An Easy to Add Door Activated Light Switch from Tresco Lighting

Cabinet Door Activated Light Switch

Adding a door activated light switch can be a great addition to your kitchen cabinetry and help eliminate those dark areas. There is really only three items you will need to get started.

First things first though. You are going to need an outlet on the back wall of the cabinet. This is needed to plug in a small 12V DC power supply. If you can meet that requirement, you are good to go.

Along with that power supply, the door sensor that will control the light and the actual light fixture is all this project calls for.

New to LED Lighting?

There are tons of benefits from LED lighting including, low maintenance, energy savings, instant on, size advantage and more. Adding something like a door activated light switch to a kitchen is a great starting point and an easy DIY project.

You may also want to examine LED color temperatures to get a feel for what would work with your projects. The various color temperature preferences can vary from person to person, but there are some standards to be aware of.


How the Sensor Works

When your cabinet door is open, the light will come on and when the cabinet door is closed, the light will turn off. Before securing all wires and connections, it is important to make sure the placement of the door switch is properly recess or surface mounted to be activated by the door.

We recommend doing a couple mock ups before mounting. Without accurately mounting the sensor, the light can flicker as it may not be aligned with the door properly. If your light switch sensor is sensing your hand when reaching into the cabinet, simply move the sensor to the top shelf of the cabinet and as far to the side of the shelf as possible.

The Power Supply

This particular 12V DC power supply is dimmable on the trailing edge or the 12V side. It comes with a 10 foot lead cord to give you some extra space in-between your wall outlet and light fixtures.

Features include overload protection, auto reset and a small profile. It’s perfect for small LED lighting projects, like adding a door activated light switch. Again, make sure there is an outlet that the power supply can plug in to.

The Door Activated Sensor/Switch

This switch activates your LED light when the cabinet door is open. It can be recess or surface mounted. The sensor range is about 2″, so before you mount it make sure the sensor is properly activating the lights. It has a 79″ lead cord which connects to the power supply.

You will have small plastic connectors to add to the + and – barbs on the sensor. These same connectors mount on the power supply. If you have glass doors, the sensor will most likely work, but it may depend on the density of the glass among other things.

Tresco Oval Door Sensor Kit

The LED Light Fixture Options

The last piece of the puzzle is the LED fixture. An angled stick light can do the trick for corner cabinets as it mounts nicely to the inner wall of the cabinet. It connects directly to the door activated switch. A 3500K color temperature is (neutral/warm) which is a good kelvin rating for kitchens, drawers or closets.

A door activated switch for a closet can be used with a slightly different LED light fixture. You may want something with a little less profile to it, like this.

All the items mentioned in the post are from one brand. This is done to ensure compatibility within our project. If mixing in other 12V DC power supplies, sensors and lights, you may run into problems. This is a simple DIY project with great results though. With a similar process, you can even light up your upper kitchen drawers using a compatible light fixture. Or light up a closet too.


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