How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

The kitchen is one room of the home where bright light is very important. Most homes only have lighting fixtures in the ceilings of kitchens which make it hard to see if the light is behind you. But, you can easily add lighting under neath the cabinets to provide light exactly where you need it most.

There are various types of under cabinet lights to choose from and they come in various types of materials such as plastic and brass. So, finding some that will match your kitchen shouldn’t be hard. And, depending on how the bottom of your cabinets are made, some lights won’t even show.

With all the emphasis on making homes greener, LED lighting is becoming very popular. However, they are still quite expensive. The green side to LED lights is that they use very little energy and provide lot’s of light. Most have settings that allow you to go from low to high depending on what you need.

Both fluorescent and halogen light fixtures are also popular for under cabinet fixtures. Fluorescent lights are probably the most common, the bulbs are long lasting and while the light is bright it’s not blinding. Halogen bulbs generally last about one fourth as long as fluorescent and touching the bulbs will cause them to burn out even faster.

Puck lights are great choices for areas that require extra light, but don’t have the space for large fixtures. Some puck lights are just an inch thick, they’re very compact so they can be used in the smallest of places. They hook together in a string similar to Christmas lights.

They are usually sold in packs of two, but you can find them in larger packs. You just mount them under the cabinet and then connect them together. Fittings are included with the lights that just snap together with the last fitting having a plug-in. Puck lights can be found in several colors and materials.

Before you actually install the light under your cabinet, you should plug it in and move it around to get the best location. But, most manufacturers will recommend that the light be installed as close to the front of the cabinet as you can get it. Once you’ve found the position for the light, mark the screw holes on the cabinet bottom with a pencil if you can get to them.

Many light fixtures even come with paper guides to show you exactly where to make the screw holes. But, if the one you purchased don’t have a guide, then you’ll have to measure and mark the holes yourself. It’s much easier to get the holes right if you draw and outline of the fixture on the bottom of the cabinet.

Once you’ve got the cabinet marked, measure down from each end of the light to the hole and then measure across. Make the same measurements on the diagram and make pilot holes for the screws. Some cabinet bottoms are fairly thin, if yours is too thin for the screw, you can add some washers to keep the screw from going up inside the cabinet. You can also purchase shorter screws instead of using the ones that came with the light.

After you’ve got your pilot holes drilled all that’s left is to install the light fixture. Just follow the instructions to properly attach the light to the cabinet. One thing that you should consider before deciding where to put the light, is how you’re going to plug it in. Unless you want to run wires to the fixture, try to install them as close to plug-ins as you can.