Jul 14 2019
When upgrading your kitchen, conventional wisdom tells you to buy appliances, add new cabinetry or replace countertop space. But you don't have to think expensive to make your kitchen remodeling project look like a million bucks. By installing light fixtures that bunk conventional design methods, you can get the most bang for your buck. Installing under cabinet lights can create a unique and amazing effect that expands upon conventional kitchen designs and incorporates itself into nearly any theme perfectly - all while being inexpensive and easy to install.
The first item on your list is to locate a suitable electric outlet under your cabinet. Unless your house is very old, you're bound to have a dedicated ground fault circuit interrupter outlet within reach. Once you've found the perfect outlet, douse the electricity to the breaker. If you can't find the breaker for that outlet in the panel box, turn off the main breaker to the entire house.
Once you've got the power turned off, you can safely remove the old ground fault circuit interrupter outlet and set it aside. You'll need a double gang box to fit both the ground fault circuit interrupter and the new dimmer switch. Once you have the box, align it with the old one and trace around with a pencil. Now cut out the drywall and remove the old box.
Next, cut a length of wire that reaches under the cabinet. Poke a small hole just below the cabinet edge in the drywall. Use a metal fish tape to come down from the small hole to the open outlet hole. Attach the wire to the fish tape and pull it through the wall.
Attach the dimmer switch and outlet back together according to the ballast directions. Install the new box to the stud with two screws. The next step is to wire the ballast to the switch. Attach the ballast under the cabinet and against the back wall to cover the hole in the drywall and obscure the wire. Wire the ballast according to the directions and you're ready for the final phase of the project.
Depending upon what style of lighting you're using, wiring may be different. LED under cabinet lighting is many times a low voltage light and it requires the use of a transformer to lower the voltage. This can be especially true with larger commercial lighting under cabinet systems.
LED strip lights are installed using a smaller ballast system and can be easily installed using the described method. Other rope-form LED lights have to be installed with the transformer and wire connection inside the cabinet. A small hole is drilled through the bottom and back of the cabinet. The rope light is fed through the bottom and attached to the transformer, while the main wire is fished through the hole in the back of the cabinet.
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