How to Wire in Cabinet Lighting
Cabinet lighting is a great addition to any kitchen. You can illuminate the dark corners inside of any cabinet plus add some great accent light in the form of under cabinet lighting. Wiring up a set of lights is an easy task if you have a few basic electrical skills. Here are a few tips on how to wire in cabinet lighting.
The first thing you need to do is plan the circuit layout. If you have cabinets on more than one wall then you might need to branch the circuits. Be sure not to add lighting to any high load circuit like the microwave or refrigerator. If you have a spare spot in your electrical box then it's worth it to add in a 20-amp ground fault protected circuit.
Run a length of 12 gauge copper wire from your electrical box through the attic and then drop it down the wall that the lights will be on.
Use a drywall saw and cutout a new electrical outlet. Install a regular 2-way light switch and wire it up to the new circuit.
The next step is to install the lights. Place lights inside and under the cabinets. You can find recessed cabinet lighting kits in any hardware store. All you need are a few brad nails and you can staple them right into place.
For the under cabinet lights cut a small hole in the back bottom of a cabinet and run the electrical cable through it.
Drill a hole through the back of the inside of the cabinet and into the wall behind it. You'll need a helper for the next part.
Have your helper drop a fish tape through the wall. Once you can reach the tape pull it through the hole and tie the electrical cable to it. Have the helper pull the entire cable bundle up through the hole.
Now it's your turn to go fishing.
Use the fish tape at the electrical cut out you made earlier. Send it up through the wall so that your helper can tie the new cabinet lighting electric cables to the tape. Pull the tape back through the wall.
Cut out any excess wire and connect the cables to the load side of the light switch. You can now button up the fixture.
The last step is to wire the light switch back to your electrical panel. Be sure the power is off at the main disconnect before starting! Lethal voltages are present.
Run the cable into the electrical panel and wire it to the 20-amp break. All you need to do now is snap the break into place in the panel.
Turn the power back on and energize the new circuit. All that's left to do is test out your new lights. How to wire in cabinet lighting is not that difficult. All it takes is a little time, a helper and some planning. Once you finish you'll have a great new feature that will brighten up your kitchen and your life.