I saw recently a video where someone has attached a LED strip underneath some kitchen wall units. What he had done differently to your standard on off strips was to use sensors to turn on and off each LED in the strip as you pass your hand under the units from either direction. Im guessing it was ultrasonic sensors but im not sure.
If you get the jist of what im on about would you say it was ultrasonic or something else? My only concern is to keep a low profile under the cabinets to avoid being able to see any of the electronics while in the kitchen and ultrasonic sensors although small are obviously much bigger than a flat led strip. Im planning to do this as my first Arduino project so hope this is doable for a beginner!