Guide to Closet Lighting Ideas: Fixtures, Ikea and Wireless Options

For some, closet lighting is a necessity because the closet is deep and the ceiling lights don’t fill the closet with light (or there are no lights in the closet in the first place). For others, closet lighting is an added luxurious touch, making an everyday task a little more comfortable.

There are a number of closet lighting ideas that help fill different needs. The closet lighting fixtures you choose to use will be based on how much closet space you have and how much remodeling you want to do. There are simple and quick installs using battery powered lights and there are elaborate closet lighting solutions, which are more permanent and luxurious and will require slightly more installation work. Below we go over both.

closet lighting design

2 Quick Closet Lighting Tips

  1. Use florescent or led light fixtures as these produce less heat than incandescent bulbs
  2. Avoid using just one ceiling light in a closet, as the shelves will block the light from reaching the lower parts of the closet.

dark closet


Luxurious and Permanent Closet Lighting

Having permanent, hard wired and fitted closet lighting is a luxurious element in a bedroom. These types of light fixtures can be wired to come on and off when you open the closet door. With battery powered closet lighting, you’ll have to replace the whole light fixture – here you’ll only have to change the light bulb.

The most common permanent closet lighting design is to have an overhead light and then have display lights. The display lights light up the individual closet areas. Under shelf lights are common display lights for a closet. These under shelf lights can be either recessed lights, fitted into the shelf, or flush mount/puck lights that are mounted onto the shelf.

under shelf lights

Recessed and flush mount/puck lights

door jamb

A door jamb automatically switches the closet lights on when the door is opened


These lights will then be wired to a door jamb so that they will automatically switch on and off when the door opens and closes.

This closet lighting layout will require wiring work and slight remodeling of the closet to have the lights fitted. In the end you’ll be left with permanent light fixtures, wired to the closet door.

Go Ikea

Ikea have a number of shelve and closet systems that can be easily fitted with their own lighting products.

      • The BESTÃ… Shelves come with a number of lighting options:
Ikea Besta Shelves

The Ikea BESTA Shelves are made to be fitted with Ikea cabinet lights

      • The PAX wardroom system can be easily fitted with lights that automatically come on when the door is opened:
Ikea Pax Closet

The Ikea PAX Closets can be fitted with Ikea closet lighting

Ikea Pax Lighting

The lights will automatically come on when you open the doors on the Ikea PAX closet

      • Other Ikea lighting options:

ikea lighting


Quick and Simple Closet Lighting Ideas: Battery Powered LED Mounts

LED closet lighting that are battery powered will only take a minute or two to install and are relatively inexpensive ($10-$30). As they are wireless, they can be fitted anywhere in the closet (on the ceiling, under shelves, on the side walls, on the floor). These LED lights are energy efficient, produce low heat and will last a long time. They can be attached using an adhesive strip (provided) or screwed on. There are quite a few options to choose from:

  • Tap Pucks: Wireless Closet Lighting

Tap pucks are small puck shaped lights that you can fit straight onto the shelves. You turn them on and off by tapping on them.

  • Motion Sensor Lights

These puck lights also come as motion sensor lights, so they will automatically come on once you reach inside the closet.

LED closet lights

Battery powered tap and motion sensor closet puck lights

Available from Amazon here: Tap Pucks & Motion Sensor Lights

led strip

Battery powered LED light strips

  • Light Strips

These black and white LED light strips by GE can be attached to the ceiling of the closet, the underside of a shelf or on the side walls of a closet. Amazon Link

light flute

An LED light flute

  • Light Flute

A different take on the light strips above. Once again battery powered – Amazon link.

  • Track lighting

closet lights With track lighting each individual light can be angled, directing the light to certain areas of your closet. Battery powered, the light to the right can be switched between 3 settings: on/off/dim. Amazon Link

Note: The LED lights mentioned above last quite a while, but when the lights do wear out the whole light will need to be replaced.

DIY Closet Lighting

You could use rope lights or string lights to create your own simple DIY closet lighting. Rope lights are LED lights encased within a plastic tube (available from Amazon). Because they are flexible they can be bent around different angles within a closet. They can be placed in the back of the shelves to provide back lighting. For a more whimsical look, try fitting LED string lights in the closet.

rope lights

Railing Lights

LED lights fitted within a closet railing is such an elegant and sleek idea. They will automatically come on when the door opens. There are a number of issues: they are not so popular, they are hard to get hold of, and are quite pricey. This could be a good DIY project: fixing an LED light strip to a closet railing.

closet railing lighting

LED closet railing lighting by Winona Lighting

Some companies to look into for closet railing lighting:

Door Light

door light

Some closets are a mix of a standalone and a walk in. They consist of a normal door and maybe 1 to 2 feet of walk in space. An ideal lighting solution for these closets is to fix a florescent light strip right above the door shining in towards the closet.

florescent door light

Walk In Closet Lighting Ideas

walk in closet lighting

Recessed lights and a hanging light are used to light this walk in closet

solar tube

A solar tube installed in a closet - by

Lighting a walk in closet is much like lighting any other room in the house. Recessed lighting is a popular choice for modern designs. Pendant lights will work for tall ceilings and will create a grand look. You’ll also want display lighting, much like in the first section where recessed/puck lights are installed in the shelves. Or you can have lights fitted in the back of the shelf spaces.

  • Go Green

A solar tube can provide light in a walk in closet during the day. A tube is installed in the ceiling that draws the sun’s light in.



image credits: closet factory, pkieper, ffunyman, Rubbermaid Products, Jeremy.Brown, summitdesignremodeling

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