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Have you ever thought about adding under-cabinet lighting to your kitchen or working on a kitchen reno and trying to decide which ones to purchase? Spilling all of the details on the smart IKEA under cabinet lighting that I bought for our kitchen reno and setting up smart home lighting.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Under Cabinet Lighting
When designing a kitchen, under-cabinet lighting is an important thing to think about. This type of lighting is considered task lighting, which aids in completing a task. It is especially important in a kitchen to ensure proper lighting when preparing food and cleaning up. There are a few different types of under-cabinet lights to consider.
This style of light is named after their shape is similar to a hockey puck. You can often find them battery-operated as well as wired. These are especially great in glass kitchen cabinets, acting more as a spotlight.
Fluorescent Under Cabinet Lights
These are a classic type of light for under cabinets. This light output is a little cooler than xenon and halogen fixtures but have wired-under cabinet lighting option or plug-in options.
LED Under Cabinet Lights
This type of lighting is the newest but also more energy-efficient than the other options. They are brighter and more versatile, with different colour temperatures and brightness levels.
LED Strip Lights
Light strips might be your best choice if you don’t want a fixture counter in your cabinet. If you install these correctly, you shouldn’t be able to see them. They are inexpensive, have a long life span, and have different power options.
Smart Home Lighting
What is smart home lighting, and why would you want this? Smart home lighting is usually connected to a smart system like Alexa, Google, etc. The benefit of these systems is that they are all integrated to work together, whether you bought some of the lighting from IKEA or some from Amazon. Plus, other smart items can connect to the system, like fans, music, blinds, alarm systems and more.
“Alexa, turn the kitchen lights on” turns my under cabinet lighting on, the picture lights, and my floor lamp. BUT it also has a schedule or timer option available so that the lights automatically come on at sunset. Since they are smart lights, they adjust to the time of sunset depending on the time of year etc. This is very beneficial if you are out of town since it will never look like your home is empty.
The system we have in our home is Alexa. We have these smart speakers throughout our home, which allows us to play music, ask questions, control the tv, but also control the lights. I also have “Routines” set up so I can say “Alexa, goodnight” and have her set my alarm system, turn off the main floor lights, and turn on the second-floor lights. When I say, “Alexa, sleep well” this prompts my smart system to turn off the second-floor lights, and she also says goodnight.
While this might sound scary and advanced, it isn’t that bad. Like everything, there is a bit of a learning curve, but there are so many videos and articles about how to use these devices that it’s not hard. Plus, I have my parents set up on this; they love it!
IKEA Under Cabinet Lighting
The IKEA Under Cabinet lighting system is easy to add to an existing kitchen or add to a new build kitchen. It is very flexible and user-friendly, like more IEKA products. If you use the IKEA kitchen planner, it is automatically added to your cart – this is what happened with my kitchen reno.
This smart home lighting system is fairly easy to use and can be set up on a smart system. A switch can control it, but another option is to buy the smart home system to connect it to so your smart home device can control it.
The strip lights come in different sizes to seamlessly fit under your cabinets no matter the size. Think of these lights as lego – they connect to each other. Only the first light has a wire running from it. The rest connect to each other, making it look sleek. The first light has a wire running to the driver, with a power cord plugging into an electrical outlet. In my kitchen, I have all of the extra wires and drivers inside my cabinet, hidden away.
IKEA under-counter lighting is also an option because the strips can be added under the counters and also in the cabinets.
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Installing IKEA Under Cabinet Lighting
How it works
When setting up this system, a “wireless driver” plugs into the electrical outlet in the wall. From there, the first strip light plugs into that driver. The rest of the strip lights connect to that first light without any wires – a piece sticks out from the end of the first light and pushes into the second light. It sounds a little confusing, but when you see it, it makes more sense! It just becomes a continuous strip of lights. These lights come with little screws, and its easy to mount to the bottom of your cabinets.
The spotlights/puck lights have individual lights, but you may not even need these lights depending on your kitchen setup. I think they are helpful for glass cabinets – these have individual wires that plug into the wireless driver.
How to hide the system
Where should you put the wireless driver? That is up to you, and you could mount it to the bottom of your cabinets if your light valence is a few inches wide and would cover it. The other possibility is to put it inside of your upper cabinets and drill a hole through the back of the cabinet, above the outlet. The driver and extra wires are hidden, but the plug still comes down through the cabinet hole and plugs in. Check the building code in your area to see if this works for you. There are many options for installation and setting it up, but it varies from kitchen to kitchen.
The wireless remote
There is also a little wireless remote that connects to this system that turns the lights on and off but also allows the lights to dim. You could mount that anywhere. Mount it by the light switch for your overhead lights, mount it under your cabinets, or whatever works for you. I hardly use my little dimmer switch because my whole system is connected to my Alexa system through the internet gateway and the IKEA Home Smart app. This is one of those annoying little tasks that you need to do one time to get it set up.
The IKEA App
Once you download that app and get it set up with the internet gateway, add it to your Alexa via the Alexa app, and you will never have to use the IKEA app again. I have my lights automated through Alexa Routines. One that tells the lights to turn on at sunset. Another routine that turns the lights on is when I say, “Alexa, turn the kitchen lights on” or “Alexa, turn the kitchen lights off.” I also have a smart switch that controls other lights in the kitchen! I really love all of this stuff, and I am constantly adding to it with other lights and switches around the house.
If this is all a little confusing to you, try watching some of the IKEA videos about it and the installation!
LED is the best lighting open for under cabinet lighting. These are affordable, energy-efficient, and versatile.
Under cabinet lighting is an easy upgrade to a kitchen and can significantly impact everyday use in a kitchen.
There are three different options for powering under cabinet lighting: hard-wired through an electrical box, plug-in cabinet lights, and battery-operated.
The best way to hide under cabinet lighting wires is through a light valence and cable protectors.