How Much Does It Cost To Install Undercabinet Lighting?
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Your kitchen requires good lighting for safety and convenience while you work, and installing additional light fixtures under the cabinets is a relatively simple way to improve visibility without any significant remodeling. Adding new lights may require some rewiring, in which case you should leave the job to a professional contractor. To help you get the best deal possible, find out how much the work might cost and what the alternatives are before you start shopping around for quotes.
If you need professional help along the way, you can always check back in to connect with local pros near you.
Table of Contents
- Undercabinet Lighting Installation Cost
- Undercabinet Lights Cost Factors
- Advantages Of Undercabinet Lighting
- Disadvantages Of Undercabinet Lighting
- Lighting Cost Comparison
- Types Of Undercabinet Lights
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- How To Install Undercabinet Lighting
- Find A Pro
Undercabinet Lighting Installation Cost
The cost to install undercabinet lighting depends on how many fixtures you want to install, your location and whether you employ a professional or do the work yourself. Employing a professional contractor to wire in a single light fixture, including labor and materials, costs from $233 to $315.
If there is an electrical receptacle near where you want to install the lights or you are using plug-in or battery-powered fittings, then you may be able to install the lights yourself as a DIY project. In this case, your only costs are the tools and materials, and you could save as much as 65%. Working with electrical wiring is dangerous, and it's usually a better idea to leave the work to an electrician.
Undercabinet Lights Cost Factors
Many factors affect the overall cost of installing undercabinet lighting in your kitchen. Consider your requirements and budget carefully before commencing your project, as it may be possible to keep down your expenses.
- Hiring A Pro: An electrician charges up to $80 per hour. You can save that money by doing the work yourself, but this isn't a good idea if you are not confident working with electrical components.
- Number of Light Fixtures: Installing a large quantity of lights increases material costs, and takes longer. However, the cost per fixture may go down, as it's possible to leverage bulk purchase discounts and to negotiate better rates with an electrician.
- Designer Lights: Choosing high quality or designer fittings increases your costs.
- Type of Lights: Using simple fixtures that you screw into position and then plug into an outlet helps to keep costs down, as you don't need to hire an electrician; while hardwired lighting requires professional installation and drives up prices.
- Rewiring: Changing the layout of your home's electrical wiring or running a power line to accommodate the lighting requires a qualified electrician, and significantly increases costs.
Advantages Of Undercabinet Lighting
Undercabinet lighting illuminates your work surfaces, providing direct light where you need it most. Lights under cabinets aren't visible, so you preserve the look of your kitchen, but many fittings are directional or work off a dimmer switch for greater control. Additional lighting makes working in your kitchen easier and safer, and it's usually possible to introduce the lights in a short timeframe without significant remodeling, which keeps disruption to a minimum.
Disadvantages Of Undercabinet Lighting
Fixing lights to cabinets may limit viable placements, and if you need the lights in positions where there isn't an electrical receptacle, then you need to employ an electrician to run a new power line for them.
Lighting Cost Comparison
Introducing undercabinet lighting is a quick and convenient way to improve visibility in your kitchen, but it's not the only option. Before starting a project, consider if it's the best solution for your requirements.
$180 to $351
$130 to $200
Add an outlet for a plug-in light
$148 to $197
Repair a lighting fixture
$131 to $179
Types Of Undercabinet Lights
Undercabinet lights fall into two main categories: hardwired and plug-in. Hardwired lights join your main electrical circuit and usually operate off a wall-mounted light switch or dimmer. Plug-in lights have a power cord and connect to an outlet. Some undercabinet lights are battery-powered, making them easy to install anywhere.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Whether you hire a professional contractor or install the undercabinet lights yourself depends on the type of lights you want. Hardwired lights require a power line, and the installation involves working with existing electrical wiring. Electrical work comes with a significant risk of electrocution, especially if you don't have the necessary training or equipment, and incorrectly installed wiring is a fire hazard. For safety reasons, leave the installation of hardwired lights to a qualified electrician. Installing plug-in lights is relatively safe, but still involves working with power tools and cables, so if you are not confident in your abilities, seek out a professional to get the job done correctly.
How To Install Undercabinet Lighting
Installing hardwired lighting is a job for a professional electrician. However, installing plug-in or battery-operated puck lights is a straightforward project suitable for DIY enthusiasts. The following steps are a simple guide to installation, but always read the manufacturer's instructions carefully:
- Decide where to place your light, ensuring the cables are long enough to reach the outlet.
- Mark the position under the cabinets with a pencil.
- Drill shallow holes for the screws, using the light's mounting cap as a guide. Take care not to drill all the way through the bottom of the cabinet.
- Position the light mounting cap over the screw holes, and then secure in place with screws.
- Attach the light to the mount with a twisting motion.
- Position the power hub beneath the cabinet and secure in place.
- Route the wires from the light to the hub, and secure with cord clips.
- Plug the power cable into the mains outlet to complete the installation.
Find A Pro
Rather than struggling to install your own undercabinet lighting, find a pro in your area. It's worth shopping around for at least three quotes. If possible, read online reviews and get word of mouth recommendations. Hire a professional with the right skills, and you have the potential to give your kitchen cabinets a functional and attractive makeover.
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Last updated on Dec 22, 2016