From Norm Architects of Norway, here's a clever solution for under-cabinet lighting that doesn't involve difficult-to-install puck lights.
In this 1860s fisherman's cottage, the family wanted to achieve the Danish concept of hygge—which loosely translates to "coziness" and requires a warm glow. To capture this in the kitchen, Norm Architects' Niels Bjerre-Poulsen attached a halogen lighting strip at the front edge of the open shelving.
Bjerre-Poulsen chose halogen lights to create a glow like that of incandescents (which are banned in Europe). But we would recommend using an LED strip; LEDs have a long lifespan and don't convert energy into wasted heat, which makes them the eco-friendly lighting choice. Here, a look at the Norwegian design as well as some sourcing ideas:
Above: The lighting strip adds a subtle glow to the kitchen.
Above: Most of the furnishings were custom-designed to fit the small space, lighting included.
Above: The lighting strip is reflected on the surface of the range.
Above: By day, the all-white house has a cooly Scandinavian look; by night, fixtures like the halogen strip add warmth.
Above: The Flexible LED Strip Light Sample Kit from Emeryville, CA-based Elemental LED has everything you need to compare several types of LED strips that offer varying levels of brightness, density, and warmth; $29.99.
Above: Elemental's Brighter Flexible LED Strip Light is sold by the foot and can be cut to any length; $15.99 per foot.
Above: An affordable option, the Dioder LED set from Ikea comes with four strips that can be connected together; $29.99.
For another clever use of strip lighting—this time in amber—visit A Oaxacan Oasis in Berkeley.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on May 13, 2013 as part of our Modern Kitchen issue.