Installing Undercabinet Lights:
Need More Working Light Under Kitchen Cabinets, at the Desk, or in the Workshop?
© 2008 by Kelly Smith all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without authors written permission
Need more working light under kitchen cabinets, at the desk or in the workshop? Harness the power of
low voltage halogen bulbs in easy to install undercabinet lights.
Undercabinet lights are a very convenient way to brighten up one specific space. One example of a
place where they are ideal is under kitchen cabinets. This is handy for food preparation or reading the
small print in cookbooks or on food package labels.
Installing undercabinet lights is a piece of cake when forearmed with the right information. A great
time to add this modern convenience is while
restoring vintage kitchen cabinets.
Low-voltage halogen lights will save money on energy bills while directing focused light only where
it's needed. Halogen is an excellent alternative to incandescent light bulbs. They provide a stronger
light source than
LED bulbs but generate more heat.
Other Good Locations for Undercabinet Lighting
Is there a home office for a student in the home? If so, its a good bet that there's also a
computer desk where a little more well-directed light would be welcome. Another good spot is at the
garage work bench.
Is there a glass-fronted cabinet in the living or dining room? Undercabinet lighting will create a
dramatic display of that heirloom china or collection of tacky knick-knacks.
Types of Undercabinet Lights
Choose the model of light fixture that is the most appropriate for the intended use. The most common
ones are called puck lights because theyre shaped like one. These are great for
lighting one spot specifically. For more light over a broader area, rectangular shaped fixtures fit the
Many of these lights are designed to connect to each other in a daisy chain configuration. This allows
the installer to really customize the lighted area's size and visual impact. For instance, in a china
cabinet, individual pieces can be spotlighted.
Undercabinet Light Components
To install undercabinet lights, the first thing to do is accumulate the necessary undercabinet light
components. The proper lighting kit will include:
- Lighting unit (fixture)
- Halogen light bulb(s) (Use lower wattage for enclosed spaces, such as in a cabinet.)
- Cord switch
Light Fixture Installation Tools Needed
Just basic tools here; no big cash outlay!
- Corded or cordless drill
- Wire securing staples
Undercabinet Light Installation Steps
- Follow these steps to install the undercabinet light. Some applications will vary slightly;
refer to the installation manual.
- Position the lighting unit(s) where desired and attach it with screws, making sure that the
screws are not so long that they protrude on the other side of the cabinet.
- If installing more than one fixture, attach them to the cabinet and daisy-chain them together
with connector wires.
- Connect the power cord to an electrical outlet. If the cord is excessively long, coil it up
and secure it out of the way. (Cord management)
- Attach all applicable cabling to the underside of the cabinet to tidy things up.
- Open the fixture lens cover and install the halogen bulb. CAUTION:
Do not touch the bulb with bare fingers; use a cloth.
- Replace the lens cover.
- Plug it in and turn it on.
Ready to get started? Do it yourself or I highly recommend Angies List - Where thousands of consumers share their ratings on the local contractors and service companies they hire. Learn more.
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