Inspired Closets

Share with your friends

Everything You Need to Know
to Upgrade Your
Closet Lighting

In the quest for complete closet bliss, there are many different organizational approaches and methods you can try. From rolling shirts to replacing hangers, there is no shortage of advice on how to optimize the space you have for easy access to the things you love. But across the many tips, tricks, and hacks, there’s one solution that can help improve, organize, and optimize any closet: upgrading your closet lighting.

While updating your wardrobe lighting may seem like a low (or no) priority on your closet organization to-do list, the right closet lighting is a tried-and-true fix every time. When you improve your walk-in closet lighting, your closet will feel bigger and more spacious, and you’ll drastically improve your ability to see what you have. Closet lighting makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, which also makes getting ready easy and less stressful. Ultimately, this leads to less frustration and a more inspired start to the day. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s shine a new light on your closet with these closet lighting ideas from our experts at Inspired Closets.

Inspired Closets

Share with your friends

When closet lighting makes it easy to find what you’re looking for,
getting ready is easy and less stressful.

For the Best Closet Lighting, Identify Your Shadow Areas

Most closets are built with a ceiling-mounted center light, which casts light throughout the space but creates dark or shadowed areas. Once you add a closet organization structure and all your clothing, shoes, and accessories to the space, the light from the ceiling-mounted fixture is interrupted, drastically increasing the number of shadows cast. For example, corners, shelves, and the space below waste level are often the darkest areas in a closet. Great closet lighting ideas start by assessing the organizational structure and what’s in the closets, and then identifying where the shadowed areas are and working to bring the best closet lighting to those areas. Without even realizing it, you might avoid or not fully utilize areas that lack good closet lighting, which means that exploring small closet lighting ideas to illuminate those darker areas could increase your usable square footage. When it comes to maximizing your closet and feeling good when you’re in it, talk with your designer about where you need closet lighting solutions the most.

  • checkmark iconLight from your existing fixture will be interrupted by things in your closet, increasing the number of shadows cast.
  • checkmark iconAssess the organizational structure of your closets
  • checkmark iconIdentify where the shadowed areas are
  • checkmark iconCommon shadowed areas are corners, shelves, and the space below waist level

Closet Lighting Ideas & Basics

Types of Lightbulbs

Once you and your designer have identified where you need closet lighting the most, consider what kind of light sources you’ll need. Depending on your closet lighting needs, there’s a variety of lighting ideas and options available.



Your conventional, everyday lightbulb, incandescent lights are often used in light fixtures and lamps. Incandescent lights offer a uniform glow that can brighten up any space.

Compact Flourscent

Compact Fluorescent

If you’re looking for an always-on light source, compact fluorescents are for you. This energy-efficient option is a miniaturized version of full-sized fluorescents and offers a longer-lasting alternative to your typical bulbs.



Commonly used for accent lighting, LEDs are long-lasting and energy-efficient. They’re cool to the touch and emit almost no ultraviolet rays, making them a perfect light source for sensitive items such as leather handbags.

Types of Lighting

Beyond your choice of bulbs, the type of closet lighting you use matters in creating your ideal closet. From soft, diffused glow to an intense, focused spotlight, different types of wardrobe lighting and closet lighting can be layered to give you the functional visibility you need and the calming aesthetic you desire.



Ambient closet lighting gives a soft, warm, and uniform glow to your closet. Ambient light is best created by chandeliers, pendants, lamps, flush, or semi-flush light fixtures that can set both the base layer of lighting in a closet and provide a focal point in your closet.




Accent closet lighting is used to highlight your favorite features within your closet, like your shoes or a cherished handbag.




Task closet lighting is a concentrated light source meant to shine necessary extra light for specific activities, like putting on makeup or jewelry.




Natural lighting brings outside light in, providing an airy, clean ambiance perfect for starting your day. While difficult to replicate with manufactured light sources, some homes feature closets with windows that can be leveraged to maximize the light in your space. Learn more about designing around a closet window here.


Pro Tip

For the best closet lighting, we recommend taking a layered approach and combining all different types of lighting ideas.

There are a number of closet lighting ideas to brighten your space.
Find out what works best for you.


1 / 6 Closet Lighting Options


Closet lighting strips are a clean option for closet lighting when you may not have the space or desire for additional lamps. At Inspired Closets, our strip lights are one of our favorite closet lighting solutions. Strip lighting is created custom to your space and it’s tunable to a variety of brightness settings and color temperatures, from cool blue to warm amber.

Pro Tip

When lighting an area for hanging clothing, place your strip light close to the wardrobe rod for a bright and clear view of every item. If you’re lighting a shelf or display, place the strips close to the back wall to bring light to the back of the shelf. You’ll use more of the space when it’s fully illuminated.

2 / 6 Closet Lighting Options


Puck lights are perfect for accent lighting. Often surface-mounted or recessed, pucks create a cone of light that can often be customized to your preferred brightness and temperature. Puck lighting is a common go-to when it comes to small closet lighting ideas, making it possible to increase lighting in areas where space is limited.

3 / 6 Closet Lighting Options


Part of a layered lighting approach, a lamp in your closet can help draw attention to focal points or provide additional light for specific tasks. This is an excellent opportunity to personalize your space, complementing the space with unique or modern closet lighting that reflects your unique personality.

4 / 6 Closet Lighting Options


Another fantastic source of ambient light, recessed lighting in closet design can provide excellent light in your space while blending seamlessly into the ceiling.

5 / 6 Closet Lighting Options


If your closet has space for a vanity area, vanity lighting could be a helpful touch to bring additional light when applying makeup or styling your hair.

6 / 6 Closet Lighting Options


Perfect for adding soft ambient light, overhead lights are typically centered in closets as a focal point.

Strip Lights MobileStrip Lights
Puck LightsPuck Lights
Lamp LightLamp Light
Recessed LightRecessed Light
Vanity LightsVanity Lights
Overhead LightsOverhead Lights

Closet Lighting Placements

Equally as important as the type of lighting, proper light placement brings light into your space where you need it most, helping you see things more easily.

Inside Cabinets

Place puck or strip lights inside of cabinets to help you see what’s inside. These lights can also draw attention to a favorite item or a collection in your closet.

Within Drawers

If you’re looking for just a little more illumination to help see the contents of your drawers more clearly, a motion sensor light that triggers when you open a drawer can be a helpful and beautiful addition to your closet experience.

Within Panels

An important part of a layered lighting plan is lighting placed within panels. Doing so brings the light from floor to ceiling, eliminating lighting “dead zones” that don’t get used. Closet lighting within panels has a significant emotional impact, making the space look and feel bigger.

Within Shelves

In-shelf wardrobe lighting can be added to your closet, but be sure to understand its limitations. While helpful in adding additional light, in-shelf lighting comes with complex wiring and can limit your ability to update your closet in the future.

Along Hanging Rods

Hanging rod lighting is another closet lighting idea that helps illuminate hanging clothes. However, just like in-shelf lighting, hanging-rod lighting can limit future changes should your needs change.

Under Floating Cabinets

Strip lights under floating cabinets is a closet lighting idea that can help softly illuminate your closet floor in a beautiful and elegant way.

Above Molding

If your closet structure doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling, illuminating the space between the ceiling and the top shelf can create additional useable space. Adding recessed closet lighting or strip lights above your molding creates a dramatic look that elevates the overall look and feel of your closet.

Need More Inspiration?

View our Lookbook Right Arrow Icon

Additional Lighting Ideas for Closets

When upgrading your walk-in closet lighting, consider adding additional features like dimmable lights and motion sensors to add more to your closet experience. Added features can help increase the overall functionality of your closet, turning it from a space that you like into a space that you love.

Lighting Ideas Video Poster


The standard for all Inspired Closets lighting systems, dimmable lights give you control over the brightness and temperature of your closet lighting. Keep the lights low when trying not to wake someone who might be sleeping in the bedroom, or turn the lights to their brightest setting to see your closet in full.

Color Changing

Color-changing lights are a fun feature that can add additional flair to a child’s closet. While helpful in adding an extra pop of color, these lights are often limited to only red, green, and blue, which can make it more difficult to tell the true colors of the clothing within than with natural colored lighting.

Smart Home

With smart home products like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, you can program your lights to do all the work for you. Pre-set your closet lights to turn on and off when it works best for your routine.

Motion Sensor

Motion sensor lights can be a helpful feature in your closet lighting system. You can place motion sensor lights in high-traffic areas like entryways and drawers for quick and easy illumination. These are an especially great solution for small walk-in closet lighting ideas where additional wiring is a challenge.

Let’s face it. Most of us aren’t electricians or walk-in closet lighting experts, and as a result we settle for the centrally mounted, ceiling light fixture living with a poorly lit closet space—that is, until we’re enlightened. Light truly changes everything, improving the amount of usable space you have and reducing the stress and frustration that comes from trying to find something in a poorly lit space. Whether you’re building a new boutique, walk-in, or reach-in closet, or you need advice on how to improve closet lighting in your existing space, our experienced team offers customized closet lighting ideas and solutions to turn your space into the closet you want and need it to be. Complete the form below and we will reach out to get started.

Schedule Your
Free Design Service
Arrow Icon

Love What You See?

Our designers are great listeners, and fabulous at what they do, too, so let’s talk. Oh, the best part? Our in-home design consultations are free. Yep. FREE! Let’s get started.

"*" indicates required fields

We have multiple showrooms in the area. Select one for your consultation.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Talk to an Inspired Closet design expert about your project today.