How to Install Cabinet Lighting in Your Kitchen

June 24, 2020

Home design trends are constantly changing not only for aesthetics but for functionality as well. For example, under cabinet lighting helps brighten up your kitchen and looks super elegant. Along with the aesthetic appeal of the added lighting, it also provides much-needed task lighting to dark areas that were probably hard to work in before. Adding some custom home lighting to your kitchen is a popular trend these days, and it’s easy to see why. With all the time we’ve been having to spend at home, why not try some DIY projects to keep you busy and improve your living space? Take a look below for some helpful tips for installing under cabinet lights. And if DIY projects aren’t your thing, then connect with a professional and trusted Reno residential electricians at Wire Me Electric!


residential electrician renoTypes of Under Cabinet Lighting

It may seem like under cabinet lighting is one and the same, but that isn’t true. You’ll want to choose the type of lighting you use based on your budget and the supplies and tools you have. For a more professional and sleek look, you can run the cables right through the walls to hide them from being seen. Just keep in mind that doing it this way will require more tools and a higher level of skill. However, for an easier project, you can use battery-operated LED strips that simply stick to the underside of your cabinet. To determine which method will work best for you, check out these step-by-step instructions for the different types of cabinet lighting.

Advanced Under Cabinet Lighting

This type of lighting will require a wide range of tools and materials to complete and will likely take 1-2 days to complete. But the results are well worth the time and effort, and can even improve the resale value of your home if done properly. For advanced cabinet lighting you’ll need:

  • Pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Voltage tester
  • Electrician’s lineman’s pliers
  • Building wire
  • Boxes and brackets
  • Wire connectors and terminals
  • Bolt cutters
  • Conduit fittings
  • Electrical staples
  • Electrical tape
  • Bar and strip lights

To install these lights, you’ll need to start by turning off the power to the cabinet location for safety purposes. Then you’ll need to drill holes in the nearby studs and run the cable through the corresponding wall. Next, you’ll attach the lights to the underside of the cabinet and wire them so they connect to the switch. Then you’ll wire the switch and restore the power to the cabinet area. For more detailed instructions, check out this article from The Home Depot.

Simple Under Cabinet Lightingresidential electrician reno

If you don’t feel confident enough to take on the advanced under cabinet lighting, then this method is perfect for you. All you need are:

  • LED strip lights (battery operated or with cables)
  • Power drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Hammer
  • Nails


For this process, you’ll either be connecting the lights to an outlet in the cabinet or want the battery to sit in the cabinet. Start by removing all the items from the cabinets you plan to install lighting under. Next, you’ll want to drill holes in the sidewall of the cabinet near the bottom. Be sure not to drill too big of a hole, it should be large enough for the wire to easily fit through, but not so big that the wire moves around in the hole. Then route the wires through the holes and wait to connect them to a power outlet in the cabinets or lay the battery in the cabinet. 

Now it’s time to install the light bars to the cabinet. You can either use small nails or screws to attach the lights to the underside of the cabinet or use the double-sided tape that is provided. Once they’re secured to the cabinets, hide the wires that may hang down a bit with a staple gun, and you’re done!

Connect with a Residential Electrician in Reno

Wire Me Electric is a residential and commercial electrical company dedicated to providing quality services to the Reno-Tahoe area. They’re experts at under cabinet lighting, overhead lighting, smart house wiring systems, and so many more electrical services. If you’re in need of a licensed, professional electrician to help you enhance your home, then connect with the team at Wire Me Electric! 


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