How to improve kitchen by adding under-cabinet lighting

Posted on: 2022-09-03 Last updated: 2022-11-05

You could be the lucky one who has a modern high-tech kitchen where under-cabinet lighting is installed by the manufacturer. In most cases though, there is an obvious lack of light at the countertop underneath cabinets. To improve the situation there are a few options available. Starting from very cheap & easy DIY options and pretty expensive ones off-a-shelf options on the other end of the price spectrum.

Why to install under cabinet lighting

It is very practical first of all. Whoever cooks in the kitchen will be extremely grateful for such an improvement. It really adds to the quality of life by having a good illumination of the food preparation area under the cabinets at the countertop.

Another non-obvious reason is that such lighting is very often used as a night light. Given it is attached to the bottom of a counter, it is always below the eye level which means it doesn't put any pressure on sleepy eyes. Yet it does illuminate really well not only the counter but also the whole lower part of the kitchen at night. While turned on, there is no need to turn on any other lights in the kitchen.

How to make under cabinet lighting

The cheapest and arguably the best way is to build lighting yourself. There are a few skills needed. The components are cheap too. The hardest part is little soldering, but any handy person should be able to do it easily. Also, you will want to have some electrical skills to connect wires in the right order and not overload a circuit.

The parts you will need could be as few as buying a dimmable led strip online. Add a glue gun stick and you are set. You might need to buy a USB charger as well, but that is it. The cons of such a "semi-custom" option are that wires or a switch could not be the right fit for your liking. On the positive side is the fact that no soldering is required.

If you want to build it all manually, here is the list of components needed: 5V USB phone charger Long enough USB cable (one end you will cut off) Additional wires to connect components Toggle switch (ideally surface mountable) Variable resistor (if you want to regulate brightness) Led strip Glue gun to attach the led strip to the bottom of the cabinets

There are many videos online on how to connect it all. The pro of doing it all manually is getting the best-tailored solution for your specific liking and needs. You could really lighten up the counter the way you will enjoy for years.

Off a shelf options

Those are plenty. There are many under-cabinet lighting options on the market. Anything batteries powered, corded, or in between. With manual switches, sensors, or with remote control. Here it is up to you to decide what works best in your case.

Before making a purchase we'd suggest making sure the lighting will be sufficient for you. Also, check if the wiring will be enough and that you have a preferably hidden plug to connect the lights. Ideally, you will not want to see any additional wires hanging around or take one of the handy plugs at the counter.

Bottom line

Adding under-cabinet lighting to a kitchen is a very cheap and effective house improvement option.

If you decent want results with minimal effort, search some options online to see what fits you best. If you have spare time and desire to mess with wires, soldering iron, and components, you can make AWESOME under cabinet lighting for very little money.