I bought a house three months ago and I'm slowly getting around to different projects. We have beautiful halogen in-cabinet lights above our kitchen sink but the light fixtures seem to fall out every three weeks. I haven't gotten around to pushing the last batch in just yet.

Single in cabinet light that has fallen out

There are many that have fallen out and are dangling:

enter image description here

And a couple that are burnt out. I'll swap the bulbs out tonight.

What can I do to keep these from falling out? I don't see a way to secure them more effectively. Should I buy pieces of cork to wedge in there? I want to be able to get them down when it's time to change the bulb however.

Edit A few more pictures:

Light from the side - there are small plastic "tension" clips that don't seem to be doing their job anymore:

Light from the side

From the rear:

Light from the rear

Light from the front (a bit dark)

enter image description here

There is a significant gap between the top of the hole that the lights are mounted in and the bottom of the cabinet above. I can't directly attach the bulb to the cabinet above.

I am also concerned about using any form of adhesive as these are halogen lights and they get quite hot...

  • Is there an obvious attachment mechanism? Maybe a pressure spring?
    – bib
    Nov 25, 2013 at 1:24
  • Looks like a couple screws hold the bezel on. If those screws were longer would they engage the cabinet wood?
    – bcworkz
    Nov 25, 2013 at 2:27
  • What is holding the lights that haven't fallen out? Take one down and see if it's just the tightness of the fit, or something else. Assuming it's just the tightness of the fit, you could try wrapping some duct tape around the neck of the fixture, just enough to hold it snug enough so it won't fall back out when it heats up. But, I think a better option is to do what bcworkz is suggesting, i.e. replace the screws holding them together with wood screws that are small enough to go through the fixture's holes and long enough to screw into the cabinet above the fixture. That's more permanent.
    – getterdun
    Nov 25, 2013 at 8:50
  • @bcworkz There do not appear to be screws on the Bezel; I added a couple pictures that should give more detail.
    – Shrout1
    Nov 25, 2013 at 14:53

4 Answers 4


I have similar looking lights in my cabinets. The tabs on the side are meant to engage a plastic retaining collar mounted to the cabinet. The previous owners did not install the collars, but they did leave them behind in the back of one of the cabinets. Unfortunately, there were 3 missing.

For those three, I used a staple gun to make a little lip just inside the edge of the hole. Here's a picture of where I would put the staple(s) in your cabinet.

enter image description here

My lights had 4 tabs, so I used 4 staples in the proper position. I also used a screwdriver to back the staples out a bit for a better fit. The first one I did I just pried the staple out a bit. But for the subsequent ones I held the screwdriver against the edge of the hole and just stapled over the top.

Then to install the lights, make sure the tabs and the staples are NOT aligned, insert the light, and give it a little twist to slide the tabs over the staples.

  • I will give that a look as soon as I get home! What are these type of lights called? In all my googling I could not find a term that properly identified them.
    – Shrout1
    Nov 25, 2013 at 16:01
  • I have no clue. There are no markings on the lights so I haven't been able to identify the manufacturer.
    – longneck
    Nov 25, 2013 at 17:20
  • If the staple thing doesn't work out, apply some layers of masking tape to the base until you achieve a good tight fit. The tape's glue is just to hold the tape to the light, it is the built up thickness of tape creating a larger overall size that will hold the lights in place.
    – bcworkz
    Nov 26, 2013 at 3:50
  • @bcworks, sorry about the answer, it took a while to get it together with the pic and all, by the time I added the post, you answer was here too.
    – Jack
    Nov 26, 2013 at 4:25
  • @longneck, your idea looks good, I would modify it a bit though. If the staples were installed at slight angles, in the same direction, the light could be pushed into place beside the staples, then turned to the direction the staples are, then the catches would engage the staples like threads and get tighter as the puck light is turned.
    – Jack
    Nov 26, 2013 at 4:29

So 6 years later I'll post what I did to fix this.

Basically, I took a small flat brace, a spacer and a wood screw to retain the lights in place. I spray painted everything black so it would blend and screwed it in just tight enough that the brace could be swiveled out of the way in order to access the puck and change the bulb. Here are some pictures:

The brace, assembled:

Assembled puck light latch

The constituent parts for the brace assembly:

Puck light latch parts

Puck light with the brace attached:

Puck light with finished latch

A couple of the lights still try to fall out a little in the front, but it isn't as noticeable as it used to be! This is now one of our rental properties and the tenants have never complained. Good enough!

  • 2
    Better late than never! Thanks for coming back with your solution.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 19, 2020 at 20:26
  • 1
    Took these pictures about 2-1/2 years ago intending to post an answer; found them while I was perusing my google photos account. Realized that I never responded and wanted to finally get it all up here! Hope it helps someone else.
    – Shrout1
    Feb 20, 2020 at 0:01

These are called puck lights resembling a hockey puck. here is one that is shown with the extra sleeve that is removable.

Puck light

It appears, since the install rings are missing, the cut hole size is too large to allow the clips to hold the light snugly.

To remedy this and since halogen lights get really hot, a high quality aluminum tape used in ductwork to re-line the cut edges of the hole to create a smaller inside diameter. The tape comes in 2 or 3 inch widths so it would need to be sliced into thinner strips to make it easier to manage into the openings. It may take a number of layers to do the trick, try a few layers at a time, this stuff sticks incredibly well on clean surfaces. The tape would need to kept accurately to the face of the panel, since the clips are so close to the

The well placed staples look viable, once it is hooked, it should stay. Be careful about splitting the veneer with the staples needing to be so close to the surface to get the clips to engage. Small office staples would be handy.

  • Jack, I was thinking about small office staples. I will say, the tension clips on the side of the puck light don't protrude very far from the casing. In fact, the side of the light almost seems smooth. Very odd that these would be installed without the install rings... I would imagine that also means that the cabinets themselves are absorbing a lot of the heat that is coming off of these lights...
    – Shrout1
    Nov 26, 2013 at 13:24
  • I would say the cavity above the lights are holding the heat if there is no place to vent. The lights themselves have venting around them to reduce the amount of heat the light housing retains although they still get quite toasty. FWIW as a supervisor for the company I worked for, these type of lights were installed on the bottom of cabinets before in kitchens, I have heard no issues arise about heat/fire.... thankfully....
    – Jack
    Nov 28, 2013 at 0:32

I agree, this fitting is missing a casing, an alternative to the staple (which is a good idea btw) is to reduce the space with a piece of wire...

Basically find a piece of straight wire the size of a matchstick (obviously don't use a matchstick for safety reasons) and glue it to down the edge of the fitting. This will then reduce the space within the fitting and make a nice snug fitting...

You can test the best configuration by randomly placing different gauge wire into the gap. You may even decide to fit multiple spacers around the fitting.

enter image description here

I see there is a small hole in the casing, It may be that you can fit the spacer into that hole, please just make sure that there are no wires near the hole... if there are, its best to avoid the hole completely.

Once you have a spacer configuration that best fills the hole, i would actually glue the spacer to the casing.

enter image description here

above: the different spacer configurations.

  • I will have to give it a try. I was replacing burnt out bulbs last night and I noticed that none of the pucks I played with have casings. This strikes me as odd... or maybe just cheap. Also, the tension clips on the side of the case don't provide much tension anymore...
    – Shrout1
    Nov 26, 2013 at 13:22

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