If you have limited room on your desk, the last thing you need is a bulky desk lamp taking up space. I recently replaced my desk lamp with an under-cabinet fluorescent light fixture. This works well if you have shelves over your desk. If not, you might want to consider another alternative. This project involves wiring so please be careful.


  • Under-Cabinet Fluorescent Light Fixture – $21 – I bought this particular fixture because it has a pre-installed switch. Also, it has a nice diffuser that covers the bulb.
  • Grounded Power Cord – $7 – For safety reasons, the light fixture must be grounded.
  • T8 Cool White Fluorescent Light Bulb – $7 – In retrospect, I should have bought the soft white bulb instead. The cool white bulb is better suited for the garage. Soft white would probably look better in the home.
  • Total – $35


  • Drill
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire cutters/strippers


Installing the light fixture took about 2 hours and was extremely easy. The light fixture I bought contained detailed instructions on how to install it. I recommend following the instructions included with the light fixture, but here are some general instructions just to give you an idea of how easy it is:

  1. Take apart the fixture
  2. Mark the locations of the 2 mounting screws using the fixture housing as a template.
  3. Drill 2 pilot holes for the mounting screws using a 5/32 inch drill bit.
  4. Mount the fixture housing using the 2 mounting screws provided.
  5. Connect the green, white, and black wires of the grounded power cord to the green, white, and black wires of the light fixture using the 3 wire nuts provided.
  6. Put the fixture back together.
  7. Install the fluorescent light bulb and the diffuser.
  8. Your new fluorescent light is ready for use.

Final Thoughts

I am happy with my new fluorescent light fixture. It was easy to install and fairly cheap. It only consumes 15 watts of power and provides plenty of light. One thing that I don’t like is the ugly power cord running down my wall. The next step in this project will be to find a way to conceal it. Regardless, my desk looks much better than it did before.