As fluorescent fixtures age, they get less and less efficient. Pretty soon that bargain fixture you picked up at the local home improvement store is costing you more each month to operate than it cost. Today's efficient LED fixtures offer vastly greater energy efficiency, durability, and lighting quality.
In this Instructable I will demonstrate how simple it is to replace an old fluorescent over sink light with a new LED one.
- Direct Wire Under Counter Led Light*
- Phillips head screwdriver
*The fixture I used was discontinued by the manufacturer so I was able to pick up several very cheap.I recommend using a direct wire "linkable" and "dimmable" fixture
Step 1: Out With the Old Light
NOTE: A word about safety. Make sure the light switch that controls the fixture is turned off - shut it off at the circuit breaker if necessary.
Remove the fixture from under the counter, as pictured. I was fortunate in the mine was mounted using slide-holes and not directly screwed in.
Remove the bulb cover and bulb from the fixture.
One the particular light I was replacing, getting to the internal wiring was just a matter of pressing and releasing two small clips. Yours might require removing some screws.
Locate the white, black, and ground wires leading from the wall into the fixture. These should be secured with wire nuts. Remove the wire nuts and set aside. You should now be able to remove the ballast section of the fixture and be left with only the wires and the fixture's box frame.
Loosen the cable through clamp. it's the circular metal thing with two screws clamping the house wiring in place. Pull the wires through the clamp and set the fixture frame aside.
Step 2: In With the New Light
One thing I always do before installing a new fixture is test fit everything before wiring. This ensures that things will fit properly so I don't have to un-wire things later because they don't fit.
As you can see in the picture, I have mounted the spring clips that will hold the new fixture using the paper template provided, and mounted the black box that came with the fixture to basically hold the wires and wire nuts. This particular fixture doesn't wire up inside so it can easily be expanded by daisy chaining fixtures together.*
After mounting and fitting the box and clips, run the house wires through the hole provided into the black box. Using the saved wire nuts, connect the black wires together. Do the same for the white wires, but include the ground wire. The old fixture had a separate ground wire so the metal case was grounded. Since this fixture is largely plastic, that is not needed, but we still want to ground our connection.
Before replacing the cover on the black box, hook up the light using the link cable provided and test it. If your connections are secure and the light works, replace the cover on the black box and mount the light on the spring clips provided. Finally, clip any excess wire into the black plastic clips provided.
Enjoy your new, energy efficient, expandable lighting!
*Once one is wired in to the wall, up to 30 can be chained together by simply connecting them with link cables. Since the wall switch this will be wired to connects to my home automation system, I can turn the under counter lights on an off from any switch in the house I program it to, or even simply by speaking to my iPad.