I just saw in an interesting psak from Rav Elyashiv in his haggada and I subsequently found the same idea in his sefer "He'oros" on Pesachim. He says that the way we clean now-a-days where we spend anywhere from 20-30 days before Pesach cleaning our house fulfills the chiyuv bedika, l'chatchila. The only time Chazal required a candle is to look in the cracks and crevices. But for cleaning our fridges, closets, under the beds, cabinets etc, it is l'chatchila to clean the way we do it. Furthermore, he writes that if one cleaned their whoile house and there is no chametz in teh house it has a din of a mokom shein machnisin bo chametz and there is no chiyuv bedikah on the night of the 14th of Nisan. Taking it one step further, he says if after cleaning your house so there is no chametz, one were to do a bedika on the 14th and not put out 10 pieces of bread, the beracha would be a beracha l'vatala.
I saw in Halichos Shlomo that Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt"l argues on this last prat. He holds there would still be a chiyuv bedika even if you cleaned your house. However, it would seem that Rav Shlomo Zalman zt"l would be maskim that are cleaning definately helps. He says that you need to ask your wife about each spot if it was cleaned (did you chlean the fridge, the table etc) and then take a quick look to see if there are any pieces of chametz. In fact the Halichos Shlomo brings a ma'aseh that one year Rav Shlomo Zalman burnt his beard from the candle when checking under a bed. After that he had people help him. Presumably (at least the way I understand what Rav Shlomo Zalman is saying) if one did not clean before hand you might need to do a more thourough bedika on the 14th.