Home / Style Guide / Learn About Cabinet / Accent Lighting / Cabinet / Accent Lighting Guide / Types of Installations Types of Installations Modular system installations Modular systems are characterized by their flexibility. Wiring to the home’s power source is handled in a separate unit. Power to the lighting fixture is carried via a cable. The lighting fixture can then be placed at the optimal position, unconstrained by the location of the power. The creation of a modular system allows for lighting fixtures to connect in a string, one after another. The cables that connect each unit bring power from one to the next. Switches and other available accessories can be positioned in the location most favorable to the room or end user accessibility.Modular Systems Pros Allows the lighting fixtures to be mounted at the front of the cabinet or anywhere that ensures better light at the working space If the installation is unusual, the flexibility of mounting can usually conquer any installation challenges. Connecting a continuous series of light fixtures across an area is simple. Power is transferred via a connection cable that is plugged into each end of the light fixtures. Modular System Cons A modular system is a bit more complicated to install. Once installed, there are exposed cables that some people find undesirable. (This can, however, be ameliorated by tucking the wire as tight to the underside corners as possible. Proper use of wire clips also helps.) Modular systems are more expensive than a Direct Wire solution employing the same lamping technology. Discs & puck system installations Employing a light disc or “puck” system is much like the modular system, in that a number of pieces are required to properly place, install and function. The central reason for using discs or pucks is their ability to pinpoint light and the compact physical size of the light fixture. These installations typically require a bit of planning and are somewhat more complicated to install. Disc/Puck System Pros Compact size – Xenon or halogen are approximately 2 ½” diameter by 1” deep. LED discs are 3/8” deep. Discs employing LED light technology run cool and can be very small (3/8” deep) and do not need to be recessed into most cabinets. Light is concentrated in a small compact area, perfect for highlighting collectables and art pieces. Disc/Puck System Cons Complex installation, especially if Xenon puck is flush-mounted into cabinet top. This will require a wood-bore hole. Pucks operating halogen lamps can become very warm during installation. Direct wire system installations Direct wire light fixtures are self contained. All of the elements needed to operate the light are contained within. They require a separate 120V power feed for each unit and have minimal placement flexibility because of that hard-wired connection to power. In order to ensure that they will be positioned in the correct place, the electrician will need to know where each unit is planned prior to the installation of the cabinetry. During cabinet hanging, the installer will bring the electric through the cabinet’s back lip.Direct Wire System Pros Systems are ess expensive. If using a single fixture, they are easier to install. This is the under-cabinet system most familiar to an electrician/installer. Direct Wire System Cons Mounts along the back edge of the cabinet’s underside, placing more light on the back wall and less light on the front of the counter, where it is most needed. If front mounted is desired, most electric codes require the use of conduit or sheathed flexible cable, both of which have a somewhat undesirable appearance, or a bulky size, if routed inside a cabinet. Linking a continuous string of direct wire light fixtures involves snapping out the side KO’s on each fixture, adding threaded nipples and nuts or some sort of raceway hole protector before running wire from fixture to fixture. If desire is not communicated to the electrician, wires will be installed as they see fit. Be certain light location is carefully discussed with the electrician prior to the start of the job. Tape lighting installations Tape lighting systems might better be called “Architectural Detail Lighting.” The intent of these systems is to add dramatic punch to a room or a space with the use of light. The key here is to hide the light and see the effect. Tape lighting systems are small and compact and designed to hide. Systems should be planned in advance so all of the components are ready and available for installation. Installations can be complicated, because they often involve tight, small spaces. Tape Lighting Systems Pros Provides small, compact light source. Tape Lighting Systems Cons Installation is complicated. Most are added to small spaces with minimal physical access. Careful planning is essential. Plug-in option installations The permanently installed modular, direct wire, linear and disc/puck systems can be powered with a cord and plug option. This should, however only be used as the last resort. Hiding the wire behind the walls will always result in the cleanest look. A cord dangling down from a cabinet looks unkempt and unplanned.On the contrary, a plug-in option for use on portable furniture is the best idea (for example, the inside of an armoire or cabinet). It is impossible to properly feed 120V wire into furniture. Cord and plug power is safe and viable in these instances. It is important to remember that a Grounded Convenience Outlet (GCO) is needed nearby.Cord and plug accessories are available for most systems.