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A modern walk-in closet with four sections, each fitted with bespoke wardrobes and illuminated by soft lighting. It contains an array of neatly hung clothes, predominantly in black, white, and gray tones. Two black stools and a stylish lamp are placed in the foreground.

Fitted Wardrobes Lighting : DIY installation

DIY Lighting for Fitted Wardrobes

 Article Content: 

  • The advantages of fitted wardrobes lighting
  • Requirements
  • For wardrobes
  • Dressing room
  • Hallway
  • How to install
  • Installation sequence
  • Types and methods of connecting with your own hands
  • Contact when opening doors
  • Wired with motion sensor
  • Wireless with motion sensor
  • Possible options for installing the backlight using sensors
  • Wardrobes
  • Hallway
  • Self-installation guidelines

How is useful is fitted wardrobes lighting? If the fitted wardrobe is large, then finding the right thing in it is problematic. Therefore, a backlight is built inside the carcass. For convenience, it is better to install a motion sensor in the cabinet, which will automatically turn on the lighting. In this article, we share a number of tips on installation of lighting for fitted wardrobes.

The advantages of lighting in fitted wardrobes

Fitted Wardrobes lighting has many advantages, including:

  • Creation of additional lighting in places where it is needed.
  • Saving time. You do not need to turn on the light, then turn it off. You just need to open the wardrobe doors, and the sensor will respond to movement. As a result, the light in the cabinet will turn on by itself, and when the door is closed, it will turn off.
  • The backlight illuminates hidden areas where a large amount of dirt, dust or mold accumulates. It is not always possible to do this in general lighting.
  • Emphasizes the style and modernity of the furniture.
  • Doesn’t take up much space.
  • The ability to mount the lighting yourself.
  • For small wardrobes, such lighting is not needed, room lighting is enough.


Regardless of the purpose of the cabinet, it must be sufficiently lit. This affects not only the usability, but also the safety. This means that a large amount of dust, possibly even mold, accumulates in the closet with clothes, which can be invisible in low light. And all this has a negative effect on human health, and if the clothes are also dirty, then on their appearance.

For fitted wardrobes lighting

For fitted wardrobes or sliding door wardrobes, the lighting is installed inside, and provides illumination only of its contents. They are usually equipped with an infrared sensor that detects movement. That is, when the door is opened, the light will automatically turn on. Most often, the dimensions of the cabinet overlap the lamp in the room, as a result of which it becomes dark in it, and it becomes difficult to find the right clothes. That is why they must be backlit.


Walk-in fitted wardrobes are usually much larger than standard fitted wardrobes, so they need extra lighting. This will ensure the convenience and comfort of this type of furniture. Speaking of backlighting for fitted wardrobes, it can be of three types: functional, decorative and complex. For dressing rooms, the first type is used – functional. It will provide comfort when choosing things, and will illuminate the most hidden corners of the wardrobe. If you want to use lighting not only for convenience, but also for beauty, then a complex option is suitable. Thus, the lighting will be not only inside the cabinet, but also outside, illuminating the mirrored doors.


Backlighting in the hallway is more often used to decorate a room. It is installed at the junction of the wall and ceiling, or along a specially mounted box. This lighting option will help to visually expand the room if the corridor is too narrow and long. It is especially convenient to use a lamp with a motion sensor, which turns on itself when a person enters the room. No need to walk in the dark and look for the switch. In addition, it is safe, because in the dark you can stumble and fall.

How to install

In order for the backlight not to turn on every time the door is opened, it is necessary to determine its type and characteristics. It is important to correctly calculate the direction of installation of the device and the angle of action.

There are three types of lighting inside the fitted wardrobes:

directional – has a certain area of ​​action;
scattered – used as a decorative element;
programmable – settings are preset for it.

Thus, if the cabinet does not block the room lighting, then it is recommended to install the backlight deeper, approaching the back wall. Then it will work later, and will highlight only those areas where it is dark. Otherwise, closer to the door so that the backlight comes on immediately when it is opened.

Advice! If the installation of a programmable lighting option is required, then the photocells are mounted in two places: one near the door, the other – to the wall.

Installation sequence

The best option would be to install the lighting at a height of 300-400 mm from the floor. The location should be such that most movement occurs through the sensing area and not near the detector.

It is best to purchase devices that should be located as far as possible from each other.

Note! The wires connecting the lamps to the light source are low voltage, they are safe, so they do not need to be inserted into a metal or plastic box.

Starting the installation process, turn off the electricity, and check the absence of voltage in the network with a tester. To do this, you need to take the device, the wires of which are connected to the grounding, and then to the active and neutral wires, alternately. If the light does not light up, then there is no voltage in the network, and you can proceed with the installation.

Before starting work, you should read the instructions for the device. Although LEDs are easy to install, each type has some differences that must be considered before installation. It is also important to know the purpose of the particular photocell. For example, photodiodes are used in industries where the voltage in the network is at least 220V, in everyday life they are very dangerous.

Types and methods of connecting with your own hands
It is not recommended to use existing wiring to connect the backlight. It often lacks a ground wire or has other grounding methods such as metal conduits. Such a system will turn out to be cumbersome and inconvenient, since all junction boxes will need to be grounded.

Contact when opening doors
In this case, it is better to use an LED strip, it is easier and more convenient to install.

Important! To ensure safety, lay the wires in the cable duct.

To install contact lighting with your own hands, you must:

Cut off the required piece of LED strip, and solder it on one side.
Fasten the tape over the profile, and glue the entire structure with liquid nails.
Next, you need to decide on the location of the power supply and the wiring. The most suitable option would be to run the wire behind the cabinet and bring it to the unit through a hole in the side wall.
In the break of one of the wires, a microswitch is connected in such a way that the contacts are open when the button is pressed (i.e. the door is open).
The entire system is tested for operability, and if everything works, the microswitch is fixed on the side wall of the cabinet through the holes prepared in advance in the case.

At the end of the entire structure there are bare leads, which, after installation, are hidden under a heat-shrinkable tube.

Wired with motion sensor
In this case, the entire lighting system is connected to the mains, outlet or socket.

So that the lighting works without the presence of a person, i.e. without movement, an additional switch must be installed. It duplicates the automatic system.

The installation process is as follows:

To begin with, an electrical wiring is carried out in the cable channel to the installation site of the light source. Before starting work, it is required to measure out and cut the required cable length.
Further, the structure is fixed to the ceiling with screws.
After installing the cable channel, the power cable is inserted into it, and it is closed from above with a cover.
The base of the luminaire is attached, a power cable is connected to it.
The backlight is connected to the power supply.
Lamps are installed in the luminaire.
The design is checked for operability.
If the lighting is working properly, a diffuser platform is installed.
At the last stage, the adjustment and direction of illumination, as well as the necessary parameters, are made.

Wireless with motion sensor for fitted wardrobes

It is very easy to connect a motion sensor to light the fitted wardrobe. The main thing is to choose the right installation site and exclude the negative influence of external factors (batteries, heating devices, etc.). The sensor is powered by batteries with a service life of at least 1 year.

The installation process is as follows:

The location for the sensor is selected.
The luminaire and the sensor are connected by wires via the battery terminals.
After that, the operability of the luminaire is checked, and all structural elements are fixed with a glue gun. Next, the lighting is adjusted.

Possible options for installing the backlight using sensors

Installation options can be as follows:

One-time switching on and off. The light turns on when motion is detected, and turns off when no motion is detected.
Three-stage system. When motion is detected by one of the sensors, the system transmits a signal to the rest, so all lamps in the backlight turn on at the same time. When there is no movement, all lamps are also switched off synchronously.
Smooth on and off. This option is used when it is necessary to smoothly turn on the backlight. It is convenient during the daytime when the room is light.
Discrete. The setting is used to create the required lighting level.
It is convenient to install one-time lighting in cabinets, when the light turns on when the doors are opened, and turns off when the doors are closed.

In this case, any of the above options will do. If the area of ​​the room is large, then it is better to install a three-stage system, when the light comes on around the entire perimeter when motion is detected.

Self-installation guidelines
In order for the installation to be correct and fast, and the lighting to fit the specified parameters, you must follow the tips:

All lighting components must have waterproof protection (covers). This will extend the life of the appliance and ensure safety.
It is important to ensure the tightness of the structure so that dirt, dust and moisture do not get there.
The joints must be sealed so that moisture does not seep into the sensor and wiring. This significantly shortens the service life of the instruments. To do this, the structure is placed under a protective cornice, which is usually laid along the inner corners of the cabinet.
Better to stop using incandescent bulbs. They consume a lot of electricity and negatively affect the operation of the sensor, since the heat from them helps to turn on the backlight.
It is better to use copper wiring as wiring, since aluminum requires special handling. In addition, the temperature inside it may rise, which reduces the accuracy of the backlight sensor.

The presence of a backlight with a motion sensor is a very convenient, modern option.