LED Tape - Under Cabinet Lighting - No Soldering!




About: Oh Canada!

This Instructable will give you the building blocks to install your under cabinet LED tape without soldering any wires.

Every cabinet is different. Be creative and the results can be amazing.

Please vote.

Please feel free to ask questions.


This project is 100% low voltage (12 volts DC). I didn't tap into the 120 volts side of the plug outlets or my electrical system. I simply plugged in my project to the wall receptacle. If you chose to work on the 120 volts side or use other power supplies that are more hard wired please consult an Electrician.

Step 1: All the Pieces You Will Need.

  • LED Tape - 3 meters - (Warm White)
  • Power Supply
  • Low voltage LED Switch
  • Male and female connectors
  • LED tape jumper
  • Low voltage wire

I purchases all parts from: https://montrealimport.com/en/33-led-strip-led-rib...

You can get them from anywhere that is in your area.

Step 2: Put Connectors on to Your Switch

Put a male and female connector on to the switch.

Trim the wires to suit installation.

Ensure that the connector is female to mate with the power supply. Continue to switch male and female connectors along your installation for consistency.

Step 3: Test the LED Strip.

Step 4: Measure the LED Tape and Cut

Measure the LED tape and cut it at the correct location. LED tape can be cut ever three LEDs.

Step 5: Trim Off the Silicone and Connect the Jumper Wire.

Trim off a piece of the silicone from the end of the tape.


The connector on the jumper is connected by pressure.

Ensure to keep polarity the same throughout the installation.

Test your connection.

I cut the jumper in half to feed the wire through my cabinet. Then used the male and female connectors to connect all the wires together.

You can search YouTube for videos how to use these jumpers search: How to Splice Extension Jumper Cables PCB LED Strip.

Step 6: Now Peal and Stick the Tape.

Once you have your length set and jumpers installed you can now install the tape.

Peal off the backing of the 3M tape and stick to underside of the cabinet. The cleaner your cabinets are the better the tape will stick.

DO NOT touch the sticky tape. It will not adhere if you get it dirty.

More tips on sticking tape at end of this Instructable.

Step 7: Feed the Wires Through Cabinet.

Once you have the tape installed, drill holes to feed the wires through the cabinet. This will allow you to use one power supply and switch.

Connect all the wire using the male and female connectors.

I used hinged plastic wire conduit to hide all the wires inside the cabinets. It has a peal and stick backing and will install nicely inside white cabinets.

Use all these steps to complete your LED under cabinet project. These steps are just building blocks. Every cabinet is different. Be creative and the results can be amazing.

Step 8: Before and After...

The pictures speaks for them selves.

Note: Still finishing my cabinet doors. Once I get my cabinet doors all on you will not be able to see the LEDs over the stove anymore.

Step 9: Now the Bad News...

The tape doesn't stick very well at all. Basically is there to help you get it set up then you will need to use a secondary method to keep the tape in place.

I used two other methods.

  • Clear Silicone
  • Crazy Glue

The silicone I used like a strap and placed a bead over the tape. This worked really well so I put a bead ever 3"-6" or so.

At the ends where you have more weight with plugs and the switch I used quick dry super glue. This stuff also worked really will to hold the tape in place. I put the super glue on the back of the tape.

I have had this installed for three weeks now and not one piece has fallen down.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable.

Please vote.

Ask me questions, I will do my best to help.



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71 Discussions


2 years ago

I did this a couple months ago. I mounted the LEDs to some small pieces of wood with hot glue and then used a finish nailer to mount them under the cabinets. This made mounting much easier.

Also a really easy enhancement is to add a motion detector like this - http://i.imgur.com/Xb8lNNU.png

19 replies

Reply 2 years ago

Clarification: The motion detector would replace the switch. My system is always on so anytime you walk into the kitchen the lights come on without having to use a switch. Also, here is the ebay link from my pic above. "LED DC5-24V 5A Strip Automatic MINI PIR Infrared Motion Sensor Detector Switch" http://www.ebay.com/itm/LED-DC5-24V-5A-Strip-Automatic-MINI-PIR-Infrared-Motion-Sensor-Detector-Switch-/281735553264?hash=item4198bf60f0:g:vQwAAOSwPcVViNYJ


Reply 2 years ago

sweet, I was just thinking of implementing something like this but have no idea what would be needed for something like this... thanks!


Reply 2 years ago

So does it shut itself off after a certain amount of time? Is that time changeable?


Reply 2 years ago

I could really use something like this in my closet but have no outlet, just a wall switch for a ceiling light... At the risk of sounding like someone who contemplates recreational electrocution, could this be (somewhat easily) hardwired into the switch or is that a job for an electrician?


Reply 2 years ago

For several years I used a string of battery powered Christmas wreath LEDs with a normally closed magnetic switch. A magnet keeps the switch open. Open the door pulling the magnet away from the switch
causes the switch to close and the lights come on. Lights turn off when the door is
closed. Three AA batteries lasted for over 2 years.

My small magnet sticks to the steel hinge without gluing. Mount the switch to the door frame next to the magnet. Just cut one of the LED strands and wire to each end of the switch. Couldn't be easier. Digi-Key or a local electronics store should have them. This illustration shows one that can be wired open or closed, thus the three terminals.


Reply 2 years ago

Most wall switches are wired with a single romex cable to interrupt the power at the light itself. In other words, the power is going to the light and is being turned on or off using the switch.

If you're lucky, the power mite be going to your switch 1st and then to the light.

With this configuration, you can put in a combination switch/outlet and that will give you the needed power for your low voltage xfrmr for the lites.


Reply 2 years ago


Intrigued. In UK and Spain (only two I'm really familiar with, though brief examinations appeared to show same in Greece and Turkey), LIVE always goes to the switch first, then to the light fitting. NEUTRAL is unswitched connection from light fitting back to the supply box NEUTRAL. What do you mean?

I have seen some wiring that didn't follow this sequence, but they were always amateur cockups.

Genuinely interested.

Came across an absolute doozy once in Spain. Confused bloke had wired changeover switch so that to achieve light OFF, both terminals at light fitting were made LIVE (no potential difference = no current flow). Still got drawing somewhere.


Reply 2 years ago

I'm not an electrician. I easily added an outlet inside my closet that is fed directly from the closet light wall switch outside the closet. When I flip the switch, both the LEDs and the overhead closet light come on. I was able to mount the outlet directly below the switch so it was just a matter of cutting out for a single outlet box, running Romex to the switch and installing the box and duplex receptacle.

I'm not advising you to do it yourself. As a disclaimer, always hire a qualified electrician for home wiring modifications.


Reply 2 years ago

@dustanddoghair - I HAVE YOUR SOLUTION!! I had the same problem in closet & pantry so I went on the hunt for a simple "no wiring required" solution. Found some Indoor Light Bulb Socket Motion Sensors... They kick but, just screw it into the socket and screw your bulb in and leave your light switch on. I did have to ditch our not so fancy ceailing sconce, but the wife didn't mind. They have sensitivity and time adjustments too! Here's a link to a similar one on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001V7R5XG/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awd_x_C5r.xb3GV8WRK


Reply 2 years ago

THAT is a neat product! Thank you!

(I'm actually looking to run these lights in the bottom of the closet, but I have a few places where this product would be perfect for us...thx!)


Reply 2 years ago

Good idea. And here we were trying to reinvent the light bulb.


Reply 2 years ago

In UK, and rest of Europe - at least those countries that I'm aware of, one side of a light switch is ALWAYS live, the other side is SOMETIMES live (due to action of switch), so you could take a connection from the Always Live side to use to power something else, but you would be advised to do the maths concerning combined current pull of each circuit, and current-capability of the Always Live cable feeding the switch. (Cable current capability and calculation readily available online. Can't give advice as UK uses only copper conductors, while US uses aluminium; that's "al-oo-min-ee-um", by the way. Just saying. Fnah. (For meaning of "Fnah" refer to old issues of MAD magazine.)

Probably not considered good practice, but UK Regulations do allow for one spur from each Ring Main socket, so this would just be applying that consideration to light circuits - maybe.

(Not shouting there; "Always" and "Sometimes" differentiate conditions.)


Reply 2 years ago

"Recreational electrocution"...you're my favorite person for today.

Depending how the ceiling light is wired, you may be able to add an outlet for the power supply. Since the lights would be of occasional use, perhaps a battery would be the better source a power. 8 AA batteries (rechargable) should do it.


Reply 2 years ago

Sure, a battery-backup would do the job. Now you got a power-distribution center in Your, (where), with a power-line, sence-detector, to light up.. what? There was a light at the beginning?


Reply 2 years ago

Thank you Bill, Dubya, why, and James. Food for thought for when I'm feeling brave (and fed up with not being able to find my shoes). The buildmyown link helped clarify. Thanks, again!