We’ve all experienced the struggle of trying to find something in a dim space. Closets, cabinets, and drawers are notoriously dark, making it difficult to locate what you need when you need it. Lighting isn’t just for building ambiance, it’s necessary to complete everyday activities like getting dressed in a walk-in closet or chopping veggies on your countertop. It’s as much about function as it is atmosphere.

If you’re looking to brighten up your bookshelves or illuminate your pantry we’ll explore lighting options for those tricky underlit spaces.


Have you recently been asked if you got dressed in the dark? If so, it might be time to think about closet lighting. Good lighting is a must in any closet—walk-in or reach-in. The right type of lighting in your closets can not only increase accessibility and visibility, but it can also highlight your favourite pieces.

Walk-in closets

Most homes today feature at least one overhead light in the walk-in closet, but why stop with the basics? Installing a track lighting system creates customization as you can easily position each light on specific areas of your closet—never mistake navy for black again! Recessed pot lights are also a popular overhead lighting option. For a walk-in closet that’s on the smaller side, it’s best to go with several low-watt pot lights rather than a few high-watt lights for optimal illumination. When it comes to walk-in closets with built-in shelving units, installing under-cabinet lighting such as puck lights or LED strips will supplement the overhead light and spotlight key items. LED strips can also run above clothing rods and in drawers.

Lighting for reach-in closets

When lighting a reach-in closet, depending on the type of closet (linen, clothing, hallway, storage), hardwired overhead lighting might not offer much help, with most items on the top shelf getting in the way. Make use of battery-powered LED motion-activated lights that automatically turn on when you open the door—no need to worry about a switch!

Kitchen cabinetry

In the kitchen, lighting is a design feature not to be overlooked. A well-lit area not only maximizes your accessibility and visibility, it ensures your fingers stay safe while preparing food.

Valance (under cabinet)

Counter space below upper cabinets is often darker than, say, on an island. Valance or under-cabinet lights help brighten the space so you can focus on the task at hand. If you find yourself involved in a kitchen renovation, consider having valance lighting hardwired and included as part of your cabinetry. Have no plans to reno? Battery-operated or plug-in valance lighting is also an option.


Motion-activated lights that turn on when a drawer is opened and turn off when the drawer is closed are a simple and effective solution, and make it easier to find the little things that get stuck towards the back of the storage space.

Crown moulding

Rope or strip lighting installed on top of cabinets, just behind the crown moulding, can produce an indirect light effect that’s elegant and subtle.

Cabinet interiors

Have cabinetry with glass doors? Lighting inside these cabinets can cast a warm and inviting glow across your entire kitchen. Strip lights attached to the bottom of each shelf can provide even light throughout the cabinet, or use puck lights to highlight items you want to show off.


Depending on the size of the pantry, lighting is usually minimal, which makes finding ingredients difficult. Walk-in pantries with hardwired overhead lighting benefit most from track lighting systems where light can be adjusted and focused. For pantries that are reach-in or have roll-out drawers, easy-to-install puck lighting or LED battery-powered strip lights often offer up enough light to improve visibility and save time.


The latest trend in kitchen lighting is miniature table lamps directly on the countertop. The accent lights are purely decorative and used for visual appeal as opposed to their function.

Other unexpected places

Today’s wide range of lighting options, from hardwired to battery-powered, allows for more creativity and opportunities to light up key areas of your home. Here are a few unexpected places that could benefit from additional lighting.


Have a bookcase with shelves that run top to bottom? Install vertical LED strips to illuminate all shelves with even light. If your bookcases are built-in, sconces are a beautiful addition that can be hardwired, or battery-operated.

Under the bed

Illuminating the base of a bed can give it a bold, contemporary, floating look. LED strip lights or multi-coloured rope lighting can create a cool, funky vibe.

Under bathroom vanity

Motion-activated LED strips under your bathroom vanity produce a subtle glow, making your midnight trip to the bathroom not so dark.


There’s something special about the ambiance of a fireplace. Make it a focal point in the room by highlighting the architectural features using sconces, lamps, or recessed pot lights.

Above artwork

Shine the spotlight on artwork hung around your home using picture lighting. Battery-powered picture lights allow for unlimited lighting opportunities—no need to worry about electrical—and they look just as good as their wired counterparts.

Garage workbench

Work areas where sharp tools are used should be well lit, and garage workbenches are no exception. Bright LED strip lights or bars easily mount under cabinets, casting even light across the work area. Puck lights can also be used to focus light on a specific area or highlight prized tools.

Lighting considerations

Good lighting contributes greatly to the accessibility and function of a space. No matter where you‘re installing lights, there are a few things to take into consideration.


Some lighting must be hardwired into ceilings, walls, or other surfaces–in those cases, consider using a licensed electrician. Electrical work can be avoided if the lighting choice uses an outlet or is wireless. Wireless lighting has come a long way, offering much more flexibility and ease of use. Most wireless options are battery-powered or rechargeable via USB, lasting for hours on a charge.

Bulb type

Incandescent bulbs produce a lot of heat and can pose a fire hazard in small, enclosed spaces. Fluorescent lighting and LEDs don’t give off as much heat as their traditional incandescent counterparts and provide better energy efficiency.


Lighting in your home should make it feel warm and inviting. Use LED bulbs in the 3,000-kelvin range or look for ones labeled “warm white.”

Wifi connected

In today’s mobile world there’s an app for everything, including lighting. More and more bulbs are being manufactured with wifi connectivity, meaning you can easily control your lights from your phone or voice-powered assistant. Use the app on your phone to change the colours, intensity, or create a light show set to music. It doesn’t get more custom than that!


Installing dimmers and dimmer-friendly fixtures offers flexibility as the intensity of the light can easily be controlled. Dim for a warm intimate ambiance or set on high for that wow factor.

Do a test

Before you install something permanent or semi-permanent, it’s always best to do a test. Does the position offer optimal light spread? Will the lighting interfere with doors or drawers that will be in use? If using a corded lighting option, can it reach an outlet? Doing a test will allow you to make adjustments and save your walls or shelving from unnecessary adhesive residue or screw holes.

Smart lighting choices throughout your home not only improve visibility, usability, and accessibility, but they greatly impact design and mood. Focusing on key areas of the home that are often underlit will bring a bright and fresh feeling to your space.

Courtesy: realtor.ca

Posted by Infinity Admin on


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