How To Install Plug-In Under Cabinet Lights In 7 Easy Steps

Dimmable Under Cabinet Lighting
DIY-ers lend me your ears!

When choosing under cabinet lights, plug-in fixtures are a great option. They offer high quality light, but don’t require such an involved installation like hardwired lights.

If you’re looking to update your kitchen with some plug-in under cabinet lights, just follow these easy instructions to have them up and running in no time. These 7 easy steps are applicable to linear and puck under cabinet lights of any light source. (To learn more about which lights will work best in your kitchen, check out this article).

Tools you’ll need:

  • Drill with keyhole saw
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wirestrippers
  • Electrical tape and wirenuts, or direct connectors
  • Lamp cord
  • Pressure connectors

1. Plan your layout. Where do you want your lights to go? For even illumination, linear fixtures should cover the length of your cabinets, while puck lights should be spaced 6-10″ apart. Find where the screws attach to each fixture and mark where they’ll land on the cabinet.

2. Prep the lights. Most plug-in lights, whether linear or puck, can link to each other so you don’t have to plug in each individual fixture. If you plan to wire your lights together, you may need to find the knockouts on the ends of the fixtures and pop them out.

3. Screw in the fixtures. Drill holes through any under hangs between cabinets. This way, you can run a cord straight through between fixtures. Fasten each of the lights to the bottom of the cabinet with screws.

4. Run the cords. Feed your lamp cord from one fixture to another until they’re all connected. Use a pressure connector when securing the cord inside each fixture’s knockout so it will stay in place.

5. Wire the fixtures. On the lamp cord within each light separate the wires and use your wirestripper to strip about 3/4″ of insulation off the wires. At the first fixture, connect the black wire with one wire on the lamp cord that has a plug on the end, and one wire connecting to the next fixture. Do the same with the white wire. Use wire nuts when connecting wires, then cover and secure them with electrical tape.

(You can skip steps 4&5 if your lights have direct connectors.) 

6. Wrap it up. Reassemble the fixtures. Then secure the lamp cord to the bottom of your cabinets with wire staples or brackets so it’s not in the way.

7. Flip the switch. Make sure all the lights turn on, and you’re finished!

For more info, visit our under cabinet lights page.

Annie Josey

Annie was the E-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Pegasus Lighting from June 2012 to October 2013. She has a background in English literature, and loves using language to help illuminate the world. So covering lighting news and tips naturally fit her interests. In her personal time she enjoys painting, biking, and reading.

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