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How Much Does Under Cabinet Lighting Cost?
Many homeowners who are renovating their kitchens are opting for darker colors than in the past. While white kitchens remain popular, dark wood and bright colors are becoming more popular again.
Regardless of what color your kitchen is, one thing remains true: good lighting is crucial in this space. And as with all lighting, you need a mix of ambient, accent, and task lighting.
A natural and warm space for task light is under the cabinets. Lights in this area make it easier to prep, cook, and clean up no matter what time of day or night.
Under cabinet lighting is becoming more affordable, making it a more popular choice for the typical kitchen. The average price for an under cabinet lighting project is $1,500 to $2,500, or between $230 and $300 per light installed.
While you’re considering upgrades, check our cabinet painting cost guide if you plan to repaint your cabinets before adding lights. Another handy guide to consider is our tile and backsplash cost guide if you need it.
Types of Under Cabinet Lights
There are dozens of choices for under cabinet lighting, and we will discuss a few of the options for you and the associated cost. However, it can be very challenging to predict the overall cost with any degree of accuracy, given that labor costs vary widely. Labor is one of the most significant parts of the project price, so the labor rate is a major cost factor.
A qualified electrician should always install hardwired lights. Under cabinet lights that are hardwired may be less expensive as part of a remodel so the electrician can lay everything out before covering the walls.
Keep in mind that an electrical inspection may be required in your area and will add to the cost. Consult your electrician or local codes to determine if an inspection is required. If so, your electrician can handle the permitting process for you; the inspection is triggered by the permit.
Even DIY projects can vary due to the wide range of material costs. Keep in mind that even a DIY project could still require an electrical contractor to install the wiring. Electricians charge from $50 to $200 per hour for labor.
Here are some lighting ideas to look for:
These incandescent or gas filament strip lights are usually six or seven inches long and cost about $40 or $50 each, though you can get custom lengths for more. These are not as energy-efficient as LED or fluorescent. The location of your kitchen outlets will determine if you need to buy additional extenders that come in 4′, 8′, or 12′ lengths for $8-12.00 each.
Light Emitting Diodes (LED)
These lights use less energy, last longer, and do not produce as much heat as regular lights. LED lights cost more initially than fluorescent or Xenon. Many electricians warn against using the tape strips as the adhesive does not last long, especially around the stove, where they are exposed to heat and steam.
It will cost around $500 to $550 for five strips installed by an electrician. However, if you are using the tape strips and plugging those in, you could save around three-quarters of that amount.
Using fluorescents as under cabinet lighting is one of the least expensive methods, both initially and energy-saving. You will pay $90 to $200 to get each of these installed, though installing more will cost less per unit. As a DIY project, if the outlets are already in place, the installation could be much cheaper.
Get Estimates for Under Cabinet Lights
You might want to consider lights inside or above the cabinets as well. That should not add much expense during a remodel, but adding these features as a standalone project could be costly if these need to be hardwired.
The total for your project depends on how many lights you need and will be approximately $1,500 to $2,500. Lights above the cabinets could add another $500 to $1,000. Those figures include installing six to eight under cabinet light fixtures, which is the national average.
Our calculations are based on typical expenses, and you should use these as a guide to compare written quotes provided to you by reputable professionals in your area. Get three or more estimates and analyze what the contractors say they will do.
Make sure they are licensed, insured, and check with your local building inspector’s office to find out what permits and inspections are required. Typically, new electrical wiring will require an inspection before you cover the walls.
Under cabinet lighting could be an inexpensive method to brighten your kitchen, highlight your cabinets and backsplash, and make it look brand new.
All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.