Introduction: Under Cabinet LED Lights

I started with a large LED strip, custom cut it to the size, ran the power, installed a switch, and neatly hid wires. This project can easily be adapter to anywhere you need some lighting under something. (eg. kitchen cabinets, work spaces, shelving, display cases, etc.) It is also a good guide on how to install lighting strips in general and can be used as a base for other low voltage lighting projects.

Step 1: Materials

Here is everything I used to complete this project:
The total cost was around $40.

Step 2: Tools

  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • Soldering Iron + Solder
  • Heat Gun or Hair Dryer
  • Tape Measure
  • (Opt) Hot Glue Gun
  • (Opt) Paint Brush

Step 3: Plan

Each strip will be 5 feet long and centered. The total power consumption will be 2 amps at 12 volts DC.

Step 4: Initial Wiring

  1. Measure and then cut LED strip. (at indicated marks on strip)
  2. Measure and cut two wires for each shelf. (you want about 6" extra to be safe)
  3. Since both wires are the same color mark one positive wire with tape.
  4. Solder wire to the end of the strip and cover in heat shrink tubing.
  5. Strip the DC lead off of connector that was originally connected to the strip when manufactured.
  6. Solder 8" of wire to the terminals of the switch then cover in heat shrink tubing.

Step 5: Place LED Strip

Place led strip on by removing protective film and pressing firmly on the space between the LED's.
Be slow and be careful a ruler may help with aliment.
Hot glue may be needed in some spots (ie. the ends of the strip) but the adhesive backing is actually really strong.

Step 6: Drill

Drill holes in the shelves and box. (for wires)
Attach the box with wood screws. (countersink pre-existing holes in box with large bit so that the screw will lie flush)
Drill out a hole for the switch.

Step 7: Run Wires

Run the wires through the holes.
Finalize their placement with wire staples.

Step 8: Connect Wires

Connect the wires together as in diagram.
Twist wires in a spiral and then use wire twists.
Insure no contacts are exposed by covering with electrical tape.
Install the box cover.

Step 9: Touch Up

I had to touch up the area around the switch with a little wood putty and some paint.
Make It Glow Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow Contest