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.
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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 you have proper lighting when you are preparing food and cleaning up. There are a few different types of under cabinet lights to consider.
This style of night is named after their shape being 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 spot light.
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 a 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
If you don’t want a fixture counter your cabinet, light strips might be the best choice for you. If you install these correctly, you shouldn’t be able to see them. They are inexpensive with a long life span and have different power options available.
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 form IKEA, and some form Amazon. Plus, there are other smart items that can connect into 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 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 all of this might sound scary and advance, it really isn’t that bad. Like everything, there is a bit of a learning curve, but there are so many videos and articles out there about how to use these devices, it’s not hard. Plus I have my parents set up on this and they love it!
IKEA Under Cabinet Lighting
The IKEA Under Cabinet lighting system is easy to add in to an existing kitchen or add to a new build kitchen. It is very flexible and user friendly like more IEKA products. If you used 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. It comes with the option to be controlled by a switch but another option is to buy the smart home system to connect it to so it can be controlled by your smart home device.
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 into each other. Only the first light has a wire running from it, the rest connect into each other making it look sleek. The first light has a wire running to the driver, which has a power cord that plugs into an electrical outlet. In my kitchen, I have all of the extra wires and driver inside my cabinet, hidden away.
IKEA under counter lighting is also a 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, there is a “wireless driver” that plug into the electrical outlet in the wall. Form there, the first strip light plugs into that driver. The rest of the strip lights connect into that first light without any wires – there is piece that sticks out from the end of the first light, and pushes into the end of 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, those 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, 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 kitchen to kitchen.
The wireless remote
There is also a little wireless remote that connects into 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, 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 just 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 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 cab make a big impact to 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, as well as cable protectors.