How to upgrade the under cabinet lighting in your kitchen.
Hello. Here is a great weekend project that anyone can succeed with. Under cabinet lighting is such an enhancement to the function and cheerfulness of your kitchen. My most recent experience with this was very successful. The kitchen really needed the extra light and, the home owner let me choose the fixtures. I selected Utilitech line Voltage Xenon Lights from Lowes. These units come in three lengths, 12", 18" and 24". They can operate alone or in groups, they use 110 volts and no transformers, and they have a high/lo/off dimmer switch built in. Finally, they can be installed using the enclosed plug-in cords, or direct wired, and you can link up to 600 watts. A twelve inch bar is 40 watts.
All of that said, all you need to proceed is about 45 minutes per cabinet, and the following tools: electric drill and a set of wood flat drill bits, flat head screwdriver, philips screwdriver, wire cutters, wire strippers, pliers, safety glasses and a small mirror. The mirror will assist you in tightening the screws as you install the fixtures under the cabinets. Turn off the power at the breaker for the circuit you are working on [unless of course you are going to use the plug in cords included in the box instead of direct wiring].
VERY USEFUL TIP: probably the most difficult part of this task could be mounting each of the light bars uniformly under the cabinets. Recognizing this, I made a template for each of the three lengths of fixture so that I knew exactly where to predrill and start the two mounting screws required per fixture. These templates were made from still cardboard, cut with a razor blade knife, although you could have used 1/4 inch plywood just as well.
on Dec 07, 2009 | Dimmers