How to Hide Under Cabinet Lighting Wires
If you are installing under cabinet lighting, you may be concerned with how to hide the wires. Hiding under cabinet lighting wires is easy but it is something you should plan out before you begin your project. If your lighting is already installed, there are still options that should work for you.
Here is an under cabinet wiring checklist that we will discuss throughout the article:
- Choosing the appropriate gauge wire for your under cabinet lighting project
- Options when running your under cabinet lighting wires during install
- Placement of your under cabinet light fixture
- Hiding under cabinet lighting wires inside of the cabinets
- Using clips to hide under cabinet lighting wires
- Using wire channel strips to hide under cabinet lighting wires
Choosing the Appropriate Gauge Wire for Your Under Cabinet Lighting Project
When you are choosing the lighting that is best for you, I suggest paying close attention to the required wiring for that fixture. Some will use low voltage wires which as a thinner gauge and others will use 120 volt wire that is a thicker 14 gauge wire. The thinner the wire, the easier it will be to hide, and will also be easier to install when it comes to bending around corners. Although I do not suggest selecting a light fixture with the wire as the main deciding factor, you can use it as the final decision maker if you are torn between two fixtures.
Options When Running Your Under Cabinet Lighting Wires During Installation
When you are running your wires, you have options to go behind the wall and then pop out just under your cabinet where the fixture will get installed as described in the next section below. If you do this, it will minimize the wire exposure and the wires will essentially be hidden behind the wall. If you are running your wires through the cabinets or from some other location, then hiding wires will be a bigger deal for you. We will spend more time in another article that will focus on how to run under cabinet lighting wires.
Placement of Your Under Cabinet Lighting Fixtures
This is another topic that we will spend more time discussing in another article because it deserves to be its own topic of discussion. If you happen to choose the option pictured below where the fixture is mounted to the back of the cabinet and up against the wall, you will not see any wires at all. The placement of your lights should be about how the light projects across your counter and back splash and not about hiding wires.
Hiding Under Cabinet Lighting Wires Inside of the Cabinets
During my cabinet lighting install, I decided to run the wires through the inside of the cabinets starting at the top and exiting the bottom. I did this because I was not able to run the wires through the walls behind the cabinets. I was also installing crown molding around the entire kitchen and it provided me with the opportunity to have the wires behind that molding too. A perfect way to hide the wires that way.
When you pull the wires through the cabinets, you have two choices.
- Go down the back of the cabinet
- Go down the front of the cabinet
My recommendation is to run the wires down through the front. If the wire is at the rear, you will probably see those wires every time you open the cabinets. If through the front, it is much easier to hide. See the pictures below to see what I mean. You can see the shelves also helped to pin the wire up against the cabinet frame in the second picture without the need for clips.
Using Clips to Hide Under Cabinet Lighting Wires
There may be a span underneath the cabinets where the wire is hanging down and you need to pin it up. You can use small thin wire staples, but I personally do not like the idea of hammering those into the bottom of my cabinets. I also prefer not to use the ones that have a small nail as pictured to the left below. There are clips like the one pictured to the right below that use an adhesive backing that are not a bad alternative. The good news is you can test various clips and change them if they are not working for you.
Using Wire Channel Strips to Hide Under Cabinet Lighting Wires
If you have to run your wires down a wall or somewhere else that will be very visible, then you may want to consider using a cable protector. You can find them in finishes that may work for you. These look better than seeing a wire which will almost never run in a straight line. It also protects the wire from being damaged. My recommendation is to avoid this as an option and find a way to hide your wires behind or inside of the cabinets. These can be purchased in various lengths and they are easily cut to size.
Do I Need to Hire an Electrician to install My Undercabinet Lights?
You can install undercabinet lighting yourself. However, it is important that you take all safety precautions and install according to your local building code. Although an electrician is recommended, it is not required.
Is the installation different if I am using LED or Florescent lights?
The idea of hiding the wires and how you do it is the same regardless as to whether you are using LED or florescent.
Do I have to hide the under cabinet lighting wires?
There is no requirement do hide the wires. However, it is not going to look very nice to have the wires exposed. If you are going to take the time to install lighting that will make your kitchen look better, then it is best to hide the wires and make it look professional.
Hopefully this helps you determine how to hide your under cabinet lighting wires. Take the time to do it right and you will love your kitchen.