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Guide to Closet Lighting: 4 Basic Rules

When it comes to interior design, closets are one of the most overlooked spaces in a home. Whether your closet is large or small, proper lighting is important not only for safety reasons, but also to provide the most flattering illumination. If you are building a new closet from scratch, or simply updating an existing closet, these tips will help take the stress out of lighting your closet space.


Screen Shot 2016 11 03 at 10.44.58 AM Guide to Closet Lighting: 4 Basic Rules

Maxim Lighting Jewel Flush Mount


General Guidelines for Energy Efficient Closet Lighting



1.) Keep safety codes in mind


When installing any type of fixture in a closet, make sure it is at least 12 inches away from all storage spaces. This way, hot lights will not get too close to delicate clothes. Avoid excess heat by using fluorescent (CFL) or LED closet lights over incandescent lights. Not only do CFLs and LEDs give off less heat, but they also provide a good amount of light and save energy.



2.) Select the right color temperature for the ideal light


When selecting a fixture, keep in mind color temperature in order to provide the most flattering light. A color temperature between 3000K and 3500K will provide clean, white light that is ideal for closets. For this particular application, anything warmer than that will appear yellow, while anything cooler than that will produce a harsh, unflattering light. This will help you be able to see the color of your clothes more clearly. That means no more guessing if your pants are dark blue or black.  



3.) Consider choosing LED lighting for the closet


In general, flush mounts are commonly found in walk-in closets since they typically do not take up much space. Installed close to the ceiling, flush mounts are not obtrusive and shine down on the space. If you’re looking to add a decorative element to your closet, flush mounts are a great choice because they are available in a wide variety of styles. If your goal is simply to provide illumination without any decorative elements, recessed lighting might be a better option. Again, fluorescent and LED recessed lights are recommended due to their coolness and energy saving benefits. If you are hesitant to go with an LED fixture because of the higher upfront cost, consider the many benefits and advantages of using LED. LEDs require no maintenance since they are designed to last a lifetime, so you won’t find yourself changing the light bulbs in your closet every year. Our LED Lighting Buying Guide can answer any questions you may have before upgrading your lights.



4.) Illuminate dark areas and corners with undercabinet lighting and LED tape lights


If your closet has cabinets and shelves, under cabinet lighting is a great way to illuminate those dark, small spaces. Light bars come in a number of sizes that can easily fit in the spaces of your closet. Additionally, LED tape lights provide endless possibilities because of their flexibility and thin profile.


Always consult your electrician to be sure that you are following closet lighting code and electrical safety requirements. Our Design Team is here to help you choose the right decorative fixture for your closet, whether it be a stylish flush or semi-flush mount, or functional lights such as LED recessed lighting and undercabinet light bars or tape light.