How to Remove Lights Under the Cabinet

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Lights placed underneath a cabinet, such as in a kitchen, provide directional light that obviates the shadows that would otherwise be there. If you have a defective light fixture, you'll need to remove it and replace it with one that is functioning if you want to continue having the light source. The procedure to remove the light from under the cabinet is straightforward and requires the same tools you used for the installation; you can purchase them from a hardware store if you don't have them on hand. A basic understanding of how electricity works will be helpful.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Plastic bag, 1/2 qt.
  • Phillips jeweler's screwdriver
  • Electrical screw-caps
  • Trip the circuit breaker at the fuse box to discontinue the flow of electricity to the area where the light beneath the cabinet is located. Try to turn on appliances or lights in the area to confirm that the electricity is no longer functioning; if there is electricity, trip another circuit breaker until you find the correct one.

  • Unscrew the light bulb from inside the socket attached to the light fixture. Place the bulb away for safekeeping.

  • Remove the screws from around the light fixture using a Phillips screwdriver. Place the screws in a plastic bag for safekeeping.

  • Pull the light fixture off the mounting plate screwed into the underside of the cabinet.

  • Loosen the two screws on the bottom of the light fixture using the Phillips screwdriver or a Phillips jeweler's screwdriver -- the exact type of screw will vary, depending on the manufacturer.

  • Unwind the wire wrapped around each screw. Place the light fixture away for safekeeping.

  • Remove the screws from around the mounting plate using the Phillips screwdriver. Place them in the plastic bag for safekeeping.

  • Pull the mounting plate off the underside of the cabinet. Place the mounting plate away for safekeeping, preferably the same place where you stored the light fixture.

  • Open the door of the cabinet. Pull the wiring at the bottom or coming in from the side up. Keep pulling the wiring until it goes back into the hole.

  • Screw a protective electrical screw-cap over the ends of each of the exposed wires. Restore the electric power at the fuse box.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are not going to place another light fixture beneath the cabinet, you can fill the holes in the bottom with wood filler paste.
  • Use a ladder if the cabinet with the lighting fixture is beyond reach.

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