Installing Ikea Pot Lights Inside Wall Cabinets – Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction:

In this Step-by-Step guide, you will learn how to install Ikea pot lights inside wall cabinets using a unique method that eliminates visible wires and conduits. This method can be used if you have a single row of wall cabinets, but I will also show you how to tackle the wires if you have stacked cabinets, i.e. two or more rows of cabinets with a spotlight inside the lower cabinets.  

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • Mittled Spotlights
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill with a drill bit (5/16″ – 7-8 mm)
  • Router or oscillating tool
  • Template for Mittled lights.

Step 1: Marking the Placement:

  1. Measure and position masking tape midway on the cabinet front for 15″ or 18″ wide cabinets, or about a quarter of the total width from both sides of the cabinet, for 30″ or 36″ wide cabinets.
  2. Make a line with a pencil on the masking tape exactly halfway or quarterway in as described above.

Step 2: Attaching Pot Light Bases:

  1. Remove the ring base from the pot light.
  2. Place the template so the center line is aligned with the mark on the cabinet.
  3. Hold the ring in place with the notch pointing to the back.
  4. Pre-drill a hole into the cabinet to make it easier to screw into the surface.
  5. Secure the base by screwing it into the pre-drilled hole using screwdriver #PH1 and the screws included with the light.

Step 3: Drilling Holes for Wires:

  1. Use a drill with a quarter-inch or so (8 mm) drill bit to make a hole for the wires to pass through. The hole must be positioned on the inside perimeter of the base ring, next to the notch.

Step 4: Creating Grooves for Wire Routing (If needed):

This step is only necessary if you have stacked cabinets. If you only have one row of wall cabinets, or the spotlights are inside the uppermost wall cabinets, you can skip Step 4 and 5 and continue to Step 6.

  1. Use a router or oscillating tool to create a shallow groove along the top of the cabinet from the hole to the back. This groove will conceal the wire.
  2. If you don’t have a router you can use a oscillating tool to carefully create the groove.

Step 5: Notching the Back of the Cabinet:

  1. If your power supply is located in one of the base cabinets, you may need to route the wires downwards, i.e. from the top of the cabinet and down in between the cabinet and the suspension rail. 
  2. Create a small notch at the back of the cabinet using an oscillating tool or handsaw to allow the wires to run downwards. Failing to do so can pinch and damage the wires as there’s not much room between the cabinet and the rail.

Step 6: Installing Pot Lights and Routing Wires:

  1. Push the wire through the hole from the inside. 
  2. Gently place the lights into the bases and ensure that the metal clips are in line with the indent in the base ring.
  3. Ensure that the spotlight is securely in place by pressing it into the base ring. 

Step 7: Securing Wires and Cabinet Installation:

  1. Use masking tape to secure the wires until the cabinet is installed.
  2. Hang the cabinet on the wall, ensuring the wires are routed properly and not pinched between the cabinet and the wall rail.

Step 8: Function Test

Plug the light(s) into a Trådløs power supply from Ikea and plug it into a 120V outlet.

This ensures that the spotlight works and that no wires have been damaged during installation.

Testing the light before all the cabinets have been screwed together makes it much easier to replace a malfunctioning light.

Completed installation

Conclusion:

Following these steps, you’ve successfully installed pot lights inside your cabinets using a method that conceals wires and provides a clean, sleek look.

This technique is especially beneficial for stacked cabinets. Remember to adapt these steps to your specific cabinet setup and enjoy the improved aesthetics of your illuminated cabinet space! No exposed wires or conduits are seen anywhere inside the cabinets. 

Videos showing you how

If you prefer to watch the step-by-step guide, these two videos will be helpful.

Play Video
Play Video

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS​​

Please read before proceeding: Disclosure.

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I encourage you to only invest in these tools or products if you genuinely believe they will contribute to your goal attainment.

Swing like a winner.

The oscillating tool is one of my Top Ten favourites because it is versatile and lets me do cuts in-situ whenever needed.

Apart from making cuts when making holes for plumbing, I use it for cutting holes for electrical boxes, shortening the suspension rail, cutting holes for vent hoods, and cutting baseboards while in place, to mention a few applications.

Link to item.

Router. Let's Groove Tonight.

Using the router when making the grooves on top of the cabinets for the wires, as shown in this guide, is just one use. Another and even more valuable use is when you need to reduce a cabinet’s depth.

Being able to make new grooves for the back panel is a much better solution than using a table saw or similar.

It’s really groovy, yeah.

Link to item.

Spoil yourself with new blades.

If you buy blades for the oscillating tool at the hardware store at $25 a piece, we tend to use them until they are way past the end of the ability to produce a decent cut without smothering us in black smoke.

These blades are so cheap that I replace them as soon as the first smoke appears, and with a cost of less than a buck a blade,  it will not break the bank.

I cannot say that they will last as long as the well-known brands, but they will outperform any of those regarding cost per foot of cutting.

Link to item.

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