10 Affordable and Easy Ways to Add Lighting to a Closet Without Wiring

updated Jan 23, 2024
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I’ve always preferred living in pre-1940s buildings for their historical and architectural charm (so far, six different places and counting, ranging from 1907 through 1931). But my affinity for the old doesn’t always align with my modern-day needs, most notably when it comes to overhead lighting inside closets.

LED lighting technology has revolutionized battery-powered, install-anywhere lighting options, offering extremely bright illumination in small form for anyone who can’t change or upgrade the wiring in their home. You might not feel comfortable performing electrical work (me either!), but anyone can peel and stick (or drill and mount) one of these lights.

A year or so ago, I installed a motion-sensing LED light on my closet ceiling, and it’s been — pardon the pun — like night and day. Where I once had to rely on ambient lighting from the bedroom or (somewhat comically) a flashlight, now a ceiling light illuminates automatically as soon as I pop my head through the closet door. It’s one of those minor but life-changing upgrades for renters.

Ahead, find 10 of the top-rated solutions available today, some utilizing touch/tap technology and others with motion detectors. Here’s to brighter days ahead!

1 / 10

Highly reviewed and budget friendly, the Mr. Beams light takes less than five minutes to install and lights up to 300 square feet, making it ideal for closets and storage areas.

2 / 10
was $25.99

A night light has never looked this chic. If you have outlets in high places on your walls, plug in a couple of these modern LED sconces, which are available in 12 lighting colors. What's more, if you're looking for something you never have to recharge, these are the real deal!

3 / 10
was $13.99

Have a few spots in need of extra light? Get this pack of five lights, each boasting a run time of over 50 hours. Unlike other options, they're not motion-sensing — a quick tap turns them on and off.

4 / 10

Coming in a three-pack, these stick-on lights are super easy to install — using the included adhesive tape, you simply stick it onto just about any surface. Aside from closets, these little lights are suitable for under cabinets, stairways, pantries, and anywhere else that needs extra light. The best part? They come with a handy remote control.

5 / 10
Bed Bath & Beyond
was $83.99

Those with a little extra shelf space might opt for a table lamp with a small footprint, like this one. Available in three finishes, the lamp looks sophisticated and provides enough ambient lighting for you to see your sweater stack or purse collection. It's a great option if you're not into harsh white lighting or only want to illuminate a specific corner of the closet.

6 / 10

Have an outdoor shed, detached garage, or other storage space? This multipurpose porch light is the best solution, requiring no wires and basically no upkeep. It's motion-activated, weatherproof, and sleek.

7 / 10

Hate the look of those round lights? Check out this option, which has a slim, unassuming build. It's motion-activated, has three brightness levels, and comes with a rechargeable battery. Plus, it attaches with an adhesive magnetic strip, making installation super easy.

8 / 10

This highly rated Amazon find is motion activated and features two modes: Daylight mode works all the time, while Night mode will only light up after dark. This one does require some installation, but it's relatively easy, and all hardware is included.

9 / 10
was $50.38

An alternative to the popular under-cabinet light strips, these string light-adjacent fixtures will help even the most narrow shelves look lighter and brighter. You get over 13 feet of rechargeable lighting, which you can place anywhere, including stairs, mirrors, shelves, and walls.

10 / 10

This adhesive wooden wall lamp is available in three colors and has three brightness and three light temperature settings. Whether you need a reading light or a soft background glow, this LED accessory will be a perfect fit for your space. The lamp also has a built-in rechargeable battery, which works for up to 20 hours on the lowest power setting.