects or fantastic general lighting with low running costs.

Here are some of the most common places that you can install LED tape in your kitchen to great effect.

  • Plinth LED lights

Adding plinth LED lights to your kitchen can create a stunning feature effect. InStyle LED can cut and solder your kitchen LED lights to the specific lengths that you need for your installation. We can even solder in link-cables between lengths of LED tape, so you can install around plinth corners and other obstacles.

Because plinth LED lights tend to be softer and less bright than your main lighting, we usually recommend our 5-watts per metre single-colour LED tapes. We can supply 5-watt tape in warm white, pure white, red, green, blue or amber colours from our warehouse. If you want colour-changing kitchen LED lights instead, we recommend our 7.5-watt tapes (choose from 12V or 24V, depending on the length of LED tape you require). These brighter kitchen LED lights will work best when hidden behind the plinth – so you can just see the light from the LEDs rather than the tape itself, giving a stunning halo glow.

Be careful if you have shiny kitchen tiles because they can work as a mirror, showing the individual LED ‘dots’ of your hidden plinth LED lights shining down onto them.

See the pictures below, which show stunning under-plinth lighting results using our warm white 5W LED tape.

5w LED tape used for kitchen plinth LED lights

5w and 15w LED tape usedfor kitchen plinth LED lights

  • Under-cabinet lighting

The most popular use for kitchen LED lights is as ‘working light’ under kitchen cabinets. This is because LED tapes have now become bright enough to replace bulky old-fashioned fluorescent tube lighting in kitchens. They can even replace LED bulbs already installed under kitchen cabinets. LED tape lighting uses far less energy that fluorescent tube lighting, and has a much longer life expectancy (up to 50,000 hours @ 70%).

For kitchen cabinet lighting, we recommend InStyle’s commercial-grade white LED tape – either 15W or 20W. Or if you prefer a colour-changing option, we suggest you should choose our 15W RGB LED tape. These higher-wattage kitchen LED lights are recommended because higher wattages produce brighter light outputs, which is ideal for under-cabinet ‘working light’; if you only want feature lighting under your kitchen cabinets, you should simply select a lower wattage LED tape instead. See the table below for a summary of which wattage you should use where.

Our 15w kitchen LED strip lighting is just 3mm deep and 12mm wide – and comes with sticky backing tape pre-attached, for easy installation. (All of InStyle’s LED tapes are supplied with adhesive backing tape pre-attached as standard.)

See image below of InStyle’s 15W kitchen LED lights used for under-cabinet illumination.

15w white LED Tape used under kitchen cabinets

  • Coving lighting

If you have coving or an area above your cabinets where you can install kitchen LED strip lighting, this can add a unique feature or provide subtle secondary lighting. We recommended 5W or 10W InStyle LED tape lights for this kind of application (or RGB 7.5W LED tape if you want RGB colour-changing lights). Kitchen LED lights of these wattages  will give you enough brightness, without being overpowering.

The pictures below show InStyle’s 7.5w RGB LED tape used in a kitchen coving. As you can see, RGB LED tape can also mix a pure white light.

Window RGB LED Tape White

Window RGB LED Tape Blue

Window RGB LED Tape Red

The wattage and brightness that your kitchen LED lights need

5W white LED tape Feature lighting. Ideal for use as coving or plinth LED lights, to give a halo glow effect.
10W white LED tape Feature lighting. Ideal for use above kitchen cabinet lighting as feature lighting, if more brightness is required.
15W white LED tape General lighting. Ideal for ‘working’ light, under kitchen cabinets.
20W white LED tape General lighting. Usually the 15W would be enough, but 20W tape could be used under kitchen cabinet for ‘working’ light.
7.5W RGB LED tape Feature lighting. Ideal for use as coving or plinth kitchen LED strip lighting, to produce a halo glow effect.
15W RGB LED tape High-power feature lighting – although it can be mixed to produce a pure white, to be used as ‘working’ light.

What’s the difference between warm white, pure white and RGB colour-changing kitchen LED lights?

Our warm white striplights are our most popular product for kitchen LED lights.  This is because warm white LEDs look similar to the household halogen lights that many people already have installed. ‘Warm’ in colour, with tints of brown and yellow, warm white light gives a comfortable and ‘homely’ feel. Note that warm white has nothing do with temperature; it’s simply a description of the light’s colour output. (There is a recognised colour-scale that measures light colours – called the Kelvin scale. Warm white lights tend to rank around 2700-3200 Kelvins.)

Pure white LED tapes tend to give a more crisp and modern finish to a room. Sometimes called ‘cool’ whites (again nothing to do with actual temperature), they’re often installed in shops and other display locations. This type of kitchen LED strip lighting can also be used to add effective feature lighting in a contemporary home. Pure white is typically around 5500K-6500K on the Kelvin scale.

RGB LED tape stands for ‘red, green and blue’. These kitchen LED lights will require a controller unit to adjust the colours that they produce by mixing the three lights. With all three colours in each LED, you can choose and set any shade you want – to produce stunning feature effects in your kitchen. Your controller will also let you set your LED tape to mix a pure white light. (But be aware that pure whites produced by an RGB LED tape are never as ‘true’ as a dedicated pure white LED tape, because they’re being mixed to achieve the effect.)

Wiring diagrams for your kitchen LED lights

All of InStyle’s kitchen LED lights can be dimmed (or managed by a controller in the case of RGB LED tapes). For single-colour LED tapes, we at InStyle have dimmable transformers, wireless remote dimmers, receivers or rotary wall dimmers for all your dimming projects. Please visit our dimmer product page for more information.

For RGB LED tapes, we have the perfect DMX, wireless remote controllers, wall controllers and other options for any colour-changing application. You can visit our website’s controller product page to find out more.

Controller Box

RGB Wireless LED Controller for colour-changing LED tape

LED Diagram (RGB)

White LED Tape Wiring Diagram

Single-colour and white LED tape wiring diagram

rotary dimmer

Single Rotary Dimmer for single and white LED tape

Single Rotary Dimmer Diagram

InStyle LED

Please call InStyle LED on 0116 2799083 if you have any questions regarding your kitchen LED lights. We can offer advice from start to finish, or even talk your electrician through the installation.

We have all varieties of kitchen LED lights in stock for next day delivery. We can cut and solder your LED tape to the specific lengths that you require, making for a no-fuss installation. Call 0116 2799083 or email [email protected].