How to Install Cabinet Display Lights

Written by mary jane
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Wooden cabinets can often look dull and dark during the evening and night hours due to the lack of natural lighting. While a cabinet can be successful in displaying items during the day, people walk directly past the display at night if it does not have proper lighting to showcase the content. To avoid this issue, install cabinet lights in the ceiling of the cabinet, so the lights can shine directly down on the content you're displaying.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stepping stool
  • Display lights
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw with narrow blade
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Tape
  • Damp cloth
  • Electrical socket near the case

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  1. 1

    Use the stepping stool so you can clearly see the top of the display case. Place the lights on top of the display cabinet to determine how many lights you can install in the cabinet. Use one light to provide your cabinet with plenty of lighting if your cabinet is 10 inches or less in width. Place the lights at least half an inch apart if you plan to install more than one. Use a pencil to determine how many lights your cabinet display requires.

  2. 2

    Use the measuring tape to find out the circumference of the display lights you are using, if they are circular. Measure the sides if the light is rectangular. Subtract about .04 inches or a millimetre from the side measurements or the circumference.

  3. 3

    Draw the outline of the display light on to the top of the cabinet using the measurements created in the previous step. Draw the outlines where you want to install the lights.

  4. 4

    Remove everything from the display case. Use the jigsaw with a thin blade to cut out the lighting holes using the lines you drew in the previous step. Ensure that you do not cut outside the lines.

  5. 5

    Use a piece of sandpaper to remove any splinters and cracks in the cabinet top.

  6. 6

    Apply a line of wood glue around the perimeter of the newly cut holes. While the glue is wet, press a display light into each hole using both hands, ensuring that the wiring comes up from the cabinet. Use one hand to push downward on the light, and put the other hand inside the cabinet to offer support from below. It will be a tight squeeze due to the .04-inch difference, but the cut will ensure that the light does not fall through the top of the cabinet.

  7. 7

    Use the cloth to wipe away any glue that may be visible after the installation. Do this on the top and inside of the cabinet.

  8. 8

    Plug the display light plug into a nearby outlet. Use tape to secure the wiring to the top and back of the display case so the wires are not in plain view.

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