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The Technicalities of Under-Cabinet Lighting

Under-cabinet lighting brightens up dark spaces in the kitchen and can make a granite countertop look like sparkling diamonds. To complete this lighting project you’ll need to determine the location of the switch and number of lights you’re adding to the cabinets. You’ll also need to find the source of power and make sure the transformer is not overloaded.

Most experts prefer using low-voltage lighting fixtures. These small hockey puck looking fixtures operate on 12 volts of electricity. They attach directly underneath the cabinets, thus providing a hidden source of lighting.

To get going, you need to install small transformers to convert the 120 volts of household current into 12 volts of electricity. The transformers can be placed in the cabinet or in the basement. They have regular plugs that connect to wall outlets. Once the lights are installed under the cabinets you should get some professional advice.

The tough part is deciding how the lights should operate. Do you want them to come on with the overhead kitchen light or operate independently? So, consulting an electrician would be the next step.

Also, make sure to use the correct-sized wiring for the lights. Many low-voltage light manufactures sell the exact wire needed for this project. And be sure to match the number of under-cabinet lights to the transformer. Two or three lights can be handled by a small transformer, but as the number of lights increases so will the size of the transformer.

Make sure to keep this unit in an area that is well ventilated. As it converts voltage, the transformer will produce heat; it needs air-flow to dissipate the heat.



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