Installing Under Cabinet LED Lighting

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  • 2-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Voltage tester
Wire nut connector
Electrical tape
Electrical wire strippers
Drywall saw
Switch box
LED lighting

Under cabinet LED lighting provides a way to give you an additional lighting source when preparing food or performing kitchen-related tasks. LED (or light-emitting diode) is an electric light source that offers lower energy consumption and a longer life than traditional lighting. Here are a few steps to assist you in installing your own under cabinet lighting.

Step 1 - Make a Plan

You will need to map out the location where the LED lights will be placed. Mark the locations in order to check the switch box to determine where the electrical needs to run in order to connect the lights. The plan will serve as a template for the build out for your LED lighting.

Step 2 - Locate Electrical Source

Mark the spot underneath your cabinets where the electrical source is coming in order to connect your LED lighting. Once the electrical source has been located, mark the areas and make small pilot holes in order to see where the wiring will run for the LED lights.

Step 3 - Run the Wiring to the Lighting Source

stripping electrical wires

After locating the lighting source for the LED outlets, snake the wiring from the junction box to the kitchen cabinets. Feed the wiring to the cabinets and leave some extra wiring in order to draw it to the area in which it is going to be fed. This step may require the assistance of another person in order to locate and pull the wire through from the junction box to the cabinets.

Step 4 - Set the Wire to the LED Location

You will need to create a bridge from the LED wire source to the receptacle. Once the wire has been fed, tape it into place in order to secure it before connecting the downstairs junction box to the upstairs cabinet feed. This step requires some attention to detail as each connection or “leg” constitutes a circuit to the receptacle. The connections must match each feed in order to work properly and not cause a short in the junction box. A break may potentially short the system and cause power to go out in the entire home.

Step 5 - Install the Switch

removing a light switch

Ground the wires from the cabinet fixture to the switch box. Test each connection with a voltage tester to ensure that the connection is live. This testing should be done for each LED connection underneath the cabinet.

Step 6 - Install the Light Fixtures

Once the connections have been tested, install the LED lights and restore power to provide illumination. Test to ensure all connections are correct using the voltage tester and you are now ready to use your new underneath cabinet lighting.