How to Install Under Cabinet Lighting
You’re researching how to install under cabinet lighting because it’s just too dark in your kitchen. You want the kind of lighting that will give your cabinets a clean, elegant ambiance, but you also want the lighting to be practical so you can see to chop vegetables or to read a recipe. There are two basic functions for kitchen lighting: task lighting and ambiance lighting. By connecting your under cabinet lighting to a dimmer switch, you can adjust the light for various tasks or to create mood.
Before learning how to install under cabinet lighting, it’s important to understand the different options that you have. The three basic types of under cabinet lights include: puck lights, light bars, and strip lights. Before you install your under cabinet lights, you will need to decide whether to purchase hardwired or plug-in types. It’s easy to install the plug-in light for under cabinet lighting. Simply drill screws to mount your light to the underside of your cabinet and then plug it in.
But if your outlet is located some distance from where you want to place your lighting, you may need to go with hardwired under cabinet lights or LED strip or tape lights. The LED strip or tape lights come with snap-together connectors that allow you to add additional wire length without having to cut wire to fit. LED strip lights are also easy to install because they’re flexible, and the light strip can be cut to length. You will want to make sure your outlet has a dimmer switch in order to be able to adjust the under cabinet lights for various cooking tasks.
- measuring tape
Step 1: Measure. Measure the distance between the outlet and the space under your cabinet where you will be mounting your strip light. Purchase the joiner cables and any splitters and screw mounts needed.
Step 2: Drill. Drill any necessary holes in your cabinets and shelves needed to run the cables from the outlet to under your cabinets.
Step 3: Put the controls in place. Place the controls in a concealed location close to an outlet, such as on the top of the cabinets under the lip or toward the back.
Step 4: Connect the joiner cables. Simply snap the connectors together, and feed the cable down through the drilled holes.
Step 5: Measure and Cut. Use the strip light as a template. Mark and measure where the light is to be installed, and cut to fit.
Step 6: Mount the lights and then hook up the connector. Undo adhesive strip and affix the lights to a clean, dry surface under your cabinets. For uneven or porous surfaces, use mounting screws. Then plug in the controls, and enjoy your new under cabinet lighting.