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How to Install Kitchen Lighting

Use these step-by-step instructions to install under-cabinet lights, sconces, rope lighting and more in your kitchen.

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Step 1: Prep the Area

Lay down some protective covering to protect the floors. Next, be sure to cut the power off at the source.

Step 2: Install Under-Cabinet Lights

The first lights to be installed are the under-cabinet "slim" lights (Image 1). These lights will be hardwired, which involves mounting a junction box inside the cabinet, drilling a hole through the bottom of the cabinet (Image 2) for the plug to pass through and running the wire into the cabinet from a nearby switch (Image 3). A special metal cover is also placed over the wires to protect them.

Plunge the wires into the junction box and pop on the cover.

Attach the brackets for the lights and snap them in place underneath the cabinets.

Step 3: Install Sconces

To install the sconces for both sides of the sink, first measure the exact location for the sconces.

Then use a hole saw (Image 1) to cut the opening for the remodel box, which isn't just necessary but smart.

Note: A common mistake a lot of homeowners make is to take the bracket (Image 2) and mount it directly onto the side of the cabinet and that's dangerous -- potential for fire if the wires were to spark!

After connecting the wires, mount the bracket, tuck everything into place and the sconce is ready to install.

Step 4: Install Rope Lighting

Rope lighting will lighten the dark spots over the cabinets, and they are the easiest to install. Simply plug in the lights and place them on top of the cabinet where you want them.

Step 5: Install Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are good for lighting bar and dining areas. First, lay the lights out on a flat surface, such as a countertop, in order to distribute them evenly (Image 1).

The installation of the pendants lights is relatively easy. If installing pendant lights in place of a previous light, the wiring will already be in place. If this is the case, run wires for the three pendants from that same source.

Screw the bracket into the ceiling (Image 2), fasten the wires together and them inside, and then attach the canopy. Do this for all three pendants. Slide the connectors over the light cable, which simply screws into the canopy (Image 3). The process is repeated for the remaining two pendants, and they're ready for the light bulbs, which are quartz bulbs that you "don't" want to touch, especially the end because the oil from your skin can make the bulb go bad.

Plug in the bulbs -- and there's even a frosted globe (Image 4) that goes over to diffuse the light.

Step 6: Install a Light in the Office Area

Another smaller pendant light will go above the kitchen office area. If the ceiling slants at all, use a plumb bob to know where to install the light.

Repeat the pendant installation process for the office light.

use a plumb bob to install pendant light

Step 7: Install the Halogens and the Eyeball Lamp

Next, it's time to install the lighting above the refrigerator. Originally a puck light was going to be used, but the homeowners decided to go with halogen light because it puts out more light. The halogens will mount flush into the top of the cabinet and plug into a transformer that plugs into a switched outlet.

The last light to be installed is the eyeball lamp, which will highlight the prints on the wall and illuminate the area.

an eyeball lamp illuminates the artwork on wall

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