Kitchn Love Letters

These Renter-Friendly Cabinet Lights Have Totally Elevated My Small Kitchen

published Feb 16, 2022
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Since moving into my new apartment last October, I’ve dedicated myself to making small, gradual improvements to its 60-square foot kitchen. The first order of business was hanging a wall-mounted spice rack to free up tons of cabinet space (it quickly became a reader-favorite storage find, too!). I also put up magnetic shelves on the fridge and utilized under-the-shelf baskets to double my cabinet space. And while I love all these clever items for maximizing my available storage, there’s one item that I might love even more for instantly transforming the ambiance in the compact space: these LED under cabinet lights. They make my kitchen actually look classy, despite being a total steal.

If you rent, especially if you also rent in New York City and are stuck with notoriously cramped and outdated kitchens, then you know it can be frustrating not being able to make any permanent changes to your space. I’d love to paint my cabinets, replace my laminate countertops, and retile the floor. However, with cosmetic changes limited to removable items, I turned to these Brilliant Evolution LED Lights that have made a shockingly impressive impact on the way my kitchen looks. At just over $30 and boasting 29,000 ratings, these lights were practically an instant-buy.

What impressed me the most was that when I removed the lights from the packaging, they were already synced with the remote. When I step into my kitchen, all I have to do is point the remote at them and every light turns on at once. There are also options to dim the lights, with shortcuts for 50 percent and 100 percent bright to make it even easier. I love using the dimmed setting at night after I’ve cooked and cleaned up to make the room look extra cozy. And, as one reviewer also pointed out, the light has a natural hue instead of being overly-white, so it really does warm up the room.

Credit: Erin Cavoto

These lights have also come in handy during the winter because I do most of my cooking (and then cleaning up) when it’s already dark outside. Now, when I’m busy chopping veggies or washing dishes, I can actually see what I’m doing. It makes the time spent in my kitchen all around more enjoyable. 

And what’s possibly most important is how easy they are to install. The pack comes with sticky pads as well as screws for mounting under your cabinets. I instead chose to use Command Strips to be extra safe when it’s time to remove them, but the screw installation would definitely be speedy with an electric drill on hand.

Ultimately, I couldn’t be more pleased with these lights. It’s been such a simple way to make my kitchen feel more elegant and like my own space. Anyone who wants to add lighting to with no electrical installation needs to check out this budget- and renter-friendly option.