How do I run power to under cabinet lights?

How do I run power to under cabinet lights?

 1. What is under cabinet lighting?

Have you ever complained the light is dim when you are cooking?  When you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, under cabinet lighting can make your culinary adventures more satisfying and less frustrating. These types of fixtures and under-counter lights provide focused illumination for tasks, letting you achieve the right amount of brightness for everything from chopping vegetables to filling containers for meal prep. While you can put adhesive-backed fixtures in these spaces, properly installed kitchen under cabinet lighting is the way to go for consistent results.

 2. How to choose under cabinet lighting?

There are a number of under-cabinet light fixture types to choose from:

  • Hard-wired Cabinet Light
  • Plug-in Under cabinet light bars
  • Wireless puck lights
  • Wireless light bars

Puck lights are small, round lights, you can pick wireless or hardwired one. LED light bars are very neat under the cabinet,  and strip lights are the most common one.

The Halogen lights are still an option, but LED lights provide are more energy efficient.

With the different shape, you can go for the round lights or linear light, and there are 3 ways to power the lights.

  • Hard wired
  • Plug-in
  • Battery Powered
  • Rechargeable

Hard-wired Cabinet Light

Battery Powered Puck Lights

  3. What do you need to power under cabinet lighting?

We can choose the different under cabinet lights for the situation you have in your kitchen.

     a. You can handle with electric power or willing to hire a electrician.

Hardwired under cabinet lighting is the best choice for you, they are bright and can direct wired into the power system in your kitchen, you can choose to control the lights with a separate wall switch or connect it into your dimmer socket.  

     b. Your kitchen is finished and socket is ready.

Plug-in under cabinet lighting is the best answer, they are normally LED with low profile to layout under the counter. If your kitchen is small, 1 or 2 cabinet light bar can light up the area easily. But you can also find linkable under cabinet lights up to 6 or more for your kitchen to make it looks bright and comfy. Be aware of choosing the cabinet lights come with UL listed adapter for the safety. The best part is you can also hide the wire with the cable clips to make they look neat.

   c. You dont like wire and love to keep kitchen clean.

Wireless under cabinet lights are more popular these days. For people who are remodeling their kitchen or living in a rented apartment, they are the smart choice.  The most common one is puck lights, they use AAA batteries to power and you can buy them under a good budget. But also, motion sensor under cabinet lights are trending now. You can find them in different shape, bar lights, strip lights, even puck lights.  If you are tired of replacing batteries for them, there are rechargeable under cabinet lights for your need. With bigger rechargeable Lithium Battery, they are costing less power and definitely eco-friendly.   The installation is also very simple and can be easily done by anybody.

 4. Install under cabinet lighting step by step.

   a. Hardwired Under Cabinet lighting

Hardwiring LED under cabinet lighting to a wall switch may be the most convenient way to install them in your kitchen. The hardwiring arrangement lets you turn your lights on and off and even dim them without having wires and plugs in your cooking space. When it comes to installation, however, hardwiring typically is the most involved option for expanding kitchen lighting. Read on for step-by-step instructions if you’re searching for advice on how to hardwire under cabinet lights.

  1. Prepare for kitchen under cabinet lighting installation.
  2. Consult with an electrical contractor before you start.
  3. Plan for wiring for LED under cabinet lighting.
  4. Position your LED under cabinet lighting.
  5. Gather tools and mounting hardware.

You may also need the following tools:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire fish
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape
  • Electrical wire and pressure connectors
  • Drill with a keyhole saw
  • Drywall saw
  1. Disconnect the power.
  2. Attach the lights.
  3. Cut the wall.
  4. Run the wire.
  5. Run the cord.
  6. Connect the lights.
  7. Wire the switch.
  8. Cover your work.
  9. Test the lights.
  10. Patch things up.


hard wire method
hardwire lights

b. Plug-in Under Cabinet Lighting

They are very easy to set up compared to hardwired under cabinet lighting.  Most of plug-in cabinet lights come with a pack of installation gadgets: screws, magnetic clips, 3m stickers, and metal sheets. They are recommended to stick on the counter surface to hold the light bars since they are designed to be slim and low-profile. Here is the way to install plug-in led under cabinet lighting:

  1. Position the cabinet lights
  2. Peel the 3M stickers to stick on the metal sheets, make sure they fit, and stick tightly.
  3. Mount the magnetic clips on the led light bars on the two sides of them.
  4. Snap the magnetic clips on the metal sheets, and let the magnets stay on hold.
  5. Stick the metal sheets on your kitchen cabinet, and be aware of the position should be accurate.
  6. Unattach the led light bars from the metal sheets, wait for 8 hours to let the 3M sticker to hold tight, then mount the light bar back to the sheets.
  7. Use the cable clips to hold the extra cables to avoid the mess, then plug the adapter into the socket, and press the switch to turn the lights on.
  8. Test the lights with the switch, dim the lights for your need. Work Done.


plug-in LIGHTS

 c. Wireless Under Cabinet Lighting

As the lights are wireless, there is no cable or plug to handle. The only work is to mount the lights under the kitchen cabinet, the common way is using the 3M sticker to hold the led light bar, or snap the lights on iron surface if the lights are magnetic.

Rechargeable LIGHTS

  5. Finding the best led under cabinet lighting

You can always buy different under cabinet lights to find the best one that fits in, and we have already done a lot of research for you. As the LED tech keeps evolving, the linkable plug-in led under cabinet lighting and rechargeable under cabinet lights is the most recommended for saving your work and money. You can check our list for the best led cabinet lights.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *