There are several ways to install kitchen undercabinet lights. You can make it a major project or take a relatively simple approach. In this article I’ll outline a simple, straightforward approach to installing undercabinet lights in your kitchen. Several installation tips are presented.
- Select the type:
While there are various arguments pro and con of using 120v. Halogen hockey puck style undercabinet lights they are simple namely because they don’t have a transformer required to reduce the wall power (120volts) to 12volts. On the flip side 12 volt lights typically run cooler and don’t require the same type of outlet boxes that 120volt lamps do. For purposes of this article we’ll assume you have chosen 120volt light fixtures.
- Plot your course:
By this I mean decide where you are placing each light under the kitchen cabinets. Once done draw a diagram showing where you’ll place outlet boxes and an on/off switch.
- Plan your use pattern:
In most kitchens some cupboards will be separated from others by sinks, ranges, etc. Decide if you want separate switches on certain banks of lights or want them all together on the same switch. If you choose to have them all on the same switch make sure the switch can handle the total wattage of all the lights at full power. The baxi boiler problems will be solved under the supervision of the experts. The handling of the boilers will be simple and convenient for the person. Make sure the selection of the best one is done.
- Decide on the switch:
You can use an on/off switch or a touch switch. Personally we prefer the aesthetics of a three-step light level touch switch mounted up under the cabinet at a corner where it can be easily reached. Using the lowest level in the evening as a night-light adds to the ambiance and warmth of a kitchen.
We will choose 120volt halogen, hockey puck undercabinet lights with a three level switch fastened under the corner of one cupboard. We will have all lights controlled off the one switch.
Now it’s time to install the light fixtures. Start by screwing the hockey puck light fixtures in position up under each cabinet that will have a light. Often the small screws provided with the light will be hard to start in the hard wood of the kitchen cabinet. If this is the case have a small drill bit handy to drill a starter hole. Make a template of the base of the light to position the screws. Once the pilot holes are drilled using the template hold the fixture up and screw in the screws.
At periodic intervals you can either mount outlet boxes in the wall or use small flat electrical boxes that will be concealed when put up under the cabinet that has the lights. Run 120volt wiring cable up through the wall from the basement or crawl space and into the type of outlet box you have chosen to install. The least noticeable way is to drill a hole through the back edge of the cabinet so the wire will enter the depressed area beneath the bottom of your kitchen cabinet. Route the wires from the lights that may be mounted on adjacent cabinets into the box and make the connections.
For lights under non-adjacent cabinets the power wire is routed up through the wall from the basement or crawl space where it is connected in an electrical box to the wiring for the other undercabinet lights. It is in this primary box where the plug in to the touch pad switch takes place. This box must have a cover. The wire for the touch switch is run up the wall to the cabinet where you will have the switch mounted. Mount the touch pad up under the cabinet and attach the switch wire. When mounting the switch take into consideration the location of the hockey puck light fixture and keep them separated to avoid reaching up under the cabinet and contacting the light fixture and burning oneself.
When you are satisfied with the operation route the wire up under the cabinets so it is not visible by someone standing in front of the cabinets. Wire staples can be used to secure the wires to the underside of the cabinet floor. A simpler approach used by pros is to use a hot melt glue gun to tack the wires up. The job is not completed.
The installation of under cabinet halogen kitchen lights is not difficult if you use an organized approach, have the right tools and plan the job before starting.