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LED Tape vs LED Pucks for Under Cabinet Lighting (Reviews/Ratings/Prices)

April 17th, 2013 | 2 min. read

By Roger Pontes

LED puck lights and LED tape can be used inside or underneath a cabinet. The LED tape is low voltage requiring a driver (transformer) in a hidden location.

The LED puck is available in line voltage direct wire or low voltage with a driver depending on the brand. Both pucks and now more recently tape are both common under cabinet applicatiions


LED (Light Emitting Diodes) is a solid-state lamp that uses light-emitting diodes as the source of light. LED lamps offer long service life(about 13 years vs 7 months for incandescent) and are 6-8 more efficient than an incandescent , but initial costs are higher than those of fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.

LED's also emit less heat compared to an incandescent or fluorescent light. You want color rendering LEDS at 2700-3200 watt for a similar type of light as a warm incandescent. Since there is no regulation to manufacturers claims, you should see the fixture and quality ot the light output before buying it

Puck Lighting

Puck lights got its name from the hockey sport. It’s a round disk that looks similar to a hockey puck. Puck lights were popular back in the 80’s and 90’s. Since then, technology has changed and there are more ways to light your cabinets. Puck lights were harder to install because you had to chain link the lights together from one to another similar to recessed lights.

led puck light display

led puck lighting display

  • $144-$160 depending on color finish
  • Direct wire no transformers needed for 120 Volt system
  • 4 Watts of light output (equivalent to a 25 watt incandescent bulb)
  • 1” deep when surfaced mounted and can also be recessed
  • Long lamp life of up 35,000 hours
  • May be linked with up to 100 units
  • Dimmable with standard incandescent
  • Finishes Black (BK), Bronze (BZ), Satin Aluminum (SA) and White (WT)
  • Good for use inside a glass cabinet

LED Flex Tape

LED Flex tape by Jesco Lighting is a thin strip of commercial grade modular lighting which features 3 levels of light output with a wide range of accessories and control options. This unique plug and play feature eliminates the need for field soldering. It also provides easy and simple installations. LED tape is made of highly flexible material that can be applied to most surfaces using 3M double sided tape.

led tape under cabinet install

led tape strip closeup

  • Low output $23/ft, high output $30/ft and ultra bright $36/ft
  • Low power consumption (1.3 watts, 2.7 watts, and 4.2 watts per foot
  • 1/8” thick (very low profile)
  • Can be connected for up to a 30ft run
  • Low profile and flexible – good for 90° bends or tighter
  • Requires a remote transformer/driver or in-line plug and play driver
  • No ultra violet (UV/IR) radiation and no mercury
  • Comes in 4” and 12” (Field cut-able)
  • Good for cove, cabinet, soffit lighting, showcase and display
  • Can also be used as accent, edge, and back lighting
  • Available in color changing
  • Long life span of up to 50,000 hours
  • Dimmable with 0-10 Volt LED dimmer


LED pucks are nice for inside a glass shelf cabinet. It can be recessed for a less noticeable look or surface mounted for easier installation. The LED tape can be used in many different applications. Personally, I like the LED tape better than the pucks.

The LED tape illuminates the whole area and doesn’t create any shadows. The puck lights create a scallop shadow around the light fixture. If you have a nice backsplash to highlight or you don’t want to see shadows from the light fixture, you may want to lean towards the LED flex tape.

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Roger Pontes

Roger Pontes has been with Yale Appliance for over 10 years. He’s worked in both the lighting and appliance department over the years. Roger truly enjoys helping people. He’s a married father of 2 kids, a boy and a girl. On his spare time Roger enjoys spending time with his family and playing sports.

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