How to Wire Under Cabinet Lighting: Diagram and StepbyStep Instructions

How to Wire Under Cabinet Lighting Diagram?

To wire under cabinet lighting, begin by picking out the fixtures you want to install.

Consult with an electrician before starting the project to ensure proper installation.

Plan the wiring by determining the location of the light switch and the amount of wiring needed.

Position the LED under cabinet lighting, measuring and evenly spacing the lights before installation.

Place linear lights along the length of the cabinets for even lighting, and position task lighting close to the front of upper cabinets for edge lighting.

Cover countertop areas of corner cabinets without causing shadows.

Use the right hardware and tools for installation, including screws, wire strippers, wire nuts, and a drill.

Before starting, disconnect the power to the area.

Attach the lights securely but not overtightened.

Cut the wall and drill through the studs for running the wire, using a wire fish to guide the wires from one fixture to the next.

Connect the wires inside each LED light, separating them if necessary, and connect them with wire nuts.

Wire the switch by binding the white wire and the connecting strand of cord together with a wire nut.

Attach the black wire on the outlet to the switch’s bottom terminal, and attach the black wire going out to the lights to the switch’s top terminal.

Cover the switch’s terminals with electrical tape, then screw the switch back into the box and attach the switch cover.

Turn on the power to test the lights.

Patch up any cut drywall for the wire channel.

For hardwired under cabinet lighting, consult an electrician for secure and safe installation.

Hide the wires for a clean look, using methods such as running them through the wall, using a wire channel, or using conduit.

Determine the lighting requirements by calculating the location, number of LED lights needed, and the load requirements for the power supply.

Plan how the lights will be run and check if the LED lights can be dimmed with a standard in-line dimmer or if a power supply with dimming capabilities is required.

Key Points:

  • Consult with an electrician before starting the project
  • Position and measure the LED lights before installation
  • Place linear lights along the length of the cabinets for even lighting
  • Use the right hardware and tools for installation
  • Connect the wires inside each LED light, separating them if necessary
  • Determine the lighting requirements and plan how the lights will be run


Did You Know?

1. Edison’s invention of the incandescent light bulb in 1879 laid the foundation for under cabinet lighting, as it provided a safer and more efficient alternative to gas lamps.

2. Under cabinet lighting can greatly enhance the functionality and ambiance of a kitchen. It not only illuminates countertops for cooking tasks, but also adds a pleasant accent to the room when used independently.

3. The wiring diagram for under cabinet lighting typically involves low-voltage systems, such as LED lights. This not only reduces energy consumption but also minimizes the risk of electrical shock.

4. A common mistake when installing under cabinet lighting is placing the fixtures too close to the back wall, which causes shadows when working on the countertop. The ideal distance from the back wall is typically around 12-18 inches.

5. For those who enjoy DIY projects, there are various types of wireless under cabinet lighting options available that can be easily installed using adhesive strips or magnetic mounting. These eliminate the need for drilling holes or extensive wiring.

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Importance Of Properly Installed Under Cabinet Lighting

Properly installed under cabinet lighting is crucial for providing focused illumination for tasks in the kitchen. Whether you’re chopping vegetables, reading a recipe, or simply creating a warm ambiance, having consistent lighting is essential. Not only does it improve visibility and functionality in the kitchen, but it also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the space.

To ensure consistent results, it is recommended to have under cabinet lighting professionally installed. This ensures that the wiring is done correctly, minimizing the risk of electrical hazards. However, if you’re comfortable with DIY projects, LED under cabinet lighting can be installed by following a few simple steps.

Diy Installation Of Led Under Cabinet Lighting

LED under cabinet lighting is a popular choice due to its energy efficiency and longevity. Installing it as a DIY project can be a rewarding experience, saving both time and money. Before starting the installation, it is advisable to consult with an electrician to review your plan and ensure compliance with local electrical codes.

To begin the installation process, you will need to pick out the fixtures you wish to install. It is recommended to choose linear lights that will run along the length of the cabinets to provide even lighting throughout the kitchen space. Additionally, consider task lighting placement, ensuring it is positioned close to the front of the upper cabinets to provide edge lighting for countertop tasks.

Before installing the LED lights, you should measure and evenly space them to achieve an aesthetically pleasing and evenly distributed lighting effect. Additionally, make sure you have the necessary tools on hand, including a screwdriver, wire strippers, wire fish, wire nuts, electrical tape, a drill with a keyhole saw, and a drywall saw.

Installing Under Cabinet Lighting With A Wall Switch

Having a wall switch for your under cabinet lighting allows for convenient control of the lights, making it easy to turn them on and off as desired. This can be achieved by properly wiring the lights to a switch. However, it is important to remember that the power to the area should be disconnected before beginning any electrical work.

To wire the lights to a switch, you should start by planning the wiring layout, including determining the location of the switch and the amount of wiring needed. Once the plan is in place, you can proceed with the installation process. Carefully follow the instructions provided with your LED lighting fixtures, ensuring you attach them securely but not overtightened.

When running the wires behind the wall, it is crucial to take caution not to damage any existing wiring. Using a stud finder, locate the studs and cut a straight line in the wall using a drywall saw. For areas with a backsplash, peel it back and cut a channel for the wire. Drill holes through the studs for running the wire, using fish to guide the wires from one fixture to the next.

To wire the switch, start by running electrical wire from the light fixture furthest away from the switch. Leave approximately one foot of wire sticking out at each opening. The closest fixture to the switch should have a length of wire coming from the switch box, as well as another length of wire leaving the light on its other side. This configuration will allow for proper electrical connections.

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Make sure to isolate the electrical wires inside each LED light, separating them if necessary. Remove about 3/4 of an inch of insulation from each wire and connect them using wire nuts. Connect the black fixture wire with an electrical wire in the wall that has a plug on the end, as well as a wire heading to the next fixture. Repeat the same process with the white fixture wire.

Before wiring the switch, ensure the electricity is off at the switch outlet. Bind the white wire and the connecting strand of cord together using a wire nut. Screw the black wire on the outlet into the switch’s bottom terminal, and screw the black wire that goes out to the lights into the switch’s top terminal. Cover the switch’s terminals with electrical tape and secure the switch back into the box.

Steps To Install Under Cabinet Lighting

To install under cabinet lighting, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  • Pick out the LED fixtures you wish to install, considering linear lights for even lighting distribution.
  • Consult with an electrician to review your plan and ensure compliance with local electrical codes.
  • Plan the wiring, determining the location of the light switch and the amount of wiring needed.
  • Position the LED under cabinet lighting, measuring and evenly spacing them before installation.
  • Run the wiring behind the wall, taking precaution not to damage any existing wiring.
  • Connect the wires inside each LED light using wire nuts, ensuring proper electrical connections.
  • Wire the switch following the specific instructions provided with your LED lighting fixtures.
  • Test the lights by turning on the power and ensure they function as desired.
  • Patch up any drywall that had to be cut away for the wire channel.

Following these steps will enable you to successfully install under cabinet lighting and enjoy the benefits it provides.

Tips For Even Lighting Distribution In The Kitchen

Achieving even lighting distribution in the kitchen is crucial for both functionality and aesthetics. To ensure optimal results with your under cabinet lighting, consider the following tips:

  • Measure and evenly space the LED lights before installation for uniform lighting.
  • Linear lights along the length of the cabinets provide even lighting throughout the kitchen space.
  • Place task lighting close to the front of the upper cabinets for edge lighting during countertop tasks.
  • When lighting corner cabinets, ensure the lights cover the countertop area without causing unwanted shadows.

By implementing these tips, you can create a well-lit and visually appealing kitchen space.

Hardwiring Under Cabinet Lighting For Long-Term Safety

Hardwiring under cabinet lighting is the most involved option for expanding kitchen lighting but ensures secure and safe installation for years to come. While it may require more effort, the benefits of hardwiring make it a worthwhile investment.

To achieve a clean and seamless look, hiding wires for under cabinet lights can be a challenge. However, it is necessary for a visually pleasing result. Here are three methods to consider:

  1. Running the wires through the wall: This method involves concealing the wires behind the walls, providing a sleek and hidden solution. It may require professional installation and careful planning to avoid damaging the walls.
  2. Using a wire channel: A wire channel is a surface-mounted cable management system that can be easily installed underneath cabinets. It offers a clean and organized appearance.
  3. Using conduit: Conduit is a protective pipe that can be installed on the surface or hidden behind walls. It provides a dedicated pathway for the wires, keeping them protected and neatly organized.
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Before hardwiring the lights, it is important to take a few factors into consideration:

  • Calculate the location and number of LED lights needed based on your kitchen space.
  • Determine the load requirements for the power supply (driver).
  • Plan how the lights will be run, whether in a series or parallel connection.
  • Check if the purchased LED lights can be dimmed with a standard in-line dimmer or if a power supply with dimming capabilities is required.

By hardwiring under cabinet lighting, you can enjoy enhanced ambiance and functionality in your kitchen. Additionally, it ensures the safety of you and your family in the long term.

To summarize, here are the key points:

  • Hardwiring provides a secure and safe installation option for under cabinet lighting.
  • Choose from three methods to hide wires: running them through the wall, using a wire channel, or using conduit.
  • Calculate the location, number of LED lights, and load requirements before hardwiring.
  • Plan how the lights will be connected and consider dimming capabilities.
  • Hardwiring enhances ambiance and functionality while ensuring long-term safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are under cabinet lights wired?

Under cabinet lights that are designed to be wired together typically come with instructions from the manufacturer. These instructions provide guidance on how to connect the fixtures using wires. By following the manufacturer’s instructions, one can ensure the proper installation of the under cabinet lights. It is important to carefully read and understand these instructions to ensure a safe and accurate wiring process.

What wire is used for under cabinet lighting?

For under cabinet lighting, a more suitable wire option is low-voltage wire, such as 12V or 24V wire. These types of wires are thinner and more flexible, making them easier to conceal and route in visible areas. Additionally, low-voltage wires are safer to handle and install since they carry less voltage, reducing the risk of electrical shock. Therefore, when choosing wire for under cabinet lighting, opting for low-voltage wire proves to be a more practical and aesthetically pleasing choice.

How do you layout under cabinet lights?

When it comes to under cabinet lights, it’s crucial to consider the placement for optimal illumination. To effectively layout under cabinet lights, prioritize mounting strip lighting or puck lights towards the front of the underside of the upper wall cabinets. Placing the lights in the middle or at the back of the wall cabinets might limit the lit area below as the cabinets are usually half the depth of the countertop. By positioning the lights towards the front, you can ensure a broader and more evenly lit space beneath the cabinets, enhancing both functionality and aesthetics in your kitchen.

Can I hard wire under cabinet lighting?

Yes, hardwiring under cabinet lighting is a feasible option. It offers a more permanent and secure installation, ensuring the longevity and safety of the lighting. By eliminating the need for plug-in wires, hardwiring provides a cleaner and more seamless look, enhancing the ambiance and aesthetics of your kitchen.

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