In an effort to conserve energy we upgraded most of our light switches to ones with dimmers shortly after moving in. This in conjunction with the lights we installed in our living room led us to discover our love of multiple lighting options. So during a spontaneous trip to Ikea (back in 2011) it was only natural that we stocked up on these awesome LED lights; on sale for only $20 a box!
It didn’t take us long to decide that they belonged under the kitchen cabinets, but we weren’t 100% sure how we wanted to put them up. Shockingly (*wink, wink*) they ended up residing in our basement and just recently saw the light of day again during our whirlwind weekend!
We figured the best plan of action would be to install the LED lights prior to the backsplash, so Peddy got busy coming up with a plan of action to get the job done.
We started off by mounting the brackets (that hold the lights) beneath the cabinets. Due to their small size we used scotch tape to hold them in place so we could avoid drilling our fingers.
Once the lights were secured we made sure that all the wires were tight against the cabinets and used small pieces of scotch tape to hold them in areas that needed some reinforcement
Next we created an access hole in the staircase (on the opposite side of the wall) near the electrical wires, this allowed us to access the wires after the existing hole was closed with a metal reinforced drywall patch and joint compound.
Peddy cut a hole for the new switch above the existing receptacles in the kitchen. We decided to install it here because we knew we wouldn’t run into any studs and we couldn’t think of a more convenient location. Since we didn’t want the hole to be much larger than the switch itself, Peddy removed small portions of the wall with his reciprocating saw until it was the right size. (We ended up having to cut another hole in the staircase in order to maneuver the switch into place.)
Once the switch was in place we surrounded it with joint compound so that (once it dried) it couldn’t move.
We quickly tested the lights to make sure they were still working and then moved on to connecting the wires. Because the LED’s were designed to fit into a standard electrical outlet the easiest thing for us to do was connect an outlet to the live wires and hide everything in the wall. We decided to purchase a new outlet for the kitchen and used the existing black with the wires inside the wall.
After everything was connected Peddy wrapped the outlet and plug with electrical tape to ensure they will never separate and crammed all the wiring back into the wall. Using joint compound and the wall cut outs we were able to patch up the wall in the staircase with the exception of a small portion of the upper hole.
Here’s what it looked like shortly after the install (in the kitchen)….
We still have a hard time believing we did this ourselves and that we put it off for so long, but it was definitely worth the wait!
Have you ever completed a project you thought was going to be ridiculously hard and it turned out to be relatively easy? How did it turn out? Would you do it the same if you had to do it all over? (We would, maybe just sooner!)