Chances are your Arlington walk-in or reach-in closets have special lighting needs. Custom lighting solutions make sure even the darkest nooks of your closet are lit.
I think we’ve all been there. It’s way too early on a Monday morning, but you’ve already hit snooze a few too many times, and now you have to get ready in a hurry. Still bleary eyed, you feel around for the lights so you can find some clothes to wear and one of two things happens. Either you’re blinded by the light of a thousand suns or you find yourself groping around in a dimly lit cave hoping to bump into something wearable. Regardless, you show up to work with mismatched socks and your week is off to a poor start.
Closets are maybe the most challenging place in your home to light properly because they tend to have awkward angles. They also rarely have their own dedicated light source. 2014 was a slow year for housing development in Arlington, but 2015 saw the approval of almost 4,000 new homes. If your home is one of those that has been completed in the last few years then you probably have more closet space than your fellow Arlingtonians in older homes (more than half of homes here were built before 1960). This is a plus, but it comes with its own downside.
Illuminating a walk-in closet—especially a large one—can be difficult. Often walk-ins have only been provided with a single light in the center, which leaves lower spaces neglected in shadow. You might try to just ramp up the wattage of your bulb, but getting enough light on all the nooks and crannies of your closet from just one source may require turning the whole space into a tanning booth. The key to proper lighting in a walk-in is having multiple light sources.
Recessed Lighting: Cool white, low voltage LED lights are a great, energy-efficient choice. These will create a soft light suitable for a small enclosed space. LEDs can be installed in the shelves of your closet system, so that your entire closet is lit at the same level of brightness, or can provide added light in those critical places.
Center Island Lighting: Designing a center island into your walk-in gives you lots of options. Sure, it’s great for storage and to help you get ready, but it’s also a great place for a table lamp, and an outlet can be designed into it for this purpose. You might also hang a chandelier over your island for another light source and an added touch of class.
Windows: If your walk-in closet has a window this can be a huge help. It’s a good idea to keep that wall of your closet fairly unobstructed, so consider some custom shelving that works around the window, giving you storage space without sacrificing the light you need.
Since a window can provide a good percentage of the light required, you may only have to install supplementary lighting. Smaller recessed lighting can be directed where needed, and lighting in darker places–like under shelves or inside drawers–will be a nice compliment to the natural light from the window.
The first real noticeable housing boom in Arlington happened in the 80’s and this was a time when walk-in closets were still fairly uncommon. Reach-in closets have been the standard for a very long time, and chances are your home in Arlington has them. Chances are also good that the lighting source in your reach-in closet is the room’s main light. This is usually an ineffective lighting option for a closet in the first place, but if you share a room with your partner it really becomes an issue. You may not have intended to get up at the same time in the morning, but flip that switch and it’s going to happen.
Track Lighting: Installing lighting right outside your reach-in closet is a good way to light it. With track lighting you have the ability to direct the lights exactly where you need them to shine–and not toward your sleeping partner! You can also adjust the wattage so that you get enough light to see and not so much that you shock yourself awake in the morning.
Internal LED Lights: Another great option is to go with soft internal lighting. LED lights can be installed in the ceiling, on the underside of shelving, and even be set up to turn on automatically when you open your drawers. You can also install these with a dimmer switch so you can dial in the amount of light you need.
- Bright Finish & Clear Doors : When it comes to reach-in closets, we also recommend going with a light color finish. White and Chill Aura are good color choices, as these will maximize the effectiveness of limited light by reflecting it around your closet. You should also consider clear doors on your cabinets in your closet to help the light get through to your clothing and make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
Incorporating Lighting into Your Custom Closet Design
If you are like a lot of people in Arlington County, you’re dealing with inadequate closet lighting on a daily basis. There’s really no need to be blinded in the morning, wake your sleeping partner, or grope around in a poorly lit closet when you’re getting ready. A custom closet system with accent lighting from Closet America can help you solve these problems and more in an elegant and attractive way. Our design experts will give you a free, in-home assessment and get you set up with a custom closet system that works exactly the way you need it to.
Closet America is the D.C. area’s leading creator of custom-made home offices, designer closets, garages, pantries, mudrooms, and laundry storage spaces. Our experienced team of designers and engineers help create unique solutions that are customized with your needs in mind. With Closest America, you can have everything in its place, perfectly. Schedule a free design consultation today!