Replacing the Light Over the Kitchen Sink

This item is #7 on my 2015 Projects list.  The LED light over our kitchen sink has been acting up for a while.  The 3 LED bulbs would flicker, go out, come back on, etc. – very annoying.  We removed the plastic cover so we could fiddle with the misbehaving bulbs easier, but the whole thing was definitely in need of replacing:

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I wasn’t sure how it connected to power.  Most replacement over-the-sink lights seem to plug into an outlet.  Which confused me, since ours appeared to be hard-wired, just like the example in my AWESOME electrical book from Santa hubby.  Last week I removed the light to see exactly what I was dealing with, and make sure there wasn’t some hidden outlet I wasn’t aware of.

First I turned off the power to the light at the basement breaker box.  Always the most important step!

Then I unscrewed the 4 visible screws:

replacing the under-cabinet light bar over the kitchen sink        133d

Allowing me to then pull the two pieces of the light fixture apart.  Once they were separated I could see 2 more screws connecting the top piece to the wall:

replacing the under-cabinet light bar over the kitchen sink

I unscrewed those and pulled the whole fixture away from the wall.  I could then [finally] see that the light was powered by an electrical cable coming in from behind the wall, with 3 wires inside it: a ground [copper], hot [black] and neutral [white]:

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I loosened the screw holding the copper ground wire in place on the light fixture:

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Then was faced with a type of wire-nut I’ve never seen before:

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I couldn’t figure out how to unclip the wires from the little black boxes, so I just snipped them with wire cutters instead.  Then put wire nuts on the white and black wires, tucked them and the copper ground up near the ceiling, and called it a night:

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Over the weekend hubby and I went to Home Depot and bought this LED replacement:

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I like that there’s 7 LEDs that don’t ever need replacing [they’re embedded in the light vs. being removable bulbs].   Hubby liked that the light bar is dimmable.  And I have to say, now that it’s installed, so do I!  Despite being advertised for $99.97 online, it was $86 in the store.

It was VERY easy to install!  Just pop the back compartment off:

installing home depot 24 inch under cabinet dimmable LED light in kitchen        136c

Connect the black, white & ground [green] wire to the electrical cable coming out of the wall:

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Pop the back back on, secure the light to the underside of the cupboard above the sink with the included screws, and done!

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Here’s the dimmer dial:

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This morning I came downstairs and hubby had turned the dimmer dial way down.  It gave a nice, low, ambient glow to the otherwise dark kitchen.  Much better than being greeted by bright lights!  I wish I’d thought to take a picture… maybe I’ll get one tomorrow morning and update this post.

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7 Comments

  1. Well done. We talked about putting lights under our cabinets before we tiled the backsplash, but it never happened.

    • There’s a lot of nice plug-in under cabinet lighting, too – and they connect to each other in a long string (up to like 7 lights) so you only need to plug the first one into an outlet.

  2. It must be ESP. I am changing my shop overhead fixture. When I hit the light switch it would crackle, pop and sputter. Not a good sign. I discovered the aluminum terminal screws had oxidized and caused a real bad situation. New, proper fixture works great. Luv, Dad

  3. Very nice light – love that it’s dimmable.

    • Me too! It goes way down to almost nothing, and way up to super bright! It’s way brighter than the old one – we were worried it wouldn’t be bright enough but it’s awesome!

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