How to Install Low-Voltage Under Cabinet Lighting

How to Install Low-Voltage Under Cabinet Lighting

Installing low-voltage under cabinet lighting is an easy way to add task lighting to your kitchen. With just a few basic tools and materials, you can install an attractive and functional lighting system under your wall cabinets. Here is a step-by-step guide to installing under cabinet lights yourself.

Planning Your Under Cabinet Lighting Layout

The first step is deciding where you want to install the lights. Typical placements are over the sink, stove, countertops, and islands. Measure the length of your cabinet run and space the lights evenly. Low-voltage puck lights are commonly installed 6 to 12 inches apart. However, you can place them closer together for more light. Just make sure lights are not farther than 12 inches apart to prevent dark spots.

Take into account existing outlets and switches when planning your layout. You will need access to a 120-volt electrical outlet to plug in the low-voltage transformer. If putting lights over the sink, avoid interference with the faucet sprayer. Determine where you will run the wiring to hide it as much as possible.

Choosing Low-Voltage Under Cabinet Lighting Components

Here are the main components you will need for under cabinet installation:

Installing Under Cabinet Puck Lights

Follow these steps to install low-voltage puck lights under your cabinets:

1. Mount the Transformer

The 12V transformer should be plugged into an outlet that is not controlled by a switch. This allows the lights to operate independently. Mount the transformer to the cabinet with the included hardware. Make sure to leave slack on the output wire for adjustments.

2. Install the Puck Light Mounts

Space mounts evenly based on your lighting plan. Hold each mount in place and use a pencil to mark screw holes. Drill 1/8" pilot holes. Attach mounts using the provided screws, making sure each is level and secure.

3. Connect the Low-Voltage Wiring

Run 18-gauge low-voltage wire from the transformer to the first light. Use insulated wire connectors to extend the wire to each additional light. Connect both wires from the transformer or previous light to the contacts on the next light.

4. Attach the LED Puck Lights

Push the LED puck lights into each mount. Adjust the light direction angle as needed. If using a dimmer, connect it between the transformer and first light according to its wiring directions.

5. Hide and Secure the Wires

Use clips to attach the wire neatly against the underside of the cabinet. Avoid loose or hanging wires. For a clean look, secure wires tightly or hide by mounting against the cabinet top or sandwiched between cabinet frames.

Testing and Adjusting the Lights

With the installation complete, plug in the transformer and test the under cabinet lighting. Make any needed adjustments to light angles and dimmer settings to achieve your desired task lighting. Install additional puck lights if you notice any dark areas. Adding low-voltage under cabinet lighting is an easy upgrade that makes your kitchen safer and more enjoyable to use at night! With the right components and basic wiring skills, you can add this popular lighting yourself.