Lighting is seriously important. It can make a dramatic change in any room—the contrast between prison-like fluorescents and the warm glow of sconces, for instance, is huge. A good central light fixture with the right wattage and style can instantly transform a room into a more inviting space.
Most light fixtures will provide enough ambient light to illuminate the contents of a walk-in closet. However, walk-in closets vary in layout, size and design, so a single type light fixture may not be ideal for all closets, but most benefit from directional and supplemental lighting.
The Best Fixtures The truth of the matter is that every walk-in closet requires a central focal point. Adding a stylish central lighting fixture, like a chandelier or a large or framed pendant lamp, will go a long way toward making your space more put together. Choose a ceiling fixture with multiple light sources (bulbs) to really increase the ambient light in a shadowy space.
Supplemental Lighting Many walk-in closets have shelves and racks along the walls. Upper shelves may block the light from reaching racks or shelves below them. In this situation, overhead lighting is not always enough. Installing small under-counter lights, which are designed to fit beneath kitchen counters, under shelves or behind racks supplements your overhead lighting and can be turned on only when needed. Many under-counter lights are battery powered or plug into an outlet, so a major electrical overhaul may not be needed. Under-counter lights typically use LED or fluorescent fixtures, which brighten dark areas effectively without producing a lot of heat.
Light Placement In a walk-in closet, each fixture you use should illuminate a 4-by-6 foot area of space. For example, if your closet is 8-by-12 feet, you'll require at least two fixtures to properly illuminate the closet. Recessed or flush-mount fixtures are ideal in a walk-in closet, because they aren’t likely to be knocked when putting clothes away, but if you choose a fixture that drops slightly from the ceiling, make sure the bulb isn’t blocked by clothing or racks, and that any lights placed over walking areas have at least 7 feet of clearance beneath them so you don’t hit your head. The switch for your primary light source should be installed on the wall outside the closet or just inside the door.
Finish up with Appropriate Accents Finally, you’ll want to include softening accents that create more visual interest in your new space. Hanging artwork or a framed wedding gown in your walk-in? Highlight these elements with a wall-mounted picture light. Accent lighting also works well if you’re wanting to illuminate a display of handbags or other art pieces. A neat trick for making your space look even larger is to add splash lighting above your cabinets. Linear LED strips are perfect for this, because they shine a glow over the ceiling and into the corners of the room without ever being seen. This strategy removes any remaining shadows and gives the effect of higher ceilings.