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Most closet lighting is terrible. If there is a light at all its usually a single bulb or ceiling fixture that barely lights the space,  It’s not something we give a lot of thought but it can have a big impact on how organized your closet it and even your mood. This is why closet lighting is becoming more popular and one of the fastest growing lighting trends.

There are a few types of lighting you should consider in the closet. Low level ‘night light’ for those time you get up before your spouse and don’t want to wake them with a bright light. General lighting for every day use, task lighting for small items like jewelry, ties and accessories and accent lighting.

First: Organize Your Closet

Before you think about closet lighting your closet needs to be organized. Here are a few quick tips for getting your closet organized:

  1. You’re closet should always be 10% empty. Empty space is necessary for proper organization
  2. Group like things together: shirts with shirts, pants with pants etc…
  3. Use adjustable shelving. Our closet needs change over time, fixed shelving can lead to wasted space. And have some extra shelves on hand so you can add them as needed.
  4. Organize frequently used items first. Consider storing other items somewhere else.
  5. Uniform storage is critical. Use the same hangers, the same shoe boxes and containers etc… It gives you closet cleaner look and feel and keep you motivated to maintain the space. Always have some extra hangers and storage container on hand.
  6. Keep a small step stool or ladder handy. This will allow you to use upper shelves more effectively

If you were to keep track of the clothes you wear every week it would probably work out to the same 6 or 8 outfits every week. Maybe 20 pcs of clothing in total. 20 pcs of clothing do not take up that much space so why is your closet so full?  How many spare sheet sets do you need? How many pairs of socks? Time to organize.

There is a wide variety of closet furniture and organizers available today and it can make a big difference in getting organized. But our advice is keep it simple. You really only need a few types of storage in a closet: shelving for shoes and bags, single hang closet rod for dresses and long items, and double hang closet rods for shirts and trousers. Belts, scarves etc… can be hung on wall racks or pullouts.

Closet Lighting and Storage

Adding some drawers to your closet is a great way to organize and create more open space.

Bad Closet Lighting vs Good Closet Lighting

Bad closet lighting in a closet creates shadows, makes it hard to see small items and can make it hard to see the color of your clothing. It also can make a closet look dirty. Good lighting makes it easier to keep your closet organized and clean. It also helps you choose clothing easier and can boost your mood.

Fortunately fixing this problem is not difficult or even expensive. At the low end of the cost spectrum there are battery operated LEDs that work well. But even if you hire an electrician to add a few lights and switches the cost is reasonable, around $300 – $400 per closet. If you have a large walk in closet and want to really create a wonderful place to get ready every morning then you may want to invest more.

Closet Lighting Ideas


Where to get your lighting fixtures

We’re big fans of task lighting from hardware resources for LED puck lights lights, closet rod lights and under shelf lighting. In fact many of the pictures in the gallery above use lighting from Task Lighting. Task lights have a good CRI (color rendering index, which mean they show color accurately) are dimmable and come in a wide variety of options. Richelieu also has some great options. For decorative and ceiling fixtures we light Lightology and Lighting Showplace.

Closet Design

If you need help with closet organization, closet storage or closet lighting just give us a call. We’d be happy to set up a design and budget consult. 


Thank you for reading! We’d love to be a part of your next remodel. Check out our design services page


McManus Kitchen & Bath

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