How to Install Under-Cabinet Outlets: A Comprehensive Guide

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Welcome to Reader! If you’re looking to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen, installing under-cabinet outlets can be a game-changer. Not only will they provide convenient access to power for your countertop appliances, but they will also eliminate the need for unsightly cords hanging from your cabinets. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of installing under-cabinet outlets, ensuring a safe and efficient DIY project. So, let’s dive in and get those outlets installed!

Section 1: Tools and Materials

1.1 Essential Tools

Before you start the installation process, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here are the key tools you’ll need:

  • A jigsaw: Used for cutting through the cabinet and wall to create space for the outlets.
  • A screwdriver: Necessary for removing old fixtures and attaching the new ones.
  • A level: Ensures accurate alignment during the installation process.
  • Pliers: Used for wire cutting and stripping.
  • A cordless drill/driver: Required for drilling holes and securing fixtures.
  • Fish tape: Assists in pulling cables through walls and cabinets.
  • Wire stripper: Essential for removing insulation from electrical wires.

Make sure you have these tools handy before you proceed to the next steps.

1.2 Additional Materials

In addition to the tools mentioned above, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Under-cabinet light fixtures: Choose LED fixtures that are compatible with dimmer switches.
  • 120-volt outlet strips: These will serve as the under-cabinet outlets.
  • Electrical cables: Nonmetallic cables are required for the installation.
  • Old-work junction boxes and switch box: Used to house the electrical connections.
  • Blank cover: Needed for covering the junction box once the connections are complete.

Ensure you have all the necessary materials ready to go to complete the installation smoothly.

Section 2: Steps for Installing Under-Cabinet Outlets

2.1 Step 1: Preparation

First and foremost, safety is paramount. Head over to your main electrical panel and turn off the power to the existing under-cabinet lights and outlets. This will prevent any potential accidents or electrical shocks during the installation process. Double-check that the power is off before proceeding.

Now that the power is off, unscrew the old light fixtures from the underside of the cabinets. This will clear the space for the new fixtures and outlets.

2.2 Step 2: Creating Spaces for Junction Boxes

Using a jigsaw, cut a hole in the cabinet back for an old-work junction box. Make sure the hole is large enough to accommodate the box securely. Similarly, cut a similar hole in the wall directly above the cabinets where you want the outlets to be located.

Take two nonmetallic electrical cables and push them through the upper hole, allowing them to drop into the hole cut inside the cabinet. These cables will serve as the power supply for your outlets.

2.3 Step 3: Wiring switches and outlets

Now it’s time to wire the switches and outlets. Begin by cutting a hole in the kitchen wall for an old-work switch box and use a fish tape to pull a cable into the hole. Secure the switch box to the kitchen wall.

Next, wire a dimmer switch into the switch box, making sure it’s designed for use with LED lights. It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper wiring.

Inside the cabinet, make the wire connections in the junction box, ensuring each wire is securely connected. Once the connections are complete, screw on the blank cover to protect the junction box.

Proceed to make the wire connections inside the light fixtures, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Finally, secure the fixtures to the underside of the cabinets.

2.4 Step 4: Installing Outlet Strips

Run a new cable to the wall beneath the cabinets, ensuring it reaches toward the desired location for your outlet strips. Carefully install the 120-volt outlet strips, making sure they are securely fastened and aligned.

Once the outlet strips are in place, make the final wire connections, connecting each wire to the corresponding terminal on the outlet strips. To ensure everything is working correctly, it’s essential to test your work by turning the power back on and checking if the outlets and lights are functioning as intended.


Congratulations, you’ve successfully installed under-cabinet outlets to enhance the functionality and appearance of your kitchen! Now, you can enjoy a clutter-free countertop while having easy access to power for your appliances.

If you found this guide helpful, be sure to check out our other informative articles on various home improvement topics. From outdoor lighting to painting kitchen cabinets, we have you covered!

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