I have numerous closets in my house which are without lighting.
1. Any idea on what I can expect to pay for going whole-hog and
putting in a recess with switch outside? I'm spooked about adding
this myself because I have a sprinkler system in my home and I'm
worried about tunneling wires. I'm also not a real fan of the kind of
conduits that run along the outside of the walls and ceiling.
2. I am envisioning some 6v or 12v lighting system that I can hide on
the inside of the closet above the door jam, driven by one or two
lantern batteries. It could conceivably be activated by a switch on
the door itself (by the hindge?) Does such a thing exist and is it
On Dec 8, 3:07 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
BTDT ....did it myself in a couple closets that were / had been
gutted to do other work.
I think if I had it to do over again and wasn't demo'ing the closet
interior, I use a battery powered closet light....of course depending
on closet usage.
You don't say anything about the house construction. If it's conventional
construction and you can get at an attic space above the closets then
installing real 120v lighting in closets is fairly simple.
Crawl space under the first floor?
The fact that you have a sprinkler system is not really an issue. Sprinkler
systems have to use iron pipe so the chances of you damaging it are pretty
Thanks, but the closets are on the first floor. And I am not a real
fan of the pull chain thing anyway so I'd need to tunnel for a switch,
On Dec 9, 7:14 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Even so it's unlikey to be in the way. A jury rig of 12v lighting is
just going to have to be ripped out when you sell the house. Properly
done 120v lighting is usually fairly easy to do and will add to the
value and appeal of the house. Typically the only drilling is done
from the wall base under the house or the attic. It's easy to see
what other water and power items go through the same area so they can
be avoided. Most interior walls are hollow. Use a stud finder to
locate the surriounding framing lumber. I drill a small hole through
the floor or ceiling at the edge of the wall and stick a small piece
of stiff wire through it so I can locate the wall from the attic or
crawl. Once you cut a hole for the old work box it's not very hard to
fish the wire. You can install light fixtures on the inside walls of
the closet rather than the ceiling to make it simpler.
On Dec 10, 12:50 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Do recessed lights work better, or does the directed spot-effect put
too many things in shadow? I suspect that something that sprays light
on the white ceiling and walls would yield the best light, but I am
not sure and just don't want the age-old light with pull chain. I've
seen that ad-vomitus and am just not a fan of it.
So that leaves me with a wall switch for it (way more fishing) or door
switch (more fishing).
I suppose what I'm saying is that a jury-rigged thing that is hidden
need not be perfect. A whole-hog A/C lighting system better be.
Clinical OCD I suppose....
Where I am it is against code to use an incandescent fixture in a
closet. (Recessed would be incandescent.) They are a fire hazard. People
stuff blankets and other flammables in the top of closets. We always use
a 24" fluorescent and mount it just above the door frame inside the
closet. They put out a lot of light but when you get a lot of crap in
the closet it is nice.
Reccessed lights do not work well. Light beside or above the door works
best. In old work I put the fixture on the side of the door where I put the
switch. That simplifies the wire fishing a great deal. You will have to
temporarily remove some wallboard to install the backbox if you want a door
switch. Most of the time I just use those cheap one bulb round fixtures.
Here's a couple examples.
This is a light I installed in a small closet in my daughter's room. The
light switch is on the outside wall and the fixture is on the wall right
behind it. I powered it from a outlet directly below the light switch. I
used one of those "marine" light fixtures.
To access power in an existing outlet remove the face plate and outlet from
the box. Then pry the box away from the stud slightly with a flat
screwdriver. Slip a hacksaw blade between the stud and the box and use it
to cut the nails that hold the box to the wall. Work the old box out of the
opening. You will replace it with an old work box when you finish fishing
wires. If you are working in an attic space you can usually tap power from
an existing ceiling fixture. If you are working in a crawl you can tap
power from a nearby outlet and go back down into the crawl and back up into
the wall where you are putting the closet light switch. Make sure you have
no splices outside of a box.
Here's a light I put in a hall closet. I did not want the switch outside
the door because it's the main hallway. So I put the switch inside the door
under the light. I installed a new outlet below this for the spinkler
controls the same time I put in the light. I put it all in between the same
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