How to Install Under Cabinet Lighting

Make your kitchen glow with easy-to-install under cabinet lighting. It’s a nice accent to your counters and cabinets, and helps with everyday kitchen tasks. First, pick your lights. Plug ins are easy to install, all you need is a wall outlet. Hardwired systems should be installed by professionals. Types of plug in lights include pucks, strips, tape, and rope. Puck lights give off scalloped pockets of light. Space them about 8 to 12 inches apart for more even lighting. Strips emit flooded light, just choose fixtures to match the length of your cabinets. Rope and tape lights have a nice, even illumination—they’re great for large areas like the top of your cabinets or at the bottom near the toe kick. You can pick light colors too: warm colors work well for ambient light and cool colors are best for task lighting. Buy fixtures from the same product family to ensure color consistency.

And make sure your cabinet faces will hide the lights. A quick measurement is all you need to check. We’re installing puck lights but other types of installations are similar. Begin by setting the lights, wires, and power hub in place on the countertop to check the layout. It’s best to position the lights near the front of the cabinet, and it’s important to make sure the cables will reach the outlet. When it all looks good, twist off the light and lens, hold the mounting cap in place, and mark the holes with a pencil. Drill a shallow starter hole, then reposition the cap, and secure with screws. If you’re going to recess the lights—like in the top of cabinets—drill the holes, run the wiring, and secure with screws. Next attach the lights—twist and lock. Secure the power control, and power hub with screws. Route the wires to the power hub and plug them in.

You might need to drill through the cabinets to run the wires. Use cord clips to secure them. Tuck extra wire in the space between cabinets. Plug in the power and turn on. If you like the look of LED strips, they install the same way—attach with screws and route the jumper cables to link the lights together. Plug them in, and that’s it. Rope lights are great for ambient lighting. Simply fasten with the included clips, and plug in. Tape lights work the same way, except all you need to do is remove the adhesive backing and press onto the cabinet. Some even come with a remote. For small spaces, try battery-powered lights. Just peel and stick, then press the switch.

Whether it’s for task or décor, your kitchen will shine with under cabinet lighting.

If you feel like you’d rather have a handyman pro do this project for you, Pretty Handy Guys Handyman Services has local handyman pros ready to partner with you for your home improvement projects.

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