Author Topic: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?  (Read 1121 times)

the_fella

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 I have a couple of closets that are pretty dark, and I'd like to install a pull-string light. How do I go about doing this?

AlanStache

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 10:58:12 AM »
Getting electrical power to the closet ceiling is the first step.  This step could be easy or hard.  We need more details, type of home, what is above the closet ceiling, etc.

Gone Fishing

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 11:29:28 AM »
Battery powered LED closet lights are cheap, easy, and effective.  I'd try one out before going the difficult route.

dcozad999

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2018, 01:45:24 PM »
Battery powered LED closet lights are cheap, easy, and effective.  I'd try one out before going the difficult route.


^^^

This is what I would do.

Rubic

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2018, 03:05:06 PM »
Search amazon.com for "led closet light" and you'll see a number of
products which include motion sensors.

MMM98

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2018, 08:09:28 AM »
Posted in the event that the OP (or others) is following this. 

In almost every case there is an electrical box  that shares a common wall with the closet.  Usually this will be a hallway switch,  After you take the necessary precautions to shut off power, remove the hallway switch and do one of two things:

1) using the switch circuit add a piece of Romex to power the closet light, do this by running the Romex through the back of the electrical box through to the studs, to a "new work" outlet towards the top of your closet sidewall.  One you have fished the Romex, re-secure the hallway switch and the new work box.  In this box install your new light.  Each time the hallway light comes on your closet is lit.  This is ideal for a closet near an entrance as you probably turn on the hallway light each time you enter/leave and access to closet.

2) using the same methodology, install two new work boxes in the closet.  One for a light swtich.  This switch will draw power from the hall way light but will only be on when you turn the closet light on.  Your closet light switch will be in the closet.  The second box in the closet is for your light.
 
I have installed three lights using these techniques, it is vastly superior to any led closet light.

As a side note this also works for powering under cabinet lights in the kitchen.  In that case you use a kitchen outlet to power the switch.  The only limitation is that the switch must share the same cavity that the outlet shares between any given 2 X 4s


lthenderson

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2018, 09:03:38 AM »
I've done both the previously mentioned ways, battery powered LED lights and running electricity from a nearby outlet. The LED route is by far the easiest and cheapest way.

Mgmny

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2018, 11:33:22 AM »
I've done both the previously mentioned ways, battery powered LED lights and running electricity from a nearby outlet. The LED route is by far the easiest and cheapest way.

I did this in a cabinet, and my problem was that the batteries (3 AAA or AA, can't remember) would run out after 2-3 months. I would go into this cabinet 4-5x a day probably, but replacing batteries every 2-3 months got annoying.

Maybe I had a bad LED setup that drew more than others, but if the OP uses the closet regularly like I used my cabinet, it's annoying (especially if it were mounted on the ceiling, i imagine) to replace the batteries so frequently. YMMV though, what are others experience with longevity of batteries?

GuitarStv

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2018, 11:59:23 AM »
You're probably looking at a couple hours to do this:

- Go into the attic above the closets with some romex.
- Turn off the house power.
- Splice the romex into a junction box in the attic.
- Run the cable to the spot over the closet.
- Drill/use a keyhole saw to add a hole then attach an electrical box in the ceiling of the closet.
- Buy a cheap pull cord light fixture from your local home hardware store.
- Install the fixture in your electrical box.

Tools required:  Drill, drill bits, keyhole saw, wire strippers
Materials required: length of romex, electrical box for each closet, pull cord light fixture for each closet

MMM98

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2018, 12:15:54 PM »
I've done both the previously mentioned ways, battery powered LED lights and running electricity from a nearby outlet. The LED route is by far the easiest and cheapest way.

I did this in a cabinet, and my problem was that the batteries (3 AAA or AA, can't remember) would run out after 2-3 months. I would go into this cabinet 4-5x a day probably, but replacing batteries every 2-3 months got annoying.

Maybe I had a bad LED setup that drew more than others, but if the OP uses the closet regularly like I used my cabinet, it's annoying (especially if it were mounted on the ceiling, i imagine) to replace the batteries so frequently. YMMV though, what are others experience with longevity of batteries?
. Rarely do easiest, cheapest and best meet.  Hardwired is vastly superior for lumens and reliability.  However, if you want battery power some led insight helps.  Usually your first clue that you bought the wrong light is one powered by three 1.5 volt batteries.  You see the light is probably using a 430 nM bright blue led array.  Ideally, that requires 4.6 volts but will work on 4.5.  That can be done by use of  a buck circuit to increase the voltage from one or two batteries (1.5 or 3 volts) to 4.6 or a manufacturer in China can save a few pennies and just stringing three batteries together.  That works until the each battery voltage drops.

Your choices are use a light that uses something besides three batteries to ensure a buck circuit is used or hardwire and never worry about batteries again
« Last Edit: July 06, 2018, 12:17:48 PM by MMM98 »

Cadman

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2018, 05:27:26 PM »
Just throwing this out there, but in many jurisdictions hardwired lights in closets must be of a type that won't accept a medium base 'incandescent' style bulb because of the risk of fire. Surface-mount fluorescents are common around here. Probably not a big deal, especially if the OP has no plans on selling in the near future, but figured I'd mention it.

Anon in Alaska

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2018, 01:51:52 AM »
Another option is to run an extension cord from a nearby wall outlet along your baseboard, under the closet door, and up the side of the closet.

This avoids both redoing the wiring, and of batteries running out.

Its not the "best" fix but it is easy and cheap.

fat-johnny

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 10:58:27 AM »
I live in a 1955 house with no lights in closets.  Running wire and all that jazz (if you dont DIY) is quite expensive.  I bought 3 of these for my 3 closets:

https://www.amazon.com/Version-Rechargeable-Wireless-Cabinet-Wardrobe/dp/B0769FZSCS/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1531241721&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=closet+light+USB&psc=1

It's like $75 upfront, but they are USB rechargeable.....so once every 3 months when I notice it getting dim, I pull it down (it is just stuck up there by a magnetic strip), and plug it into a USB phone changer for a few hours, and it's good to go for another 3 months.  And these are PLENTY bright!!

FJ

lthenderson

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 07:50:35 AM »
I've done both the previously mentioned ways, battery powered LED lights and running electricity from a nearby outlet. The LED route is by far the easiest and cheapest way.

I did this in a cabinet, and my problem was that the batteries (3 AAA or AA, can't remember) would run out after 2-3 months. I would go into this cabinet 4-5x a day probably, but replacing batteries every 2-3 months got annoying.

Maybe I had a bad LED setup that drew more than others, but if the OP uses the closet regularly like I used my cabinet, it's annoying (especially if it were mounted on the ceiling, i imagine) to replace the batteries so frequently. YMMV though, what are others experience with longevity of batteries?
. Rarely do easiest, cheapest and best meet.  Hardwired is vastly superior for lumens and reliability. 

Just wanted to throw out that I definitely agree with this and generally always hard wire mine even though it isn't the easiest or cheapest way.

jpdx

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Re: How do I install a pull-string light in a closet without a light?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2018, 11:40:14 PM »
Posted in the event that the OP (or others) is following this. 

...to a "new work" outlet towards the top of your closet sidewall...

...install two new work boxes in the closet...

Why are you suggesting using a "new work" box? I would think you want to use an old work (aka remodel) ceiling box.