Closet Lighting Ideas for Every Type of Closet
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Let there be light! These easy-to-install closet light fixtures will help you stay organized, whether you have a huge walk-in closet or a tiny space.
Without the right lighting, even the most well-organized closet decked out with the best closet organizers will only get you so far. After all, you need to see what you have in order to keep it tidy, or else you run the risk of pulling things out, tossing them aside, and then promising yourself you’ll put them away later. And trust us—you don’t want to go down that path. Installing lighting in a closet may sound like a major project, but it doesn’t have to be. While some closet lighting ideas will entail hardwiring and professional installation, other options are battery-powered and can be attached with an adhesive strip. Yep, it can be that easy! That said, there isn’t one catchall lighting solution that works for every type of closet. After all, closets can vary greatly in size, style, and wiring. Think about your space and how much work you want to put in and go from there.
In terms of how bright closet lighting should be, it’s entirely subjective. “[I think] a closet light should be as bright as possible,” says interior designer Caitlin Scanlon. “I prefer a bright yet warm light. I also know sometimes not everyone feels so fabulous when trying to figure out what to wear in the morning or for a night out—and that’s why I’m a big believer in dimmers!”
On this list, you’ll find the best ideas for every type of closet and every personal preference. One thing to note: Most of these options come with LED bulbs, although some can be used with incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. If you’re concerned about safety, it’s best to choose LED lighting because the bubs don’t create heat the way incandescent bulbs do. They’re also safer than fluorescent bulbs, which release a small amount of mercury if accidentally broken. Now that we have that covered, it’s time to pick the perfect product. And after you do, check out these walk-in closet organization ideas and small closet ideas to make the most of your newly illuminated space.
Best battery-operated closet lights: Amir Motion Sensor Lights
If you’re looking for a lighting solution for a closet that doesn’t have enough built-in lighting or isn’t wired for electricity, you’re in the right place. Battery-operated closet lights are the easiest solution here, and Amir Motion Sensor Lights are your best bet in this category. Why? The LED bulb in them lasts up to 50,000 hours. Better yet, this fixture is super affordable—ringing in at just $15 for a three-pack—and it has many of the same features that you’ll find with more expensive models. These lights also have an adhesive backing that allows for installation in just seconds and can easily provide extra light anywhere you need it in your closet, whether it’s under a shelf, on the ceiling, or on the back of a door. Plus, they have more than 7,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, so you know they’re good!
Best strip lighting: Cshidworld LED Closet Lights
Strip lights are ideal closet lighting solutions when you need to illuminate a hanging bar or shoe rack. And you can’t go wrong with the Cshidworld LED Closet Light because each bar has a generous 62 LED bulbs. With four intelligent sensor modes, this stick-on strip light works just as well in dark rooms as it does in daylight. It comes with a remote control, allowing you to customize the brightness to your needs. It even has a smart timing function, so you can conserve the rechargeable battery while providing extra convenience on those days you’re going in and out of your closet because you can’t quite choose the right outfit.
Best dimmable lighting: Zipcode Design Warrenton 1 Simple Circle LED
If you’re lucky enough to have a walk-in closet, you’ve got a lot of space to illuminate, but you don’t necessarily want a ton of light all the time, especially in those sleepy, early-morning hours. That’s why dimmable lighting is a great idea when you’re looking for walk-in closet lighting. It gives you the flexibility of less lighting when you simply need to grab your favorite pair of sneakers and more lighting when you’re packing for a trip, planning your outfits for the week, or embarking on a serious closet clean-out.
This simple circle LED flush mount from Zipcode Design is hardwired and dimmer-switch-compatible. It has a clean, minimalist design, and it’s available in several sizes and finishes, including Black, Polished Chrome, Satin Nickel, and White. Plus, the integrated LED bulb lasts approximately 35,000 hours.
Best motion sensor: Lithonia Lighting LED Closet Light
Want to conserve electricity? Using motion sensor lights is one of the smartest closet lighting ideas. The Lithonia LED Closet Light has a ton of useful features, and it easily installs in just minutes, mounting to both the wall as well as the ceiling. Because it is Energy Star certified, this fixture uses minimal wattage, operating at 925 lumens, which is certainly bright enough for the average closet. With a passive infrared (PIR) sensor, it automatically turns on and off when motion is detected. It even has a five-year warranty, so you click “add to cart” with confidence.
Best wireless lighting: Mr. Beams Indoor/Outdoor LED Ceiling Light
Do you have a closet or pantry that needs extra light but lacks hardwiring? Then consider this Mr. Beams battery-powered, motion-activated ceiling light. This cost-effective closet light fixture (it’s just $21) covers approximately 260 square feet, making it ideal for medium- to larger-sized spaces. And you’ll certainly get a lot of bang for your buck: The LED bulb, which operates on four C batteries, will last for up to 30,000 hours, providing approximately one year of light with up to 10 activations per day. Smartly designed, it also has weatherproof housing, making it the perfect choice for damp or wet places such as bathroom closets and outdoor sheds. This would also be a good option in a larger portable closet.
Best track lighting: Hampton Bay LED Track Lighting Kit
Track lights are ideal closet light fixtures because they’re so versatile. This four-foot-long white LED closet light from Hampton Bay features three multidirectional lights in a clean, modern design, and it can be used with both traditional incandescent bulbs and LED lights. Since the lamp heads are adjustable, you can easily illuminate your entire closet—or just a corner or area, depending on how you angle them. This is also helpful if you rearrange your wardrobe seasonally.
Best flush mount light: Ebern Designs Mack 1 Simple Circle LED
Flush mount lighting one of the best small closet lighting ideas. Because this type of fixture is wired to the ceiling, it will light the entire closet without taking up any additional space the way wall-mounted or under-shelf lighting can. This Ebern Designs Mack 1 flush mount has an integrated LED bulb that can last up to 50,000 hours, so there’s no worrying about having to fit a ladder into your tiny closet to regularly change an incandescent bulb. Once you install it, there’s nothing more to think about!
Best decorative light: Lights.com 12-Light Chrome Sputnik
If you have a larger or walk-in closet and are looking for functional yet decorative lighting, the 12-Light Chrome Sputnik checks every box. With a stylish, mid-century modern look, it is compatible with both LED lighting and traditional incandescent bulbs. This fixture can also be installed with a dimmer switch. Plus, each bulb of this flush mount faces a different direction and can be placed at a different angle, so you’ll have adequate lighting, whether you need to illuminate a small corner of a shelf or a large, hanging bar. One spot you might want to shine a light? On these purse storage solutions that you’ll wish you knew sooner.
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- Caitlin Scanlon, interior designer