How to Choose the Best Closet Lighting
If you open your closet doors to find an environment that feels like an interrogation room or black hole, you can do better. The goal is to find a lighting solution that helps Maximize the potential of your closet as useful storage and also makes it the most attractive space it can be in your home. The good news is that it is easier than ever to do both easily and at an affordable price.
To find the best ideas for cabinet lighting, we turned to the professionals to learn how to choose cabinet lights that make the room safe (i.e. no fire risk), bright and functional. Learn how to choose the best cabinet lighting, according to interior design experts.
Are fluorescent lamps or LED lamps better?
Fluorescent lighting is still a popular choice for closets because it runs cool and is energy efficient. Erin Strasen, interior designer for the online resource for updating homes Speak, she recommends for these reasons – but with restrictions. “With all of this Light bulb options, Fluorescent lamps are a good middle ground if you are looking for something that lasts but is not overly expensive. “However, she adds:” A consideration with fluorescent lamps is what to do with them when they burn out. You have to dispose of them at certain points of delivery so that they require more maintenance in the long run. “
That’s one reason why you could consider light-emitting diode lamps (LEDs), she says. “If you own your home or are ready to take your light bulbs with you when you leave your rental, LEDs are the way to go,” Strasen recommends. “They’re more expensive from the start, but they can mimic a traditional light bulb, which is by far the most flattering light because the warm glow prevents colors from feeling strong and washed out.”
Brittany Zachos from Zachos Design Group In Westchester, New York, LEDs are also suggested – especially those that let you choose the color temperature. “I like to recommend a color between 2,500 and 3,500 Kelvin,” she says.
And what is the best lamp for cabinets?
While Strasen suggests battery-powered or rechargeable lights in situations where hard wiring a light is prohibitive. However, the additional cost of hardwiring can be worth it. “A hard-wired lamp gives you more flexibility because you don’t need an outlet and it’s always nice not to worry about batteries or charging a lamp,” she says.
Zachos agrees when he thinks about the compromise. “I think a battery-powered or pendant light that is wall-mounted is best for reading corners or lighting with art accents – an area where you don’t use it every day,” she says. “Otherwise, I think it’s worth the investment if an electrician installs a hard-wired light.”
She also suggests another option that costs little but offers a great solution: LED strip lighting. “The color temperature can be selected and is a very affordable option,” she says.
The tape can be placed along with a door frame or over a cabinet shelf – and some even come with remote controls. “Since it is an LED, it can last much longer than a fluorescent or battery-operated lamp. And they can be hidden, so it’s a nice accent for a smaller closet. “
Strain is another fan of LED light strips. “You can attach them anywhere and cut them to the desired length. Just make sure you put the plug in an easily accessible place so you can turn it on and off [easily]. You do need a plug, but the cables are often thin, so you can run the cable outside of your closet to the nearest outlet. “
How to make sure your lighting is safe:
Regardless of the choice you make with light bulbs and lights, you naturally want safety to be a top priority. “Although the regulations vary, it is always a good idea to keep a distance of at least 30 cm between a lamp and the stored items if you want to be on the safe side,” says Strasen. “Most building codes require that you stay away from exposed or bare light bulbs. If in doubt, contact an electrician or the latest version of the National Electrical Code. ”
Zachos gives a simple rule of thumb. “Any lamp with an exposed light bulb can get too hot,” she says. “It is best to use a lamp that is covered with a glass or cover.”
And before you buy …
… consider functionality, advises Strasen. “If you’re lucky enough to have a walk-in closet, you’ll probably want two lighting options: a subdued option if you want to relax for the night and only need enough light to find your way around, and a a brighter option to check with whether the sweater you are wearing is actually dark blue and not black. “
But shape is just as important, she says, and the cabinet lighting should also be pretty and appealing. “Flattering light is always nice in larger cabinets with mirrors. Downlights directly above your head cast flattering shadows. So make sure your light is well placed and ideally comes from more than one source so you don’t look scary, ”she notes. “If you have a chest of drawers in a large closet, you should consider lighting it up, both for functionality and to make the room cozy.”
Ultimately, you want to choose a safe light set that appeals to your design sensitivities. “Lights are only objects when they are switched off,” says Strasen, “and they are a great opportunity to show your personality.”