How Much Does It Cost to Install Under-Cabinet Lighting?

by Erin Wallace
Under cabinet lighting by  laundry machine hookup

Picture this: You're winding down for the evening and about to head to bed, but you get a hankering for a peanut butter sandwich. It's dark in the kitchen, but you don't want to turn on any bright lights. So, instead, you switch on your under-cabinet lighting, which adds just enough illumination so you can fix a snack.

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Installing under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen can add a pleasing ambiance to your space. Here’s a peek at pricing.

What Is Under-Cabinet Lighting?

Under-cabinet lighting provides additional illumination underneath cabinets, which can be useful in kitchens, since the areas directly under cabinets tend to be darker than the rest of the counter space.

Their use isn't limited to kitchens, though — under-cabinet lighting can be installed anywhere you have cabinets, such as in a garage, office or other work area.

What Are the Different Types of Under-Cabinet Lighting?

The options are seemingly limitless when it comes to under-cabinet lighting. LED, traditional incandescent, cool-tone and warm-tone lights are all available, and there are many light fixture types to choose from.

Puck Lights

According to Lowe's, puck lights are a popular option for under-cabinet lighting. These round lights are usually available in a variety of finishes, which is something to consider if the lights will be visible hanging from the cabinet. Puck lights can be angled to illuminate the backsplash or shine directly onto the countertop below.

They're usually installed every 8 to 12 inches, which helps create areas of even lighting without any shadows or washed-out pools of light. The cost of puck lights varies depending on the manufacturer and finish. In general, you can expect to pay about $20 to $50 (CAD 28 to 69) per unit, although you may pay more for a premium finish or less if the lights come in a multipack.

The cost also varies depending on whether you need plug-in or hardwired lights and the length of your cabinets. If you have a 10-foot stretch of cabinets, the puck lights you chose cost about $40 (CAD 55) each, and you're spacing them every 12 inches, you'd need 10 lights, bringing the total to $400 (CAD 547).

Tape Lights

Tape lights are a bit less expensive and generally easier to install — they stick to the underside of the cabinet with an adhesive. Although they run off a standard outlet, wiring them into existing electrical wiring can be challenging, so you may need to hire an electrician.

It typically costs between $25 and $40 (CAD 35 and 55) to install 20 feet of tape lights, although you'll pay more if you hire an electrician to install them for you.

Light Bars

Under-cabinet light bars are another option for installing lights underneath your cabinets. Some models are plug-in, and some are meant to be hardwired into your existing electrical wiring. Hardwired under-cabinet light bars generally cost between $25 and $150 (CAD 35 and 204) or more. Plug-in under-cabinet LED light bars cost a bit less, with a typical range between  $25 and $80 (CAD 35 and 109) for one 12- to 18-inch long fixture, depending on the manufacturer.

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How Much Does It Cost to Install Hardwired Under-Cabinet Lights?

Under-cabinet lighting costs about $400 to $800 (CAD 547 to 1,093) for one 12-inch fixture, basic labor and job supplies. These lights are often installed about 8 to 12 inches apart, so if you want to install them along the entire length of your cabinets, you'll need to multiply that range by the number of lights you'll need.

Expect to pay more if anything needs to be relocated or repaired or if any part of the electrical system needs replacing. Keep in mind that general contractors may charge more for overhead, so if you hire a contractor to supervise the project, you may need to pay as much as 13% to 22% more.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Plug-In Lighting?

For plug-in under-cabinet lights, the cost may be significantly less. If you're able to mount them and plug them in yourself, you'll save money on the cost of hiring a professional. However, if there aren't any outlets where you want to put the lights, you'll likely need an electrician to help. Plug-in light bars cost anywhere from $25 to $80 (CAD 35 to 109) apiece, and depending on where you live, electricians may charge between $50 and $150 (CAD 69 and 204) per hour, based on data from Forbes.

It's a good idea to bring in a professional if you aren't sure about something when working with electricity. And the final product will look clean and create a pleasing ambiance.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.