Installing under cabinet lighting is an option that many homeowners consider when remodeling or updating their kitchen. It is specialized lighting that installs underneath cabinets and can add functionality and efficiency. If you’re weighing whether to add under cabinet lights, here is a closer look at this versatile option.
Benefits of Under Cabinet Lights
- Easier to See: With overhead lights, your head can easily block the light and create shadows on the counter. Under cabinet lights make it easier to see when you’re cooking and preparing meals.
- Unique Style: The lights have a layered feel so can improve the aesthetics of your kitchen. They may even add value to your home thanks to the enhanced look and functionality.
- Budget-Friendly: Under cabinet lights are relatively affordable compared to many home improvements; some are even battery powered. Plus, you can typically install them yourself.
- Save Energy: The lights are designed to illuminate a small area, so use less energy than a standard light; LED fixtures are available as well, so you can save even more on your energy bill.
- Ease of Installation: Unless your kitchen is being completely renovated, installing under cabinet lights doesn’t usually require a professional, unless you are adding pendant or recessed lighting.
How to Install an Under Cabinet Light
The process of installing under cabinet lights differs depending on the type of cabinet light you purchase. It can be as simple as screwing or nailing a strip of light under the cabinet, and plugging it in. If you don’t have the electrical equipment to support the fixture, the process can be more challenging. First, you’d need to turn off power to the kitchen, at the main panel; then, you’ll need to remove the wall plate, disconnect wires from the receptacle, and remove the receptacle and electrical box.
Before you can install the light fixture, you’ll need to run a new length of cable. This may require some cutting, drilling, and patience. You’ll need the right tools here and to install the cable, cable connector, and new electrical box. It also helps to have a GFCI outlet and dimmer switch. If this isn’t your kind of work, hire a professional electrical contractor to save time and money.
Types of Under Cabinet Lights
In addition to LED, there are also fluorescent, quartz-halogen, and xenon bulbs for under cabinet fixtures. However, LEDs are the most reliable, affordable, and long lasting. There are also various product types you may want to consider. The simplest include:
- Rope Lights: Easily secure in the cabinet with plastic clips and u-shaped cradles. Most purchases include clips.
- Tape Lights: Protective strips are removed to reveal the adhesive backing, which secures the light to the cabinet interior.
- Battery-Powered Puck Lights: These lights self-adhere to surfaces when the protective paper is peeled away. Simply press in place, push the power button, and you have under cabinet lighting.
- Bar and Strip Lights: Emit light across their entire length, which provides more even distribution. These are often fluorescent, although LED strip and bar lights are commonly available.
- LED Strip Reels: A variation of bar and strip lights that can be installed on uneven surfaces and around corners, and can even be cut to length.
Contact Express Electrical Services for Help
Express Electrical Services can assist with any type of installation or electrical remodel job. Our trained technicians can rewire and prepare your kitchen for under cabinet lights. In fact, we’ve completed many kitchen, bathroom, and garage lighting installations in Los Angeles, and can install GFCI’s and all the supporting equipment you need. Call 323-727-7799 to request service.