Adding Accent Lighting Around the House

When we did the first phase of renovation on our home last summer, new electrical and lighting was a big part of the project. Our contractor installed recessed cans in every room; we removed outdated fixtures; and we did our best to make this place light and bright. See for yourself…

Kenneth living room beforeCasey And Finn in the living room after

Even with all of the upgrades, we were left with some spots that still needed some light. Our front closet, the linen closet, and the pantry closet all were without lights. So if we went into the pantry at midnight looking for a snack, we’d be fumbling in the dark. (With a baby around we’ve definitely been hitting up the pantry late at night!) When we moved in last fall, we knew we weren’t tackling the kitchen for at least a year, so we also wanted to add some budget-friendly under-cabinet lighting.

Since then, we’ve added accent lighting throughout our home without hiring an electrician or spending much money at all. Here are some of the easy lighting solutions that have made a big difference for us.

Closet LightsMotion sensor lights

As I mentioned, our pantry, linen closet, and front closet don’t have overhead lights at all. While it isn’t a huge deal, it can be kind of a pain during the evening hours when you need to grab something from those spots.

Finn ended up finding these motion lights and he added them to all three closets, including our linen closet above. It now has my breast pump, baby wipes, and our bottle sterilizer in it, so we frequent this closet often these days! The one above is actually just resting on a shelf, but you could easily attach it to the wall. Under cabinet lightingThese things work like magic. They’re wireless and battery-operated, so you can place them anywhere. They  come with an adhesive strip so you can stick them just about anywhere. And there are no tools required.

Finn put these on the walls in the closets, but we also have one on the underside of a shelf in our large hutch (aka our party hutch). This is where we keep all of our bottle parts, my pumping supplies, and more. It used to just hold wine and alcohol, but life has changed. Ha!Adding motion sensor lights to the inside of a cabinet

We’ve been going to that shelf A LOT lately and we used it many times at night when we had nighttime feedings. We were fumbling around in the dark until he added this motion light here. It works like a charm and we can easily see what we need to grab without turning all of the lights on in the kitchen at 2 am.

Under Cabinet Lighting in the KitchenPuck lights under the kitchen cabinets

Last fall, we ended up adding some under-cabinet lighting to the kitchen area. We had “real” under cabinet lighting in our condo and loved having the lights on at night for a soft glow. We don’t have that here in our outdated kitchen, so we added these puck lights to the underside of our kitchen cabinets using command strips.Remote control for under cabinet lighting in the kitchen

Again, these are battery-operated but instead of being motion sensors, they come with a remote control. You can turn them on and off with the remote and also dim them. Under cabinet lighting in the kitchenI’ll admit that we don’t use them as much as we should, but they’re a really great option for under cabinet lighting if you want a temporary upgrade!

However, if I had to do it again I would use the LED light strip we recently added to our guest bathroom and nursery. Which brings me to…

LED Lights in Guest BathroomLighting in the bathroom

As you all know, we recently completed our guest bathroom and it feels like a totally different space. I decided to add a new special touch to this area to make it even better. Lighting kit from AQ Lighting

I got this lighting kit from AQ Lighting to install under the toe kick on the vanity (P.S. Use code CASEY15 for 15% off!). This is an LED light strip that emits a soft white glow and it turns on when there is motion at night. I like the idea of not having to turn on the overhead light when one of us is stopping in here to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Instead, when someone enters the room, the soft glow illuminates the floor. I’m thinking these will really come in handy when Rory is a bit older and needs to use the potty at night! For now, they will definitely impress our guests. LED Light stripThese are plugged in through the back of the vanity (we have an outlet in the cabinet) and the LED light strip just sticks right under there. Soft glow from LED Lights
It only took me about five minutes to install these.  They were that simple and easy. And another great feature is that you can customize them completely — you can change the brightness, change the sensitivity to light, adjust the motion sensor, and more. Under cabinet lighting in the bathroom

Under cabinet lighting in the bathroom

While I like our pucks in the kitchen, this packs more of a punch and you can’t beat that soft white glow.

I liked it so much in our guest bathroom, I bought another kit to use in the nursery. Adding LED lights under the crib

I put a small strip under Rory’s crib. If we ever go in here at night to replace a pacifier or soothe Rory, we don’t have to turn on the lamp at the changing table to see her. She has become so much more alert now, so if a lamp is on she starts looking around the room and wakes up too much. With these new lights, I can just put my foot under the crib and the light turns on, but it shines down instead of up! It has been such a nice addition and it took me no time at all to install. I just stuck it to the underside of the crib and plugged it in..

Lighting Is Key!Lighting on the underside of cabinets

Lighting is an important element of every home and it truly makes a difference in how a space functions and how it feels. I share more details about my “rules” for lighting in this blog post (gotta get the right temperature bulbs!), so that’s another great resource if you want to improve the lighting plan throughout your house.

I hope today’s post proves that you can get creative when it comes to illuminating areas that are a bit dark in your house. Whether you’re just adding some motion sensors in a closet or really upgrading a space with an LED strip on the vanity, there are a lot of cool options out there these days!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.