A master bedroom with a separate room spacious enough to get dressed in was once considered a dream closet. But now clothing storage has gone one step further with multiple ways to light your closets. A lot of closets either don't have a light or are lit by an exposed incandescent bulb screwed into a surface-mounted fixture operated with a pull-chain. The first situation is inconvenient, but the second is dangerous. Closets tend to be filled with flammable material such as clothing, and incandescent bulbs get very hot.
Safety First Building codes closely regulate lighting in closets, but many older homes fail to meet these minimal standards. Standard incandescent bulbs are the major culprit, especially when they are exposed. Recessed incandescent light fixtures in a closet should always be closed or covered. If you can't find a glass globe or some other type of cover for your attic light, install a new fixture.
Recessed incandescent light fixtures should be at least 18 inches from the back and side walls of a closet. That distance increases to 24 inches for surface-mounted incandescent fixtures.
A thoughtful lighting design combines additional useful illumination with the luxurious boutique effect that highlights favourite collections like bags or shoes as showpieces. Whether your closet is big enough to walk inside or has just enough room to store your items, the drab interior can give way to an elevated and chic new look. Here is some advice on how to create the closets you have always wanted.
Install Your Own If you don't have a light in your closet, install a battery-operated light fixture. One of the most useful and efficient bulbs to install in a closet are LED lights. Their long-lasting and energy-efficient qualities translate into energy savings. In some cases, it's an investment that may add to your home’s value. However, these LED lights need to be fully enclosed, but have specific distances from walls and ceilings. These distances range from 6 inches to 12 inches from walls and ceilings.
A lighting design plan will position LED bulbs in the ideal locations. Installing recessed puck lighting around the cabinetry’s top perimeter will impact the overall lighting scheme or put a spotlight on treasured pieces. Running recessed ribbon lighting above clothes along the length of the closet rod will create brightness at both ends, which is often lacking in most spaces. For a bolder look, illuminating the base of a cabinet gives a contemporary floating look.
LEDs come in a range of wattages and can create different room effects depending on the cabinetry colour and the existing natural and ambient lighting. A medium-intensity ribbon light has approximately 1.4 watts per foot and can provide a soft accent glow. Higher intensity ribbons are about three watts and are great for task lighting or brighter illumination over clothes. Dimmers add another level of customization, altering light intensity up or down. Based on a cabinet’s finish, a warm or cool LED can coordinate with a room’s colours and materials.