Under Cabinet Lighting in the New Kitchen

Under Cabinet Lighting in the New Kitchen

For some strange reason, electrical work has never intimidated me. I remember being somewhat young and helping my dad install a ceiling fan. We turned off the power, unhooked what was there, matched up some wires, turned everything back on, and it all worked. So that officially made me an electrician, essentially.

One of the “features” in our old kitchen was under cabinet lighting. I put “features” in quotes because the lights stopped working, one by one, about a month after we moved in the house. We didn’t replace them because we kept thinking we’d eventually just get new cabinets. It took a while, but we finally have, so it was time for me to upgrade the lights

Ready to go in my Red Wings jersey.

Before we get started on installing these, I want to bring up where we got them from. We had spent a good amount of time looking for the right lights. We were very particular about what we needed. We needed lights that weren’t too wide (we only have about 8 inches under some cabinets). We also wanted to make sure that they weren’t too tall. There is a gap underneath our cabinets of 1 inch, so we didn’t want anything that would be too visible. We originally wanted LED lights, but couldn’t find anything the right size. Finally, at Lamps Plus, we found xenon lights (which we’ve read good things about) that were the right size, and super cheap. Definitely check them out if you’ve got under cabinet, or any other, lighting needs.

First we measured to find the right spot, loosely secured the base of the lighting fixture into the cabinet, and then we dealt with the random wires sticking out of our walls.

This part is actually where my years of pseudo-electrical knowledge come in handy. I operate by the “connect wires that are the same color” method. Then, if there are any extra wires, I assume that’s the “grounding” wire so I hook that up to something metal. Or in this case, there was a green wire/nut specific for that purpose.

After hooking up all the wires, I think most people might go down to the basement, turn the power back on, and check to make sure everything’s working. Not me! At this point, I secured the light fixture more, and closed up the wires inside the unit.

With the lights installed, I slipped on the glass cover sheet over the xenon bulbs, and then finally went to the basement to see if it worked.

And boy did it ever. Our kitchen has always had an issue with lighting. There’s just one light in the center of the room, so these under cabinet lights are really going to help. They already provide so much extra light in the room. I can’t wait to see how the light bounces off our new counters!

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