Thinking about trying to install under cabinet lighting? Check out this project where I walk you through how I installed my own in my kitchen!
I really want to add backsplash to my kitchen. However, it is the perfect opportunity, before adding backsplash, while you still have open walls, to add under the cabinet lighting. That way you can run the wires and hide them. So, i’m going to be showing you how to do that in this video.
For wiring, i’m going to be coming up from this switch here.
I’m going to use this switch to turn on and off all of my under cabinet lighting at once.
Also just a tip if you want to protect your countertops an easy solution there is to cut up cardboard around the faucets and lay it over the entire thing. This way you don’t even have to worry about it.
So what i’m going to do is increase this to a two switch double gang so that one will operate the light above the sink. And then the second switch will operate the under cabinet lighting independently.
I used a level to make some rough lines. I kind of changed my mind a few times on where to do it because you don’t want to leave too thin of a strip at the bottom because that’ll make it more difficult whenever you go to patch things back up.
After having my line situated i next used a multi-tool to make my cut if you don’t have a multi-tool no sweat you can also use a hand saw it’s just going to take you a little bit more time. Also just a tip from me if you want to keep your space a little bit tidier as you’re doing this then i recommend using a shop vac to run along as you’re making your cut so that it can be sucking up the dust as you’re creating.
it also another really good tip is as you’re pulling out the pieces you can label them so that you know exactly where they go when you’re trying to patch it back up.
Next i started running romex. Since the lights are mounted to the underside of the cabinets i drilled a hole in the back then ran the wire from the hole to the switch.
At this point i’m leaving all my wires long and just getting them in place.
To get to the next bay of cabinets I needed to go through a few studs, so I used an auger bed and a drill to punch some holes. When you’re cutting into your wall, you only need an opening big enough to get a drill in there. For this step i stubbed out a new line at each bay of cabinets i wanted a light fixture.
Bare studs are simple to go through. But studs with an outlet on them you need to consider the following:
I need to get wiring from the left side of the studs to the right.
Whenever i’m choosing whether i go over the outlet and angle my bed up, or angle it down, I look inside of this blue box to see where the wires are coming in at. On this one they’re coming in from the top side.
So I don’t want to drill up like this because i could possibly hit the wiring inside and that would be a whole problem. So instead i’m going to angle my drill down and get through this stud this way.
Now that we have a gateway over to this stud bay, I’m just going to cut an access hole so that I’ll have room in order to fish the wire up and then over here on the bottom side of the cabinet.
This is the trickiest part of the project: making a pathway and then fishing the wire through. But you can see that it is very achievable. Going from the light switch, through the bare studs, down under the outlet, then up to the cabinet where I’ll next mount the fixture.
Before closing it back up I added in another switch. The first switch will remain for the light above my sink. While the second switch will be for all of the cabinet lights.
When all the wiring is done, next was to close it all back up. For me this job doesn’t have to be perfect as next I’m going to be adding backsplash and covering up all of this drywall.
I would place the pieces that i cut earlier back in the position and reattach them with screws.
So the next step is to patch up the cracks. You can do this with some drywall repair tape. And this stuff here is self-adhesive on the back where you literally just kind of peel and stick it.
Next you can apply mud to the tape. I don’t have a lot of experience in mudding, but the great thing again about this job is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. You’re just trying to get a good foundation for the backsplash.
Oh one tip though: I would recommend is getting a fast setting drywall mud so that you don’t have a big down time once you apply the mud. I ended up getting a 90 minute. So during that 90 minutes, I then switched over to installing the lights.
They have a keyhole slot where you can trace with a pencil on the underside of the cabinet. And they do recommend that the light be placed towards the front of the cabinet.
This way you know where to pre-drill and attach with screws.
Then, all three of your wires your black neutral and green all come with quick connectors. Once you strip back the wires coming out of the wall, you just slip them right into their connectors shove them back into the housing. And now you have a light fixture.
now it should become quite clear on why this is the perfect project to do before tackling backsplash. None of this has to be perfect or prettied or all of this drywall perfectly patched back up. It just needs to be strong enough to hold up tile.
Now something else i did on my exact setup is I added this wood wood trim. And that’s just because the thickness of my cabinet bottom didn’t completely hide the light. So know that if your situation is the same this is a very quick and easy solution to where it just adds some nice wooden trim and then stain it to match.
In this way whenever I flip them on i still get the functionality of the light shining down but I don’t actually have to look right into the bulbs.
Having a switch dedicated to operating all of the lights as one complete unit is definitely worth the time. Especially if you already have a switch and you just have to upgrade it to a two game instead.
I really hope that this video has helped you out. It was 100 worth the effort to me. And then of course backsplash will be my next video. So if this is on your to-do list then hopefully I’ve shortened your learning curve and gave you a little bit better of an idea on what you can anticipate from the project.
I will see you on my next project!
Things I Used in This Install Under Cabinet Lighting Project:
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