How to Install Closet Lighting
As a closet manufacturer, or a homeowner, or a hotel contractor, you can tackle a closet lighting project if you are careful and follow and adhere to your local building codes. With basic tools, you can install lighting in your closets without having to hire an electrician.
Installing Wired Closet Lighting
Installing wired closet lighting can be done by the average homeowner with simple tools and an intermediate knowledge of how to work with electricity. Following the local electrical codes and taking the appropriate safety measures are a must for this project.
The installation instructions will vary depending upon which closet lighting fixture you choose. However, these basic principles will remain the same:
- Determine the location of the closet lights – Too often, homeowners select the location based upon ease of installation. We recommend installing your closet lighting where it will provide the most and optimal lighting for your closet. If the optimal location adds difficulty to the installation, then make it more difficult. The goal is optimal lighting, not a fast install.
- Identify a power source – You do not need to run a special line with its own breaker for your closet lighting. It will likely be easier to tap into an existing power source that is adjacent to your closet. If there is an electrical outlet nearby, tie into it with 14 gauge wire if you plan to use LED lights.
- Map out your wiring route – Do some investigation on where your studs are and whether you have access to the area above your closet ceiling. If there is an attic above that you can access, then your install may be easier. If needed, cut a slot in the drywall on either side of the studs. This makes running wires much easier.
- Adding a light switch – The most difficult decision you may have is whether to place your light switch on the outside or the inside of the closet. For small closets, you may want it on the outside. For walk in closets, a switch on the inside may be optimal. In the end, it is all about personal preference.
- Adding a closet door switch – An alternative to a traditional light switch is a closet door switch. It will essentially be a button that will turn on the light when the closet door is open. This switch may be installed by removing the trim from the inside of the door frame. Then you will likely have to cut out the appropriate sized hole needed for the switch to be installed. Each switch will come with its own set of instructions. Below are two recommended closet door switches.
Installing Wireless Closet Lighting
Wireless closet lighting installation is much easier than the wired applications. Most of these fixtures can be installed with screws or even double-sided tape.
- Determine the optimal location – Carefully figure out what spot in your closet will be the best for your wireless lighting. We recommend turning on the lights and holding them in various points within your closet to see which looks best.
- Follow installation instructions – Your wireless closet lighting will come with instructions that will require installation with screws. If the instructions ask you to use double sided tape, we suggest still using screws if possible. If you use the double-sided tape, then clean the area in the closet where you will affix the tape with alcohol.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of lighting is allowed in closets?
You can install any type of light that you want if the light fixture is installed according to your local building code.
How do you light a closet without electricity?
You can install wireless battery operated lighting in your closets if you do not want to, or do not have the ability to install wired light fixtures.
Are outlets allowed in closets?
Outlets can be installed in closets if they are installed according to your local building or electrical code.
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