DIY Kitchen Lighting

The perfect DIY upgrade for an old and janky kitchen.
Odin Odin (32)

Our apartment is pretty janky, and that's actually being somewhat kind -- my understanding is that it was built in the 90s but it feels as if it were a monster from the 70s school of crummy architecture. As such, there are numerous problems with it (not the least being the micro-cracks that appear in the walls every time there's a small earthquake nearby), but we've found ways to make it all work.

Living in our county, one of the most expensive in the world, is not easy, so finding ways to make the situation we have work out as well as it can is important to us. We like a cozy, comfortable, and clean living space, so I've done a massive amount of DIY projects over the last couple of years to give us a homey feeling despite all the jank.

Lately, as we do more YouTube videos and more cooking projects, the lack of good kitchen lighting has been a real drag. Of course, we could always buy expensive LED stick-on lights for the kitchen, but why do that when you have an old light cord hanging around for free?

I decided to fix it up nice and easy and solve our problem in one go.

You can read on for a few pictures from my project or just watch the YouTube video I made of the process here.

Watch the video:

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Tools at the ready

Okay, I have everything that I need. This is a pretty simple DIY, and I'm not going out of my way to do anything special. I'll measure the spacing of the lights, drill in the pilot holes for the hooks, install the hooks, and fit the lighting into place. Then I'll wrap up by stapling up the excess cord and placing the control switch in an easy-to-access but hidden location so that the whole thing is out of sight!

All of this is stuff I already owned and had hanging around in my storage closet from the excess of other projects, so it's essentially a 0-cost project which is my favorite kind.

underside of shelving

This is the underside of counters where the light will go. There's about a 1/4 lip which will be perfect for hiding my cables.

Kitchen lighting cords

Woah, talk about skipping to the end! I meant to take more pictures but got distracted. Watch the video if you want to see a little bit more.

The one piece of trouble I ran into was with my hooks -- they were a teensy bit too small for the diameter of the lighting. I just used a clamp and a pair of pliers to widen them slightly and all was good!

I was just using whatever I had laying around the house but I'd suggest that anyone wanting to do something similar measure the lighting and the hooks in a hardware store before purchasing.

Lighting installed

Shiny! I love how the countertops gleam. It really managed to create a sort of cool stage-lighting effect, and the LED power-saving bulbs that I used are great for both brightness, dramatic warm color, and the fact that the bulb is made from some sort of plastic instead of glass (so we don't have to worry about accidental breakage in our busy kitchen.

Kitchen lighting complete!

And there it is! All of our lighting installed with all of our kitchen implements back in place. It's honestly amazing how many great cooing projects we can do with such a tiny kitchen area.

Odin's profile pictureOdin
Joined in 2021 32 guides
Odin Hartshorn Halvorson is a writer, geek, and hopeful futurist. A graduate from Stonecoast MFA, his work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is the founder of Round Table Writers, an organization dedicated to "writers helping writers." Odin's love of Roddenberrian and Straczynskian ideals leads him to contemplate technology's role in our evolving philosophic landscape, a line of inquiry threaded through both his fiction and non-fiction writing. Learn more at OdinHalvorson.com
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