Monday, September 05, 2011

Under-cabinet Lighting

Our kitchen sucks.  I can't think of anything redeeming about it.  From the spectacular appliances, to the spacious vinyl cupboards, to the shimmering faux marble counters, it is a wall to wall playground for any epicurean.  Wait, I do like our maple floors.  Floors aside, the kitchen is the one room in the house that could really use a massive make-over.  This weekend, I decided to do a small project to perk this space up a bit.  I installed under-cabinet lighting.    
I purchased two sets of Ikea's Inreda system of LED lights.  The good thing about Ikea is that it is cheap and any moron can put their stuff together.  The bad thing about Ikea is that they are cheap and though any moron can put their stuff together, you have to be slightly above moron in order to make sure you leave the store with all of the items you need to assemble the product you think you just purchased. 
The system is simple.  It is a plug-in set of four lights with a switch.  Two strings of four lights can be connected to one "system".  The first problem I encountered, after I mounted the lights, was that I realized the chord to connect the two sets of lights together is sold separately.  So back to Ikea I go...   

After my second trip to Ikea, things came together nicely.   
The next challenge is getting the wires connected to the bottom of the cabinets so they are out of the way and you can't see them. I chose to use tie-wraps and adhesive tie-wrap connectors. This seems to work okay but I am having issues keeping them stuck under the cabinet.

I am happy with the final result.  I do wish I could get these hard-wired to a switch instead of the awkward plug-in switch.  I also don't want to have to continually re-adhere the wires to the bottom of the cabinets so I may get some sort of mechanically fastened raceway to keep them up there.  Regardless, it is a big difference. 
Look, now you can see all of that artificial printed veining on that spectacular formica counter!


Jennifer said...

What?!? You mean that's not genuwine I-talian marble?

In any case, nice job on the lighting, Chris! It's amazing what a relatively simple and relatively inexpensive project can do to perk up your home.

Sharon Kwilter said...

That looks like the formica we had! Nice job on the undercabinet lights.