How to Install Plinth Lighting


Kitchen lighting doesn’t have to be exclusively practical. It can be stylish, create ambience and look creative if you wish. There is no need to be constricted to the ideas of traditional looking kitchens, either. Overhead cabinet lighting as well as Spotlights and plinth lighting, can really spruce up a kitchen's aesthetic.

Plinth lighting is lighting installed into plinths or kickboards, which are usually found underneath cabinets in kitchens, bathrooms, and dressing rooms. You can also install this type of lighting directly into the cabinet itself if you want to, however for a professional finish, we suggest using a plinth or kickboard for installation ease.

The use of plinth lighting is to create unique and creative lighting within a functional space. When used commercially, or around the house, it can give a floating look to cabinets, and they’re great if you’re against using overhead lighting to showcase your kitchen. For an understated look, plinth lighting is by far the way to go.

As a fairly new and innovative design in terms of kitchen lighting, plinth lighting kits can be cheap and affordable for any price range. They can also be installed quite quickly when done right. However, if they’re installed incorrectly, it can cause a lot more trouble than it's worth. Here is our handy guide to installing plinth lighting yourself. If you’re unsure of what you’re doing, we insist you call a professional to install the plinth lighting for you. This is for your own safety.

  • 1 - Get the Right Tools

When installing plinth lighting, you must ensure that you are qualified to do so. If you are unsure on how to install the basics of plinth lighting yourself, you would be best consulting a professional, who will be able to seamlessly install your lighting for you. 

Plinth lighting is great for under cabinet lighting in any room of the house. Traditionally used in the kitchen to create a great atmosphere and ambience, this form of lighting can also be used in rooms, such as an ensuite bathroom and dressing room, to create an amazing atmosphere and modern ambience with ease. The easiest time to install plinth lighting is during a refurbishment, or when you're redecorating the room in question. This is down to the amount of fussing you will have to do behind and underneath the cabinets when installing plinth lighting. If you are looking to install plinth lighting without redecorating the room itself, this can also be done with minimal damage and mess. Simply remove your kickboard. Whilst being careful not to damage your cabinets in the process, you can simply take your kickboard to an area, such as the garden, where any mess can be easily cleaned. Ideally, you should have a workspace in which to work. However, if you don’t, ensure you have the following for a smooth installation:

    • Level
    • Work stand
    • Basic Drill Driver or Combi Hammer Drill
    • Tarp to catch any sawdust/rubble

As well as the above, it’s also essential that you have a standard plug that is low enough for the lights to plug into. If you are using a junction, this must also be long enough to reach a plug. Plugs that are installed lower down will ensure that wiring will reach and that no fuss has to go into rearranging the wiring so that it can reach a plug further up the wall behind the cabinets.

Now, before any drilling takes place, make sure that you have measured out the correct distance and your kickboard, and have marked it to make sure that your lights are not wonky or uneven. You should also untangle the lighting so that when it comes to installation, you can thread the wires through with no tangling or fuss. This also helps to install the lights in succession and prevents loose wires behind the kickboard.

  • 2 - Mark Out and Drill Your Holes

Now that you have a workspace, the tools to work with, and the plinth lighting, you can start the installation process.

If you have marked the distance correctly on your plinth, you can start drilling. Please make sure that you have the right drill bit before drilling. If your drill bit it too wide, your lighting could fall through, or look sloppy once the installation process is complete. To find out which size drill bit you need, simply find out the size of dia your lighting has, and match this with your drill. Once you have done this, drill away!

  • 3 - Wire it Up

Once your holes have been drilled, you can start to feed through your lighting one at a time. If you know that the length of your plinth lighting kit is too long, you can cable tie the extra length and leave this to the side. This will ensure that you don’t have any wires hanging loosely behind your kickboard.

Using a junction is one of the best ways to connect your plinth lighting kit to your chosen plug. Junctions come with a range of different connections, with the smallest being 9 and the largest exceeding 10. If you need more than one junction, you can attach a second, third and even fourth unit by plugging them into one another the same way in which each light can be plugged in. If used in a linear fashion, behind your kick board will be simple and tidy.

If you want your lights to turn themselves on throughout the day, or whenever someone walks into the room, you can also install a timer switch into a junction plug. With motion sensor lights, you will need to install a PIR sensor, which will detect whenever someone is in the room, and will automatically switch the plinth lighting on. This looks great if you want a modern effortless look and quality in the way your kitchen/chosen room looks to anyone walking in. You can find a variety of these sensors and timers on our site.

If you have two sides of the room which you would like to install plinth lighting on, but would like them to attach to one wire and plug, ensure that you have a long enough junction and wire, different lengths of which can be bought from our site also.

  • 4 - Refit the Kickboard

Once you have done all of the above, your kickboard is ready to be placed back underneath your cabinets. If you’re drilling your plinth into place, be sure to avoid any cables lurking behind your drill point. This also goes if you are planning on glueing your plinth into place. Once done successfully, you will be able to stand back and view your work! 

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