Hardwired Under Cabinet Lighting vs Plug-In: Which is Better

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Hardwired Under Cabinet Lighting vs Plug In Lighting

Hardwired Under Cabinet Lighting vs Plug In Lighting

Are you wanting to install under cabinet lighting? Chances are if you've been looking around the web for guidance you've come across these two terms already. "Hardwired" and "plug in" are ways to get power to the lights under your kitchen cabinets.

Choosing between these 2 options is a vital step in the planning phase of any cabinet lighting project. Read on to make and educated decision!

Kitchen with under cabinet LED lighting and toe kick LED lighting

What does it mean when LED under cabinet lighting is hardwired?

To put it simply, hardwired lighting is wired directly into your home's electrical system instead of just plugged into an outlet. It's generally rated for 120 volts, meaning you won't need to use a power supply.

Pros of hardwired lighting

As mentioned, one of the main benefits is that there is no need for a transformer. Many persons also consider hardwired lighting to be more professional. One reason is that you won't have a cord running to a plug point on your kitchen wall. This doesn't have to be an issue; some kitchens have outlets inside the cabinets, allowing you to conceal the PSU and wiring.

Another plus is that it won't use up an outlet in your kitchen, which are often in short supply!

Cons of hardwired lighting

There is one big hairy problem with with the hardwiring method. You need to have or be an electrician to get it done. This makes it an undesirable approach to under cabinet lighting for DIYers.

Running power to the lighting will also be likely to include drywall cutting. Which is never fun to do, or to have going on in your home.

How to install hardwired under cabinet lighting

Installing hardwired lighting under your cabinets will require the work of a certified electrician. They'll have to run a power feed and then install the lighting from it. This may not be the most practical solution for everyone due to extra cost and time.

The best time to install hardwired lighting is when you're doing a kitchen renovation. Then running power to the lights will blend in with the rest of the work, minimizing the hassle.

For a quicker solution, consider plug in under cabinet lighting, which we'll cover next.

What is plug in under cabinet lighting?

Plug in lighting draws power from an existing outlet, and requires a PSU to transform the current to a lower voltage. LED strips are one of the most common examples of this. DIYers prefer this option because they do not need an electrician for the job.

Pros of under cabinet lights that plug in

The main plus with this lighting system is that you can do it yourself! No need for an electrician and his bill. Also there will be no need for drywall cutting. Not many homeowners feel comfortable cutting holes in their walls.

Another pro is that plug in lighting is often less expensive. Just be sure you aren't buying low quality lights. There are a sea of bad choices out there, that break 2 years after you've completed the light installation. If you're interested in high quality lighting for your project, give us a call.

6 Best LED Strips For Under Cabinet Lighting

Cons of plug in lighting

The 2 main cons of plug in lights are these. One, they will need a power supply. Two, some consider them unprofessional compared to hardwired options.

Another issue: they use a valuable outlet in your kitchen. But wait, sometimes you can find an outlet inside your cabinets! This also allows you to keep the wiring and PSU out of sight. To learn how to install plug in LED lighting under your cabinets using this method, see the next section.

How to install plugin under cabinet lighting power supplyPlug in LED lighting system inside cabinet with Power supply and wifi controller

How to install plug in under cabinet lighting

Yes, plug in lighting can be just as professional as a hardwired job. If you want a professional outcome, without the aid and cost of an electrician, follow our video walkthrough or read the following guide.

How To Install Under Cabinet Lighting

Key Takeaways

  • Hardwiring under cabinet lighting requires an electrician.
  • Plug in is the best option for DIYers
  • If you're renovating consider hardwired.
  • Use high quality LED lighting under your cabinets to avoid early failure.
  • Plug in lighting does not have to be unprofessional.
Hardwired Under cabinet lighting in a kitchen
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