I had to make some urgent plumbing repairs under a kitchen sink, so I hunted around for my flashlight. Its batteries were dead, so I reluctantly set up a 300w halogen work light in the base cabinet and got down to business. After I scorched myself twice and kicked over the lamp several times, it finally burned out.
As a last resort, I enlisted a 6-ft.-long piece of flexible, clear PVC rope light that I planned to install above the kitchen cabinets. I laid the rope light along the inside edges of the cabinet and plugged it in. Voilà! The inside of the cabinet was beautifully illuminated.
I now use a rope light whenever I’ve got a cramped, poorly lit workspace. I’ve used it in attics, closets, cabinets, crawlspaces—even cars. Because the light comes from multiple sources, a rope light illuminates every nook and cranny without harsh shadows. I’m not blinded if I inadvertently glance at it. The light stays cool and doesn’t burn. And it’s durable. I’m still using that 6-ft. section, along with several longer versions that I now keep rolled up with my extension cords.
You can buy rope lights at home centers. For an online source, try Outwater Plastics (www.outwater.com).
Peter J. Gootos, Grapevine, TX