LED Cabinet Lighting - Step By Step (ish)
So the LED lighted cabinets have drawn a lot of attention and we have had plenty of people asking how to do it. This will be my attempt to show the parts and how I did it. I make no assumptions that this is the only way and am fairly sure that there might be a cleaner installation possible but this seems to me to be the easiest for most anybody to do with a minimal set of tools needed. As always feel free to comment and ask questions.
First lets try to list all the things used in setting this up:
LED - From Amazon (Ustellar Dimmable LED Light Strip Kit, 300 Units SMD 2835 LEDs, 16.4ft/5m 12V LED Ribbon, 6000K Daylight White Under Cabinet Lighting Strips, Non-Waterproof LED Tape, UL Listed Power Supply)
Connectors - From Amazon (iCreating 8mm 2 Pin LED Strip Connector with Pigtail (10pcs), 3528 Flexible LED Connector Solderless Clamp On Pigtail Adapter for 8mm Wide SMD 3528 2835 Single Color Flexible LED Tape)
Additional Wire - From Amazon (65.6ft Extension Cable Wire Cord JACKYLED 20M 22awg Cable for Led Strips Single Color 3528 5050)
Heat Shrink Tubing - From Amazon (560PCS Heat Shrink Tubing 2:1, Eventronic Electrical Wire Cable Wrap Assortment Electric Insulation Heat Shrink Tube Kit with Box(5 colors/12 Sizes) - Not an Absolute, Can be done with electrical tape but makes a nicer look for sure.
Duck Tape - Preferably White (It really does not show but...)
Superglue - Make sure you get the Gel kind (Much less mess and keeps you from gluing your fingers together (most of the time)
Small Screwdriver (Flat blade the size you would use for eyeglasses)
Needlenose plyers (not absolutely necessary but helpful)
Wire stripper (need to be able to strip the wires on the connectors)
Scissors (cutting the LED strip)
Lighter (If using Heat Shrink Tubing)
Drill w Large Drill Bit (Have to make hole for Power Supply)
Here is the Shelf I am using, it comes from Home Depot and the Side lips and lip on each shelf is perfect to hide the LED's
First thing I do is to put a small dab of superglue on each of the metal shelf holders. This is not necessary and will reduce the ability to change shelf height but in my opinion keeps the shelves located in specific spacing so there will not be any wiring issues later. Decided to do this after I had a shelf fall while moving the case into the other room to install lighting. I used the center hole of each shelf's set of holes.
Take a shelf and measure out how long a strip of LED you need. The power supply side of the LED needs to be on the side of the shelf you are wanting the power to go into. I used opposite sides in the two cabinets I did with the idea of where I was going to place them and where the plug was in relation to them. For this one it was the right side. The LED strip has places marked where you can cut it, make sure to stay on the line as much as possible because the connectors need to have a solid amount of contact when attaching them.
After cutting this strip to size it will look something like this
As you can see I have already attached the connector to the end. So you have the Power side...length of LED's that you cut...then a connector. The connector attaches like this:
Undo the covers, the LED strip slides into a slot in the front end of the connector. MAKE SURE YOU CONNECT positive side of LED to Red wire and Negative to Black wire. You will see the LED is marked near the cutting line for positive (+12v)
After you get the first section trimmed to length then you will need 2 more that same size. I just use that LED strip to measure and cut two more. This will give you one for each shelf and one for the top shelf. The next step is to connect all these into a long continuous strip. Once you have the connector attached to the First LED section go ahead and put connectors on the center section, one on each side. Then a connector on the last section of LED's (Only need one side here). You will find at least one connector needs to have the wires swapped to get the red on the positive side. This can be done using the small screwdriver and needle nose pliers. The end of the connector wires need to be pried up and out of the plastic casing and then swapped sides.
Once done you will have connectors all set and be ready for the wire to give you enough length between shelves. Cut short lengths of the extra wire, mine were about 6-8 inches long.
Strip the wire from the ends of the connectors and the ends of your extra wire.
Slip the heat shrink tubing over the before twisting matching colors from the Connector wire and extra wire.
After you do both the red and black then use the lighter to heat shrink the tubing.
Do the same for each connector end until you have a strand that runs: Power Lead...LED...Connector...wire...extra wire..wire..connector...LED..Connector...wire...extra wire..wire..connector...LED. The 3rd strip of LED will have nothing on the end of it.
Now you are ready to stick it to the shelves. Each strip of LED has a peel off backing to reveal the sticky stuff. Peel it off and attach the power lead LED to the lower shelf. Make sure you have the power lead on the side you want power to go into.
I use Super glue on the back of the Power Lead and the back of each Connector. I do not think the LED adhesive is enough to hold them indefinitely.
After getting the LED attached to the bottom shelf go on to the next shelf. Do the same process there. LED should be going from opposite side of power lead. You will have some slack in the extra wire when the shelves are installed.
We will take care of that in a minute. Once the second shelf is in the you have to attach the last section to the top lip. slightly harder to get to but peel off the adhesive paper and reach in and stick it up there. Lots more room makes it easier than it could be. Last thing you have to do is glue the last connector on that top lip without attaching your fingers as well. I was 50/50 between the two bookcases I did. :)
Now I used Duck tape to take care of those hanging wires. Tuck them in and tape them into the corners.
They should be well out of sight now. even better if you have white duck tape.
Last thing to do is drill your hole just below the shelf your power lead is on. Needs to be large enough for the lead to pass through it.
After this you feed the power through from the back and plug it in...Good to go!
Now place it where you want it and fill with Fiesta!!