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How to Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

Cast an ambient glow in your kitchen with under-cabinet and accent lighting. We'll show you how to install puck lights, light strips, rope lights and tape lights to see your kitchen in a whole new light.

Puck Lights and Light Strips

Caution

Our installation instructions cover plug-in and battery-operated lights. Use a certified electrician for installation of hard-wired lighting fixtures.

Step 1

under cabinet lighting pucks laid across countertop with power cord close to outlet

Set the lights, wires and power hub in place on the countertop to check the lighting layout. Make sure your cables will reach the outlet with your lights positioned towards the front face of the cabinet.

Good to Know

Good spacing for puck lights is 8-12 inches apart.

Step 2

mounting cap in place beneath upper cabinet, pencil marking pilot hole placement

Twist the mounting cap off the light and hold it in place on the underside of the cabinet. Mark the mounting holes with a pencil.

Step 3

drill marked with tape to show depth drilling starter holes

Drill shallow starter holes and reposition the mounting cap, aligning the holes you drilled with the holes in the cap. Secure the mounting cap with screws.

Good to Know

Don’t drill through the cabinet. An easy way to avoid drilling too deep is to measure the thickness of the bottom cabinet and mark a stop point on your drill bit with a piece of painter’s tape.

Step 4

For recessed puck lights, drill a hole through cabinetry with a hole saw. A hole saw is a special circular attachment designed to cut neat circular holes easily. Feed the wiring through the hole and secure the mounting cap in the hole with screws.

Step 5

attaching the puck to the already mounted cap

Attach the lights to each mounting cap with a twist-and-lock motion.

Step 6

power control mounted underneath upper cabinets

Secure the power control with screws beneath the upper cabinet. This is the unit that will plug into the power outlet once installation is complete.

Step 7

running wires to the power hub, also secured beneath the upper cabinet

Secure the power hub underneath the cabinet. Route the wires to the hub and plug them in. You may need to drill small holes in the cabinets to run the wires where they won’t be seen.

Step 8

tucking wires into the opening between upper cabinets to hide the wires for under cabinet lighting

Secure the wires underneath the cabinets with cord clips, small plastic clamps that keep cords neatly tucked out of view.

Good to Know

If you’re spanning several cabinet lengths, tuck excess cord into the space between cabinets for a tidy appearance.

Step 9

plug power cord into wall outlet to power the under cabinet lighting series

Plug in the main power cord and turn on your new under cabinet lights.

Rope Lights

pressing rope light into plastic clip that secures it above the cabinets
  1. Rope lights fasten to the tops of cabinets with plastic clips that you secure to the cabinetry with small screws. Once the clips are in place, simply press the rope lighting into the u-shaped cradle that will hold the lighting in place. The clips are usually included with the purchase of rope lights, but may be purchased separately if additional clips are needed.
  2. Plug into an outlet and turn on.

Tape Lights

tape lights secured to top of toe kick underneath cabinets

Remove the protective strips from the adhesive backing on the tape light strip. Press into place on the selected cabinet. Plug into an outlet.

Battery-powered Puck Lights

peeling the protective backing away from battery powered puck light before placing under cabinet

Self-adhesive, battery-powered puck lights offer the easiest installation. Peel the protective paper away from the adhesive backing and press into place. Push the power button and you’re done!

 Want to learn how to choose the best under-cabinet lighting system for your kitchen? Visit our Under-Cabinet Lighting Buying Guide.