How To Install Under Cabinet Lights

If you are using the Legrand adorne under cabinet lights you can use existing outlets to plug them in. Another popular method to install under cabinet lights in kitchens is to hardwire them to a switch. You can turn the lights on and off, including dim functions, without having raggedy wires and plugs in your cooking space. Be aware, when it comes to installation, hardwiring your lights is  certainly the most involved process. If you’re searching for advice on how to hardwire under cabinet lights, continue reading for step-by-step instructions.

Under Cabinet Lights – Preparation

First you need to select your under cabinet lights, then you can begin preparation for the installation.low voltage undercabinet lighting

1. Check with a professional- A professional electrical contractor in your area will be able to advise you regarding any details that you might have questions about, and  make certain that you’re complying with all of the electrical codes.

2. Make a plan for wiring- Where is your light switch? Close to the cabinets? Adjacent to the rest of your kitchen lighting controls? Determining this will help you know how much wiring you need. The electrical wiring runs within the wall and loops from one fixture to the next.

3. Decide on placement- For even lighting, it is suggested that you use linear under cabinet lights along the length of your cabinets, or puck lights every 6-10 inches. For the best task lighting along your counters, we also would suggest you place the lights close to the front of the cabinet. Finally, make sure your corner cabinet lighting is balanced to cover the area evenly, not causing shadows.

4. Gather the supplies- Most under cabinet lights come with a pack of necessary hardware to use for installation. This includes screws that won’t go all the way through the bottom shelves of your cabinets. Cable bushing and wire connectors of the right size are needed for correct installation. You will probably need the tools listed below.

  1. Screwdriver

  2. Wire strippers

  3. Wire fish

  4. Wire nuts

  5. Electrical tape

  6. Lamp cord and pressure connectors

  7. Drill with keyhole saw

  8. Drywall saw

Under Cabinet Lights – Installation

1. Make certain the power is off- Find the correct breaker and turn off the power supply to the switch outlet where you’re going to connect the lights.

2. Attachment- Place the lights how you laid them out earlier. Take apart the lights and screw them where you want them to go. To make this easier, you may want to use a pencil to mark the bottom of the cabinets.

3. Cut the wall- Depending on your back-splash, you may need to peel it away from where you’re installing the lights. Then, you should cut a channel behind the back-splash using your drywall saw. The channel should stretch from under the switch box to right near the farthest light. Finally, use the drill to bore a hole through the studs so you can run the wire.

4. Install wiring- On the bottom of each cabinet, use the drill again to make a hole for the wire for each light to come through. This is where you might need the wire fish to run the wires down the wall from one under cabinet light, through the channel, and to all of your under cabinet lights.

5. Place the cord- Beginning with the farthest fixture from the switch, run the lamp cord from one fixture to another. We recommend leaving about one foot of cord at each opening. At the farthest fixture, you’ll have a foot of cord hanging out the end, and the fixture next to it will have two cords hanging out, one incoming and one outgoing. Do this for every light until you get to the one closest to the switch. This light needs one length of cord coming from the switch box and one leaving the light on its other side.

6. Connect the under cabinet lights- Isolate the lamp cord inside each light, separate the wires, and remove about 3/4″ of the insulation from them. At the closest fixture to the switch, connect the wires with the wire nuts. You should connect the black fixture wire with one wire on the lamp cord with the plug on the end, and one wire heading to the next fixture. Do the same for the white fixture wire. Then re-assemble the light fixtures. The lamp cord will probably be the same color for both wires. Make sure to follow the lamp cord from one connection another to keep the black wires connected to the same strand of cord.

7. Switch wiring- At the switch, make sure the electricity is not on and then remove the receptacle. Bind the white wire and the easy under cabinet lightsconnecting strand of cord together with a wire nut. Screw the black wire on the outlet onto the switch’s bottom terminal, and screw the black wire that goes out to the lights into the switch’s top terminal.

8. Finishing the switch Cover the switch’s terminals by wrapping it with your electrical tape. Then screw the switch back into the box. Attach the switch cover.

9. Test your new under cabinet lights- Reconnect power to your lights, and turn the switch on to see if they work.

10. Finish it- Finally, you can redo the drywall that you had to slice away for the wire channel, and reattach the back-splash.

Have questions or need help selecting under cabinet lights? We can help. Give us a call or leave a comment.

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