How to Install LED Lights Under the Cabinet

You’ve come to the correct site if you’re wondering how to install under-cabinet lights.

Perhaps you want to put LED lights under your cabinets as part of a kitchen redesign, or perhaps your kitchen is just too gloomy and you need a quick solution to add extra lighting. Continue reading to learn more about the equipment you’ll need and a step-by-step tutorial for installing hardwired under-cabinet lighting.

Before You Begin

Most under cabinet lighting fixtures may be hardwired or plugged into an outlet.

Plugging in is a simple choice if you are not electrically adept and have an available outlet in your kitchen. Hardwiring the light fixture is the logical solution for house renovations and overcrowded kitchens.

Not only does it save you one outlet, but it also makes the power lines simpler to conceal. This article will walk you through the process of hardwiring your under-cabinet lights.

There are several under-cabinet lighting options available, whether you prefer to plug in or hardwire. Under-cabinet strip lights are a popular option since they are affordable and simple to install. They also come in a number of colors for people who want to use their under-cabinet lights to create distinct moods. Strip lights are an excellent alternative for individuals looking for a low-cost, practical, and entertaining lighting solution.

There are also more pricey, professional-looking lights that may be appropriate for contemporary houses and kitchen remodels. These come in a variety of shapes and illumination settings, but most seem more professional than strip lights. Though available colors and brightness settings may be limited, these lights are usually more specific to the kitchen and produce more desirable mood lighting.

Before selecting a light fixture, attempt to determine the ideal sort of under-counter lighting for your kitchen. Compare pricing and specs by doing some research. Know what sizes you’ll need and, if you’re adding lights to many cabinets, how many fixtures you’ll need.

You’re ready to install the light fixture after you’ve settled on it.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Receptacle tester
  • Screwdriver
  • Mallet
  • 1/2-inch spade bit
  • Cordless drill
  • Stiff wire
  • Flashlight
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 12/2 non-metallic (NM) electrical cable
  • Electrical tape
  • Nylon NM cable lock connector
  • NM cable and wire strippers
  • 1/2-inch two-screw NM cable clamp
  • Orange wire connectors
  • NM cable staples

Although this is a lengthy list, the most of the tools are pretty common.

Step-by-Step Guide for Installing LED Lights Under The Cabinet

Here’s how to put LED lights under your cabinets:

Step 1

Turn off the circuit breaker that powers your kitchen’s outlets. Connect your receptacle tester to check you switched the correct breaker and that the electricity is turned off.

Step 2

Remove the outlet from which you want to hardwire the under-cabinet lighting. Gently remove the outlet from its junction box, noting the particular wire locations (which screw each wire was attached to).

You should notice a knockout or a round indentation on the top side that you may utilize to make a knockout. To create a knockout in a junction box with an indentation, use a mallet and screwdriver to bust open the indentation.

Step 3

Drill a hole in the bottom lip of the cabinet above the box. Thread a firm wire through the top of your junction box, keeping an eye out for it via the hole you bore. This wire will be used to run your nonmetallic cable through the wall and out the junction box.

Grab the wire with pliers and pull it out through the hole. Tape the wire to the cable, then drag the wire back through the box with the cable.

Step 4

Slide the cable lock connection up the cable several inches and snap it into the cutout at the top of the junction box. Strip six inches of the cable sheath using wire strippers, revealing the wires within. Remove half an inch of wire covering from each freshly exposed wire.

Make hooks on the exposed wire ends using pliers. Connect the black wire to the copper screw on the outlet, the white wire to the silver screw, and the copper wire to the green screw. Tighten all screws after reconnecting the original wires to the corresponding outlet screws. Replace the outlet cover and reconnect the outlet to its junction box.

Step 5

Remove the cover off the light fixture you’re intending to install, either by unscrewing or sliding it off, depending on the style of the fixture. To reveal the connecting wires, open the chamber housing them.

Look for a cutout or depression comparable to the one on your junction box. If necessary, remove the metal disc. Unscrew the cable clamp’s locknut, insert your clamp threads into the knockout, and tighten the locknut.

Step 6

Position the light fixture where desired on the bottom of the cabinet and fasten it with the provided mounting screws. Strip the opposite ends of the cable to expose the wires, as you did earlier.

Connect the cable wires to the wires within the fixture in the following order: black to black, white to white, and copper to green. Connect the wires, then insert them into the wire compartment within the light fixture and replace the cover.

Step 7

If you’re wondering how to conceal under-cabinet lighting wiring, just staple the cable cord to the bottom of the cabinet, behind the light fixture.


Though it may seem to be a hard operation, understanding how to install LED lights beneath the cabinet is really fairly straightforward. You should have no issue hardwiring your under-cabinet lights if you have experience with simple electrical work. Even if you’re completely new, just follow the instructions in this article and you’ll be fine. Visit Under Cabinet Range Hood Installation Guide for more detail.


Where do you put LED strip lights under cabinets?

If you wish to install under cabinet lighting as task lighting, arrange the strip lights closer to the center front border of the cabinets so that the countertop receives as much light as possible. Ambient or accent lighting should be placed closer to the rear edge.

What is the best way to install under cabinet lighting?

Choose the Correct Fixture. Consider the following factors when selecting an under cabinet light fixture for your space:…
Turn off the power and take the necessary precautions.
Prepare the cabinet and the wall.
Make a hole in the wall for the switchbox.
Connect the Lights.
Connect the Lights.
Connect the Switch.
Install the cable inside the cabinet.

Are LED strip lights good for under kitchen cabinets?

Putting strip lights beneath your kitchen cabinets provides concentrated, bright lighting for cooking, meal preparation, and dishwashing. LED strip lights are a popular option for kitchen cabinets since they cast light directly onto the work area.

Should under-cabinet lights go in the front or back?

Installation and mounting

Strip or puck lighting should be installed on the bottom of the top wall cabinets facing the front. Because wall cabinets are often half the depth of the countertop, placing the lights in the center, or worse, towards the rear of the wall cabinets, will minimize the amount of light available below.

How do you hide under cabinet light wires?

A cable protector is one of the easiest ways to hide unsightly under-cabinet cables. Tie wraps may be used to attach the wire into a single bundle, which can then be stapled to the cabinet’s bottom. The length of the wire should reach straight from the lamp to the wall.

What are the disadvantages of under cabinet lighting?

Cons: Light output may be insufficient for certain tastes or purposes.
If a track and lens are required, you may have to pay an additional fee.
A separate power source may be required.
Dimmer than other under cabinet lighting options.

How long do LED under cabinet lights last?

An LED under cabinet light has an outstanding rated life of roughly 50,000 hours. If used for 3 hours every day, the light might endure for more than 45 years. Fluorescent lights often outlast xenon lights, but not as long as LEDs.

Is it safe to plug LED lights into a power strip?

It’s also not a good idea to plug decorations into power strips that are connected to extension cables that are connected to outlets. When feasible, plug lights or decorations straight into an outlet. It is usually safe to use a power strip or an extension cable, but not both at the same time.

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