I have a combination microwave/range hood installed above my range. It has a light on it, which shines down onto the range and is controlled by a button labeled "Surface Light" on the front of the microwave/hood:

Surface Light control on microwave hood

I also have under cabinet lights in my kitchen, which I frequently use while cooking. They are on an occupancy sensor switch, so they turn on even when I'm cooking and my hands are full. But because the Surface Light on the hood is a separate control, I rarely bother to turn it on.

I'd like to have the hood's Surface Light turn on automatically whenever the under cabinet lights are on. Is that possible? Or is there some reasonable way to install a new light, wired with the other under cabinet lights, under the hood?

In case it matters, the microwave/hood is a GE JVM7195SFSS. The surface lights are housed under the microwave and are two small halogen bulbs (model WB36X10213). The under-cabinet lights are chainable LED units, hard-wired in 3 spots.

  • 2
    Good question. Once I replace my aging microwave I'd like to do the same. I've done modifications to my range hood microwaves in the past. One had a button and timer beep that was grating to my brain. I installed a rocker switch with an alternative circuit containing a resistor, which gave me a low-volume mode. I imagine you could tie into the control board relay for the light, but it's not really a home improvement question. You might try over at electronics.stackexchange.com.
    – isherwood
    Jun 12, 2017 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


Electrically speaking there is no reason why you can't hook up those lights. But the reason I wouldn't has to do with the warranty of the microwave, and let's suppose you try and connect them up and something gets lost or broken or even worse now the microwave doesn't work. No manufacturer is going to take that microwave back and service it once it has been tampered with. You might be better off just installing a strip of lights attached to your existing under counter lights and be done with it.

  • I'm open to adding a new fixture, but I don't know how to make it look decent. Do you have a suggestion for how to install a strip of lights under the microwave hood and have it look OK? The hood doesn't have any sort of valance, plus it's higher, so the front edge of the light fixture would likely be visible. Plus it's over a range, so it would be exposed to significant heat and steam; my existing under-cabinet fixtures probably can't handle that. Jun 12, 2017 at 17:47
  • I used this: homedepot.com/p/203227243 for exactly what your doing. The hard part is getting it to stay stuck, so far in 2.5 years I've replaced the double sided sticky tape once. Working voltage is only 5v so it's not dangerous in any way.
    – Tyson
    Jun 12, 2017 at 18:26
  • BTW you can cut that down to size, in like 7" increments. We used it for over cabinet lighting also.
    – Tyson
    Jun 12, 2017 at 18:54
  • 1
    @Tyson Good idea. That should be an answer. Jun 13, 2017 at 22:00

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