My clients are often surprised to find out that fluorescent lights are my favorite of the three. When most of us think of fluorescent lights, we think of the buzzing, flickering, fading bulbs we’ve seen in years past. Like a lot of things, technology has made fluorescent lights much better. The compact lamps can be concealed easily, there are choices of the light hue that can be made, they come on instantly, and they don’t flicker, buzz or hum like the old school ones did. The bulbs come in a wide variety of lengths so it’s easy to get full coverage without leaving dark spots or light gaps. Along with bright uniform lighting, the bulbs have long life spans.
There are a wide variety of incandescent under-cabinet lights, with halogen and xenon and puck lights being the most popular. Those who like these lights do so because the light tends to be a cooler white—less yellow—and the bulbs tend to be inexpensive. The downside is that the life span of the bulb is about a third of the fluorescent lights, and my biggest pet peeve is that the incandescent lights throw off a bunch of heat. Some of the manufacturers of these lights don’t recommend putting food on the first shelf because the heat from the incandescent lamps will cook it! It also takes a bunch of incandescent lights to get even lighting. More lights, more heat.