Installing under-cabinet lighting extends beyond the beautiful appearance it gives your kitchen. Apart from decoration purpose, under cabinet lighting can as well be an integral part of a counter workspace or surface.
For some activities in the kitchen, such as cooking and chopping, making use of an overhead light may not be easy or safe after all, as a result of the shadows such light produces. Under-cabinet lighting eradicates any traces of shadows and ensures all related cooking activities are carried out easier and safer.
Apart from the safety under-cabinet lighting offers, when you install it all around the kitchen, such a move can as well save you some money by cutting down on the costs of your energy consumption.
After installation across the kitchen, you may completely or partially cut down on the need for bright overhead light. During installation, some of the required tools include jigsaw, wire stripper or cutter, cordless drill, non-contact voltage tester, and hacksaw.
Although the installation of under cabinet lighting can be done at any time, for ease of installation, the best time to do this is when your kitchen is going through the remodeling phase, right before the kitchen walls have drywalls covering them.
The following are ways you can effectively install under cabinet lighting:
Go for an under cabinet lighting kit of your choice
While planning the installation of under cabinet lighting, there is a need to pick from the various types of light on the market. Options to choose from include LED, incandescent, Xenon, fluorescent, and halogen lights.
The following are the main characteristics or properties of the various types of light you can choose from.
This type of light is very popular amongst home users. So, availability is never an issue. Amazingly, LED lights can come in two different types. You can have the LED light either in permanent lengths or in a strip. The strip LED light is not fixed in lengths. So you can cut it.
Apart from the lengths and types of the LED lights, installing it in the kitchen bring about a cut in the costs of energy and as well eradicate the need for replacement bulbs. On average, LED lights can stay for up to two decades.
The light this type of bulb produces is yellow and soft. Also, it is a very affordable lighting option. Yes, they are very affordable, but they have their downsides. Some of the downsides include the short lifespan and the low brightness. Generally, Incandescent bulbs are lowly rated when it comes to their use for utility lighting.
The xenon bulbs are considered to have the same physical appearance as halogen bulbs. The main differences between these two types of lighting option are linked to their operations. Xenon bulbs are considered as a better option than the halogen bulbs in terms of longevity and heat radiation. The heat radiation is lower.
This type of lighting option comes with many great benefits. The fluorescent bulbs are known for their long-lasting effect and how efficient they are in terms of energy consumption. Also, it is very hard to conceal the light these bulbs produce.
The light produced by this type of bulb is white and it is very bright. The heat these bulbs produce is greater than other bulbs. In terms of longevity, the halogen bulbs have a life span that is up to two times longer than incandescent bulbs. Also in terms of price, they are priced higher than both incandescent and fluorescent.
- Get a source of power: Definitely, there is a need for a power source. So, have a clear picture or plan on how you will connect the cable to the various lighting locations. Find out if you will be using existing electrical boxes or creating new ones. Decide on how you would want the wires to be connected to the identified locations. While fixing the various identified connections, make sure you consider your safety. If you are not sure about how to go along with the connection, then make use of an electrician. Also, make sure your preferred source of electricity meets the required standards and do not overwork the circuit.
- Plan/draw out your layout: You can choose to lay your light on the kitchen countertop, just under where you intend to carry out the installation. If you are thinking of using several lights, look out for lights with a cord that can be quickly connected. A “quick connect” cord makes lights connection easier and s well faster while making use of a single source of power. In several cases, installations are done above work areas, small appliances, and kitchen sink. To achieve the best result, make sure the lights are positioned very close to the cabinet’s front. According to several light manufacturers, when making use of multiple lights, a distance of about 12 inches between each light should be considered.
- Don’t leave rooms for any form of obstructions: While going through the installation process, ensure your counters and cabinets are free from any form of obstructions. Get rid of any items or objects that may halt the process; especially if the wiring process would need to pass across the cabinets.
Before the installation process starts, make sure the power to the kitchen is disconnected. For effective result, the circuit breaker should be your go-to place. Go to the circuit breaker and turn off the designated switch to the kitchen. Make sure you adopt different confirmation strategies to be sure the switch has been turned off. One of the simplest approaches is the use of a device at home by connecting such device to the power outlet, wait and see if it powers on. Such devices include a radio or lamp.
After the connection process, make sure you go back to the circuit breaker and turn the designated switch to the kitchen back on. When you follow the listed safety tips, then the safety of everyone involved can be guaranteed.