Xenon Vs LED Under Cabinet Lighting(3 types)

xenon vs led under cabinet lighting

Consumers looking to update the lighting in their kitchen tend to get very confused with the different options available. Xenon and LED work well for under cabinet lighting. Both of them are the most popular types of under cabinet lighting. However, to make the decision process easier for you, we will look at what each of these two different types of lighting is and the pros and cons of each in terms of heat-produced, brightness, and the cost involved.

Xenon Lights

xenon under cabinet light

Xenon lights are a kind of incandescent lighting but they use a particular gas called Xenon, which enables them to produce a brighter and better-quality light. Also, xenon lighting is the oldest form of under cabinet lighting. The color rendering index shortly known as CRI of xenon lighting is absolutely perfect. That’s why many people still love this fixture a lot. It gives a very in detail look to the marble countertop of the kitchen. But the biggest weakness of this fixture it gets really hot and consumes a great amount of energy.

LED Lights

led under cabinet lighting

LED lights use superior technology which consists of tiny bulbs or diodes in an LED light strip. They stand for ‘light-emitting diode’ and produce an energy-efficient light with a low carbon footprint. Also, lead is the newest form of under cabinet fixture with more versatility than other types. They are much cooler than any other type of under cabinet light. Also led has a different color temperature and brightness level to make it more adjustable for any kind of lighting requirements.

The difference in terms of the Heat Produced:

LED under cabinet lighting is superior to the Xenon lights in terms of the heat produced. LED lights tend to generate less heat as compared to Xenon. More specifically, the LED lights emit only around 10% of their energy as heat, whereas the xenon releases almost 90% of their energy as heat. This shows the difference in the amount of heat produced between the two.

While working under a Xenon under cabinet light, you will notice that the bulb and the surrounding area get hot. In this case, it is better to dim the light or to use it for a short period of time and then turn it off. LED under cabinet lighting on the other hand can be used for a long period of time without heating up.

The difference in terms of Brightness:

Xenon Lights win over in this regard. They have the amazing ability to render the color in the most exquisite detail. The richness and depth of warm color exhibited by the Xenon lights make it ideal for under cabinet lighting. Not only do they work well as task lighting, but they also have great aesthetic appeal. Xenon lights can make the granite countertop look better than any other lighting.  With the trend towards aesthetics and decor playing an important part in areas such as the kitchen and bathroom, lighting that gives off a warm and luxurious look is being favored under cabinets. Xenon lighting is very popular in this regard.

LED lighting doesn’t provide the high CRI as the Xenon lights. Their CRI is in the range of 80-90, which may not be as good as the Xenon but does provide a good amount of illumination. If you do not need extreme color accuracy, then the LED light provides an excellent option under cabinets. They can produce many colors on the spectrum and with their appropriate brightness level and clean, sophisticated look are also a very preferred choice for under cabinet lighting. LED lights are of a smaller size and directional, making them ideal for small areas such as under the cabinets.

The difference in terms of Cost:

The LED under-cabinet and Xenon lights differ in costs. The initial cost of the LED lights is much higher than the Xenon. With the high initial cost, this seems to be a turn-off for many consumers. However, the long-term cost benefits of LED lights should be considered when making a purchase decision. The LED lights give off more light per unit of electricity. This greatly reduces your electricity bill as compared to using Xenon light which uses a lot of energy and heat to operate. The initial high cost of the LED can be offset through the lower cost through its lifetime making it more economical to go for LED undercabinet lighting.

Xenon lighting, though cheaper to buy initially, has high energy and electricity costs over its life. Therefore, your electricity cost can be higher with these lights. Your final decision should be based on the amount of usage of the under-cabinet light. If the usage is minimal and it would not affect your electricity cost a lot, then it may be wise to look at the Xenon lights.

On a final note, the choice between the LED under cabinet lighting and Xenon lighting greatly depends on personal choice and preference. If the accuracy, brightness, and warm aesthetics take your fancy, then Xenon may be a better option for you. However, if energy consumption, environment suitability, and a cooler ambiance are up to your alley, then you can head for the LED under cabinet lighting.

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by Scott D. Averill
Scott is a very nice guy with an electric obsession. He is an electrical engineer and a workshop owner in Chicago downtown. He is also a father of 3 child. From childhood he has been an electronics friendly child and always loved to be busy with repairing something.

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