How to light a closet without wiring – energy efficient ideas

This guide can help you to explore all the best wireless lighting options, helping you make the right choice for your closet

How to light a closet without wiring
(Image credit: Caffe Latte / Paul Raeside / LUXXU)

Incorporating wireless lighting solutions not only brightens your closet without the need for complex wiring installations but also adds a touch of modern convenience to your daily routine.

When improving visibility with wireless closet lights to maintain a more energy-efficient, organized, and accessible space, you can choose lighting options that best suit your aesthetic preferences, closet size, and how you wish to use them.  

'There's no point having a well-organized closet if you can't easily see everything, and there is something special about rows of brightly lit closet shelves of neatly folded clothing,' says Millie Hurst, section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Below are the best ways to light a closet without wiring and the additional features to consider. 

millie hurst news writer
Millie Hurst

Millie Hurst is Section Editor at Homes & Gardens, overseeing the Solved section, which provides readers with practical advice for their homes. Millie has written about and tried out countless cleaning and DIY hacks in the six years since she became a journalist, and has worked in both London and New York. 

How to light a closet without wiring

Before investing in any lighting options, be sure to first assess the size and layout of your closet to understand the optimal solution and the specific areas that need illumination. This will help you find the right type of light in the correct dimensions.

1. Battery-powered LED lights

Modern closet

(Image credit: Caffe Latte)

Battery-powered LED lights offer a convenient choice with easy installation. We recommend utilizing lights with adhesive backing.

These are affordable, provide ample light, and are available in various sizes and styles. You can also look for options with a remote control for convenient operation.

'LED strip lights can be adhered to the inner edges of the closet. They provide a continuous light that can make a closet look modern and high-end,' explains Charlotte Wood, chief information officer at REIInsiders.

'Plus, if you opt for the ones with a rechargeable battery, you'll save money and reduce waste over time.'

2. Rechargeable lights

Closet

(Image credit: LUXXU)

Rechargeable lights are another great option. Look for USB-rechargeable lights that can be easily removed for charging, minimizing maintenance and waste from disposable batteries.

Rechargeable light bars can be mounted inside the closet, providing a brighter solution than standard stick-on lights, making them suitable for larger closet spaces, or portable wardrobes.

'Alternatively, rechargeable LED lamps can be placed on shelves. These offer a softer light, perfect for walk-in closets,' says Charlotte Wood.

'If you don’t want to spend money on batteries every month, this rechargeable lightbulb, at Amazon can be perfect for lighting up a larger closet,' says Chiana Dickson, Solved writer at Homes & Gardens.

'I love that you can charge them up and then screw them into any wall or ceiling light fitting without needing to hard wire the fitting into place – perfect if you want to add a little fancy touch to your closet for that boutique feeling.’ 

Different activation options

When it comes to non-wired closet lighting, various activation options will cater differently to each space, according to the location of the light in the closet and how it will most efficiently be used.

1. Tap lights

Closet

(Image credit: PROTEK)

'Tap lights are small, battery-operated fixtures that turn on with a simple tap. These are great for closets as they are compact and can be strategically placed to provide focused light where needed,' recommends Alex Locklear, founder of NC Cash Homebuyers.

'You can find various shapes and sizes to match your aesthetic preference.'

These lights make it easy to conserve battery allowing you to manually turn them on and off for quick and direct control. However, if the lights are in tough-to-reach spots, these may not be the most suitable option.

2. Motion-activated lights

Closet lights

(Image credit: Covet House)

'The easiest way to light up your closet is with motion sensor closet strips, available at Amazon,' recommends Millie Hurst. 'They are battery-powered and easy to apply to shelving, giving you some extra brightness.' 

These smart lights turn on automatically when the closet door is opened and off when closed, ensuring you never fumble for items in the dark, while conserving energy when not in use. 

'In my old apartment I had some small motion detector lights in the closet in my entryway, and it was helpful when rushing out of the door,' continues Millie Hurst. 'Even if you have good lighting in your walk-in closet or bedroom, it makes finding the exact shirt or sweater easier and won't add to your electricity bill.'

Types of lights

According to your space, aesthetic tastes and lighting needs, determine the best type of lighting style to add to your closet. These are some of the best options:

1. Puck lights

Closet

(Image credit: DelightFULL)

Puck lights are compact options which are the ideal choice for small spaces or creating a spotlight effect. These lights are often adjustable, allowing you to direct the light to specific areas of your closet. 

'These battery-operated, dimmable lights come with a remote control and can be mounted using screws or adhesive tape. They emit a warm-white light, making them ideal for under cabinets or in closets,' says Mohammad Ahmed, founder of The Home Guidance.

'Puck lights are a quick and easy way to enhance the light levels. They usually have either a self-adhesive backing or a magnet. Apply them to the underside of shelving, near the front so that they are concealed,' advises Millie Hurst.

Mohammad Ahmed
Mohammad Ahmed

Mohammad Ahmed is an Interior Designer and Home Expert. He did his bachelors degree in Interior Designing at the University of Minnesota in 2013 and since then has worked as an interior designer in various companies, designing functional and beautiful spaces for clients. 

In addition to his interior and exterior design skills, Mohammad is also Home expert with a talent for creating bespoke furniture and other accessories. He has been featured in popular publications such as Forbes, Yahoo, Realtor, Real Homes, Bustle, and Living etc. for his exceptional design tips.

2. Closet rod lights

Closet organization with shoe storage

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Illuminate your hanging clothes with closet rod lights. This classic choice can closely mimic high-end wired closet light, without the same installation hassle.

These lights can be easily attached to the closet rod, ensuring your wardrobe is well-lit, making it easier to choose outfits.

Find one that fits the exact dimensions of your closet for a more purposeful display.

Again, these can come in a range of tones and brightnesses, making it the ideal product to customize according to your personal preferences, the time of day, and season.

Dimmable Motion Sensor Under Closet Light | Was $23.99, now $21.99

Dimmable Motion Sensor Under Closet Light | Was $23.99, now $21.99

This rod light is 15.7 inches. It has three colors and is dimmable. It is also a rechargeable light, making it a sustainable option. 

3. Rotatable wall light

Closet

(Image credit: Boca do Lobo)

Using a wireless light that can rotate is a great way to reduce the number of lights you need by manually selecting which areas in your closet to highlight.

You can opt for one with a strip light, such as Chrasy wall light, or a spotlight, such as this rechargeable wall lamp, from Amazon.

FAQs

What are the different methods to install temporary closet lights?

The beauty of using temporary closet lights is not only that they are easy to remove, but they are also usually easy to install. 

Adhesive-backed LED light strips can be strategically placed to create ambient lighting. Be sure to check that they won't damage your closet when removed. This will depend on the closet material, paint or wallpaper, and adhesion type.

Magnetic lights can be attached to metal surfaces within the closet, offering flexible placement without the need for screws or adhesives.

You can also install hooks on the closet ceiling to suspend portable LED light rods or wands.


You can also enhance lighting in a closet by incorporating reflective surfaces, creating a brighter and more spacious feel. Mirrors or light-colored interior finishes can help bounce and amplify the available light, reducing the amount of lighting additions you need. 

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.