Light It Up: 4 Solutions for Illuminating Your Closet
By John Gerard
In most homes, especially older ones, closet lighting is an afterthought. Homebuilders tend to put a lot of emphasis on kitchen and bath lighting, but often overlook the closet and storage spaces, providing just a single overhead light bulb with a pull-string, or sometimes no lighting at all.
In newer homes today, closets often contain a flush-mounted light controlled with a switch. It doesn’t look great, but it gets the job done.
If you’re looking for a little more illumination, here are a few ways you can bring more light into your closet, attic or storage space.
Unless you’re a vampire, the best light is always sunlight. That’s true for every room in the house, including closets.
Very few closets will have a window, and installing a window in a closet, while possible, isn’t always the best option. Most importantly, you lose valuable storage space if you add a window.
Instead of a window, another way to bring natural light into your closet is from a small, round skylight called a solar tube.
Solar tubes are installed by cutting a hole in your roof and another in your closet ceiling, then connecting the two with a reflective, metal tube. Some models come with a built-in light fixture so you’ll have light when the sun isn’t out.
These tubes can be installed by DIYers or professionals alike. It typically costs around $ 1,000 to purchase one and have a professional install it.
The next-best way to light a closet is with a wired overhead light. The advantage of this option is it’s cheaper than bringing in natural light, and you can put the light fixture just about anywhere you want. And if you want a decorative light fixture, that’s not a problem.
To install an overhead light, you’ll need to wire in both the switch and the light fixture, or have an electrician do it for you. Most electricians will charge a few hundred dollars for this sort of work, depending on where you’d like your switch and light, and how invasive the work is.
If neither of the previous options work for your budget, then your best bet might be a battery-powered light. They are considerably cheaper, but you’ll need to replace the batteries from time to time. You can install battery-powered lights anywhere you want, on the walls or on the ceiling.
You can purchase less-expensive push-button lights that you depress to illuminate, or something more advanced like motion-sensing lights or lights with remote controls. To conserve battery life, look for lights with LEDs instead of traditional filament bulbs.
Don’t forget to consider corded lights, which are essentially lamps that will need to be plugged into a wall outlet in your closet. If you don’t have an outlet installed, it could be cheaper and easier to install than a switch and an overhead light.
Since this type of light has a cord, it should be installed on a wall or on a ceiling with a cable channel.
See more closet design ideas.
- 9 Inspiring Ideas for Customizing Your Closet
- Lighting Trends Throughout the Home
- Cheat Your Way to a Custom Closet