The Stunning Lighting Feature That Will Make Your Kitchen Feel Cozy And Warm

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Do you have one of those family members who reacts to overhead lights like a vampire in the midday sun? Have you stepped on one too many Lego bricks en route to a glass of water? Sat in the dark with an early-morning cup of coffee because even the lights under your kitchen cabinets were burning a hole into your soul? Instagram interior design micro-influencer Krista McVeigh (@home.onthetenth) has just the thing for you ... at least in the kitchen: toe kick lighting. Her post has well over 1.5 million likes, and that's just from the people who could find their phones in the dark.

When her electrician presented her with the option of using LED strips under the toe kicks in her kitchen, McVeigh says she was indifferent, but now she's glad she was talked into it. "Not only does it pay off aesthetically," she wrote on Instagram, "but the low ambient light acts as a safety feature, providing the perfect nighttime glow in the main area of our home when our toddler wakes in the night." Instagram user @jeunwo zeroes in on the toddler safety issue, saying the lighting "increases safety when walking at night because it incinerates all the floor demons that grab your foot when you grab a snack in the middle of the night." But does it really ward off Legos and ankle-grabbing demons? Let's take a closer look. To misquote Homer Simpson, "Come, let us all bask in toe kick lighting's warm glowing warming glow."

Pros and cons of toe kick lighting

As usual, one need look no further than social media comments for the best and worst feedback on just about anything. Instagram user @alanaleann says toe kick lighting improves sleep: "People do not understand the importance of turning overhead lights off after sunset and using low lighting until bed." Even the naysayers like the lighting, but had a common complaint: the lights show any dust and crumbs on the floor. "I call it the dust & crumb spotlight," wrote @tharpey. Other commenters, who live dust-free by virtue of not posting pictures of their homes on Instagram, say all it takes is a little cleaning. These are, clearly, people with borrowed dogs and no children. But try combining these lights with a toe kick vac and you'll solve this problem while having fun sweeping your floors.

Toe kick lighting would work about as well in bathrooms or along the bottoms of beds. Wherever you use it, installation can be a challenge if you want the lights tied to a wall switch, unless you're dealing with new construction. Retrofitting might get pricey, but there are inexpensive (as little as 20 cents per foot on Amazon) LED strip lights that are controlled by a simple remote control, which should be workable as long as you keep up with the remote. Even battery-operated versions might be useful for helping you find your flashlight or home safety kit in case of a power outage.