Undercabinet Lighting Adds Wow Factor

By Todd Fratzel on Cabinetry, Electrical

Under Cabinet Lighting

One way to really create a wow factor with you next kitchen cabinet installation is to install under cabinet lighting. Quite a few of the products on the market are rather bulky and end up being somewhat visible on the bottom of the cabinets. When we built our new home the electrician introduced us to miniature track lighting by Juno.

These miniature track lights are only 1″ tall with the heads mounted on the track. This allows you to mount them on the bottom side of the cabinets out of sight! The nice thing about this system is you can add additional heads and move them around just like a normal track lighting system.

The key to using this system is proper planning long before you install your cabinets. These lights run on low voltage so you’ll need a transformer hidden some place. You’ll also need to run low voltage wire from the transformer to the beginning of each track light run. We like to pull the wire through the drywall 1/2″ above the very bottom of the cabinet back. Then you can drill a small hole in the back lip of the cabinet to pull the wire through. Then you can staple the wire to the bottom of the cabinet and run it to the track.

Each “run” of cabinets will need a feed wire. For example, in the photo of our kitchen I had to run a feed wire for all the cabinets to the right of the microwave and another feed for the single cabinet to the left of the microwave. The track is pretty straight forward, you have a starter piece that the low voltage wire connects to, then you cut the track to length, add transition pieces and then an end piece. Finally you snap in the light head.

You can get two types of bulbs, LED and Xenon. You can do a couple of things with the transformers. I like to mount them under the sink base for easy access. You could also install them inside a junction box within the wall if you have access to it.

I highly recommend you install some type of under cabinet lighting next time you install new cabinets. You’ll be very glad you did!

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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5 Comments

  1. Bill says:

    Hello Todd,
    I purchased the Juno Trac 12 LED lighting for task lighting under my cabinets. But now I’m not sure how to run the track under a long group of cabinets. There is a two inch lip on the underside of each cabinet assembly. Did you notch out the lip to allow a single run under the bank of cabinets? If so, how? If not then what did you do?
    A quick reply would be VERY appreciated since I need to get this installed ASAP.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Todd says:

      I cut a narrow slot 1″ wide or so between each cabinet so the track can run from cabinet to cabinet. I used a small finish cabinet cut-off saw.

  2. Bill says:

    THANK YOU for the quick reply!
    What exactly is a “small finish cabinet cut-off saw”?

  3. Gene says:

    How large of a junction box do you need for the transformer? 2 gang, I’m guessing, but how deep?

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