The Lighting Mistake That May Be Causing Extra Issues While Doing Laundry

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When renovating a laundry room, there are a lot of moving pieces you need to keep in mind. You have to choose between conserving space with stacked appliances or using traditional side-by-side washers and dryers. You also have to decide how to create adequate storage for things like soap and laundry baskets, and where to carve out a nook for airdrying. Since there is so much to weigh, consider, and plan for, people tend to overlook one crucial aspect of the design process that can cause laundry issues down the road — the lighting. If there isn't adequate, bright lighting in the laundry room, you won't be able to spot dirt and stains as easily. 

Moreover, if you wash your clothes in warm water or throw them into the dryer, those stains will permanently set, ruining your pieces. With this in mind, your laundry room lighting should be an important part of the design process. Here is how to avoid certain lighting mistakes, allowing you to get through the chore as efficiently and fuss-free as possible.

Why lighting is crucial to your laundry room design

Typically, a laundry room will only have a single flush-mount light on the ceiling, and for many spaces, that might not be enough. If your laundry room is in an area that doesn't get a lot of natural light, it can make catching stains very difficult, which can ultimately ruin your clothes. But it can also make sorting trickier as well. "[A] mistake people make when building or remodeling their laundry rooms is not including enough lighting — which is especially important when sorting lights and darks," interior designer Mohammad Ahmed exclusively told House Digest in a recent interview.

If you're working in a shadowy space, you might let different colors sneak into your loads, making them dingy or discolored — we all know how important it is to separate red socks from an all-white load! Having insufficient lighting can also make it difficult to quickly read laundry tags, which can either slow down the process or lead to potential mistakes. If you want your laundry room to be as efficient and economical as possible, then you need to provide the space with adequate light to do the task properly.

How to add more light to your space

Luckily, there is an easy solution for this design mistake. "When it comes to lighting this space, use smaller light fixtures that pack a punch," Ahmed recommended. One easy way to do so is to add under-cabinet or shelf lighting. If you have a row of cabinets or shelves right above your appliances, you can install lights underneath them to shine more light directly onto your work area. You also don't need to hire an electrician to do this. Instead, you can add a strip of LED lights underneath, such as these $30 ones from Amazon, or remote control puck lights that stick on with adhesive. You can get a battery-operated version for $16 on Amazon.

Another great way to add more lighting is to add extra wall lights. You can either plan for this in your remodel and have the wiring done for extra sconces, or you can add extra wall lighting with puck lights, plug-in sconces, or rechargeable lightbulbs. To do the latter, choose a series of sconces and install them in strategic areas on your walls. You want to put them near critical workstations, such as near the sink where you spot-treat clothes or over countertops. Then, simply put a puck light or rechargeable light bulb into the sconce rather than a traditional bulb. Similarly, if you have plenty of outlets in the space, you can choose plug-in sconces.