The Complete Guide to Under Cabinet Lighting
How To Install Under Cabinet Lights
Now that you know exactly what kind of lights you want, it’s time to get a little more
technical. How do you get those lights out of the box and under those cabinets of
yours? This section will tell you how many lights you’ll need to use, what accessories
you might like, and guide you through preparation. It also provides step-by-step
instructions on how to install all different kinds of under cabinet lights – hardwired, plug-
in, battery operated, surface mount, recessed, and more. Learn what you can do
yourself and when you should call an expert.
How Many Lights Do You Need?
If you’re installing linear (also known as strip) under cabinet lights…
Try to “fill up” your cavity with the longest fixture that will fit. The goal with linear lights is
to keep your countertop and backsplash uniformly lit, so you want to match that cavity
measurement as closely as possible. Usually, under cabinet lights are sold in standard
increments of length. For example, you might be able to choose between 8in, 16in,
24in, or 32in. In that case, if your cavity measures 18 inches long, select the 16-inch
fixture rather than the 8-inch fixture.
There are some exceptions to the standard increments of length rule: Fixtures like the
Xenon Low Voltage Light Strip are totally customizable and may be ordered in any
length measured to the nearest whole foot.
If you’re installing puck under cabinet lights…
We recommend using 1 puck light for every 6-10 inches of cabinet space. If you’re
lighting 11-18 inches of space, use 2-3 puck lights. For 19-26 inches, you’ll need 3-4
puck lights. For 27-34 inches, 4-5 puck lights. For 35-42 inches, 5-7 puck lights. For 43-
50 inches, 6-8 puck lights, and so on. Just measure your space and divide it up
accordingly. This will ensure that the light levels are consistent for the entire length of
your cabinet, without causing awkward shadows.
If you’d like to use puck lights to highlight specific spots on your counters, you should
place a puck light directly above each spot. Base the number of puck lights you
purchase on how many places you wish to illuminate.