Lighting a Walk-in Wardrobe or Closet
Not all of us have the space (or money or clothing!) to have an amazing walk in closet like this one, but you can make the most of any walk in robe with clever storage design - and of course the right light!
At MINT we would never dream of taking on your storage planning or solutions - there are plenty of experts in that area who can - we will however, work with you and your design team to make sure that your dream walk in wardrobe is treated to the best that lighting can offer.
Planning your walk-in wardrobe
It's not uncommon for people to spend a lot of time planning their storage layout, beautiful features and dreaming of their perfect robe or dressing room, yet more often than not, we see these deeply personal spaces lit with cheap, glarey down-lights - no doubt recommended for their ability "to put light everywhere", but the instant you turn them on, any chance of enjoying a contemplative morning getting ready for the hustle and bustle of the day is destroyed.
So what should your light look like? First things first - ask the question - What do you want to see??
In your robe - I know for absolute sure - it is not your floor.
So take a minute to think about what you're storing and where.
Then imagine being able to turn on lighting and see everything perfectly - the colours and textures of clothes and shoes, now walk over to the perfectly lit mirror and check out your outfit in perfect light, that throws no shadows. It's completely possible to make that a reality, with the thoughtful location of light, and the selection of the right quality for this difficult space.
Unless, like me, you have a "Brunswick St High Vis" wardrobe (that's all black to any readers not from Melbourne), you're going to have colours in your clothing that you need to be able to see. I remember many (many many) years ago ending up out in the world with dark green pants on and a navy top. I was pretty sure I'd chosen my black outfit to wear that day - but because the light was terrible in my old rental, and it was early, I couldn't see the difference in the colours to know what I'd put on.
One of the easiest ways of ensuring you can see everything, is of course to bring light to every shelf and rail in your robe. Just make sure that light is at least CRI90 (that's the measurement of colour produced by a light source) so you can see the details.
But not everyone wants that look - and it starts getting pretty pricey if you have a large robe to fill.
Where should LIGHT fittings be placed in your walk-in wardrobe?
The beauty of LED lighting is that you can use discreet fittings, that give you the ability to direct you light where you need it. Imagine placing your lights down the centre of the room, and then being able to angle the light into your storage space. Suddenly, you have the light everywhere that you need - without being blinded by the light!
You can also use a selection of different light fittings, with different outputs to create a range of moods. Sometimes, you may just want a little bit of light, just to see in the room and grab that pair of shoes you’re looking for. Other times, you’ll be hunting for a tie, or a pair of socks that have cleverly tucked themselves into a corner of the cupboard, out of sight. You’ll want to be able to turn up your light then, so you can really see everything, and hopefully spot that tiny item lurking in a corner.
The other advantage of LED of course is that it doesn’t create the sort of heat we were used to with halogen, and can be put very close to delicate items, without causing any damage. So if you have a centre console that displays your more exquisite items of clothing or jewellery, you can add light to that area, without fear of damage over time.
It is critical, as I mentioned before, that the quality of your light is carefully considered. Next time you’re in a quality clothing store, take a look around - the lighting will be carefully curated to bring those clothes to life - and inspire you to buy! So why not bring that same level of quality to your robe lighting, and feel inspired to wear!
If, like many of our clients, you have a special collection of shoes - or bags, then that really is the time to make use of joinery lighting in your robe, to bring those items to life. They’re really an artwork in themselves, and deserve to be seen as such.
Warm v’s Cool Lighting
We talk a lot about the colour of light in homes. Because we are based in Melbourne, we generally use 3000K warm white light everywhere - but there’s also an element of personal choice here.
Good quality LED light fittings will appear to produce white light, even when it’s “warm”, but maybe you have a different aesthetic. Perhaps you prefer to have a really crisp light in your home, and want your robe to have neutral, or “cool” white light. If you’re going to go down that path - be warned - if it’s anything higher than 4000K, you really will see a “blue” tone to the light - which can make a room feel more like a fridge. That said, if you’re in a tropical area, where the idea of stepping into a cool fridge sounds wonderful - then that’s they way you should go!
There have been some exciting developments in LED lighting technology over the last 12 months - one of which is tuneable white light. What’s that I hear you ask? Essentially, it means you can use one light fitting, and change the appearance of the colour from warm to cool and back again - just at the touch of a button! So if you can’t agree with the person sharing your robe space - you can both get what you want, from the same lights! We’ll talk more about this amazing technology in another blog.
Benefits of having an expert Architectural Lighting Design for your walk-in wardRobe
Architecturally designed lighting is not just for walk in robes. You can integrate it into any robe space by building light into your joinery. The overwhelming advantage of this is that you don’t need to light your entire bedroom to the high levels of light you need to see into a robe - you can localise that light, and make it do the work you need - just where you need it.
Bringing your cabinet maker and lighting designer together, you can ensure you get a perfect result every time.
The difference between an OK space and an amazing space is always going to be the right advice. No matter the size of your project, talking to an expert will ensure you know everything you need to know - in order to make the right decision for your home - and in this case - your walk in robe.
Please note, some images are sourced from third parties to highlight design options, MINT Lighting does not claim ownership of these images and have simply chosen these as an example .
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