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Oct 30, 2022

11 minutes

Crawl Space Light Fixtures: Best Options And How To Install

Lighting up your crawl space can be a daunting task. After all, it’s not exactly the most welcoming of places. While some people may see it as a dark and dreary place, others see it as a potential source of valuable storage space.

But regardless of how you feel about your crawl space, one thing is for sure – it needs to be properly lit. Not only will this make it easier to access and use, but it will also help deter pests and vermin.

This blog post will explore the best options for crawl space light fixtures and how to install them. We’ll also touch on some benefits of having a properly lit crawl space.

So, this post is for you, whether you’re looking to add some extra storage space to your home or simply want to make your crawl space more user-friendly.

Benefits Of Well-Lit Crawl Space

For a homeowner, having a dark and dreary space under their home is enough to make them want to avoid it at all costs. After all, who wants to go into a cold, clammy, and possibly dangerous area? However, there are several benefits of having a well-lit crawl space that makes it worth taking the time to light up this space.

1. Prevent Accidents

If you have to go into your crawl space for any reason, it is much safer to do so with adequate lighting. This is especially true if you have young children who might be tempted to explore the space independently. Also, if the ceiling is low, good lighting can help prevent you from accidentally hitting your head.

2. Prevent Pests

For many homeowners, one of the biggest benefits of having a well-lit crawl space is that it can help prevent pests. Critters such as rats, snakes, and spiders are much less likely to set up shop in a well-lit area. This is because they prefer dark, hidden areas where they feel safe. Also, if you can see them, it is much easier to get rid of them.

3. Stay Aware Of What’s Going On

A dark crawl space can be the perfect place for water leaks, mold growth, and other problems to go undetected. By keeping the area well-lit, you can more easily spot any issues that might arise so that you can address them quickly. Also, if you have a sump pump in your crawl space, it is much easier to keep an eye on it to ensure it works properly.

4. Improve The Look Of Your Home

While this might not be the most important reason to light up your crawl space, it can be a nice bonus. If you have guests over, they will be much less likely to notice your crawl space if it is well-lit. Also, if you ever decide to sell your home, a bright and welcoming crawl space can be a selling point.

Which Types Of Lights Work The Best?

You need a durable light that can withstand harsh conditions in a crawl space. You also need a light that will provide enough light to see what you are doing. There are many different types of lights that you can choose from. Here are some of the best options:

1. LED Lights

LED lights are becoming increasingly popular because they are very energy efficient. They also last a long time, so you won’t have to replace them often. They are available in various sizes and shapes, so you should be able to find one that will fit your needs. From a durability standpoint, they are a good choice for a crawl space. You can get super bright beam lights that are waterproof and weatherproof, which will help to protect them from the elements.

2. Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lights are another option that you might want to consider. They are also very energy efficient and last a long time. They give off a lot of light, so you can see what you are doing in your crawl space. They can be a bit more difficult to install, but they are worth the effort.

3. Lights With Motion Sensor

To deter intruders, you might consider getting lights with a motion sensor. These lights will turn on when someone enters the area, hopefully, scare them away. You can also get these lights with a timer, so they only stay on for a certain time. Also, they can be a great way to save energy because they will only turn on when needed.

4. String Lights

With string lights, you can create a variety of looks. You can wrap them around posts or beams to create a whimsical look. Or, you can use them to light up a dark corner. They are very versatile and can be used in many different ways. Also, you can get them in different colors to create the perfect look for your crawl space.

5. Solar Lights

Solar lights are a great option if you want to save energy. They collect energy from the sun during the day and then use it to power the light at night. They are very easy to install and don’t require any wiring. You can find solar lights in a variety of styles, so you should be able to find ones that will work well for your crawl space.

Light includes several options with house bulbs to save time

Installing The Crawl Space Lighting

Once you have chosen the perfect lights for your crawl space, it is time to install them. If you are uncomfortable doing this, you can always hire an electrician. However, if you are handy and have some basic knowledge of electricity, you should be able to do it yourself. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Read The Instructions

Before you start, you must read the instructions that came with your lights. This will give you a better understanding of how to install them. For example, some lights need to be hardwired, while others can be plugged in. Make sure you know what type of installation is required for your lights.

2. Turn Off The Power Source

Before you begin, you will need to turn off the power to the area where you will be working. This is very important because you don’t want to electrocute yourself accidentally. Once the power is off, you can begin working on installing your lights. Also, make sure you have a flashlight handy in case you need to see it in a dark area.

3. Install The Lights

After turning off the power, here comes the time for the permanent installation of fixtures. You might need a ladder to reach the crawl space, so ask someone to help you with that. Also, use some temporary lighting to guide you while working in the space. The steps for installing the light fixtures are as follows:

a. Hang The Bracket

Most of the time, you will need to screw the bracket into a ceiling joist using big washer head screws and wire nuts. If your space has no exposed joists, try finding a stud in the wall and use that instead. Use a drill to make pilot holes before screwing in the bracket.

b. Attach The Wires

Now it’s time to connect the wires. Usually, the black wire is hot, white is neutral, and green or copper is ground. First, connect the black wires and twist on a wire nut. Do the same with the white wires. Now, take the green or copper wires and twist them together. Be vigilant, whether it’s a hot wire or neutral wire, and don’t forget to take precautions at construction sites.

c. Hang The Fixture And Turn On The Power

Now you can finally hang the light fixture. Make sure it’s secure before turning on the power again. Once you turn on the power, test the lights to see if they are working properly. If not, check the connections and try again.

d. Install A Light Switch

If you want to be able to turn the lights on and off from outside the crawl space, you will need to install a light switch. This is a pretty easy process, but make sure you turn off the power before starting. Find a spot for the switch that is easily accessible from outside the space. Drill a hole through the wall and run the wires from the light fixture to the switch. Connect the wires according to their color, and screw in the switch plate. Test the switch to make sure it works before putting everything back in place.

The hands of an electrician installing a power switch to the electrical junction box

e. Add Some Insulation

Once the lights are installed, you might want to add some insulation to the crawl space to keep it warm. This is especially important if you live in an area with cold winters. Adding insulation will also help reduce noise and make the space more comfortable. For example, you can add R-13 fiberglass insulation to the walls and R-30 to the ceilings.

4. Turn On The Power

Once done, make sure to turn on the power so that your new light fixtures will work. You can do this by either restoring power to the circuit breaker or flipping the switch if there’s one in the crawl space. If you don’t see a switch, the power is probably turned off at the circuit breaker.

Also, remember to test the new lights before you leave the crawl space. This way, you can be sure they’re working and won’t have to go back in again.

5. Close Up The Space

After you’ve turned on the power and tested the new lights, it’s time to close up the crawl space. This involves putting back any insulation and vapor barrier that you removed and sealing up any holes or cracks.

Sealing the crawl space will help keep out pests, dust, and moisture. It will also make your home more energy-efficient by preventing heat from escaping.

Complete the electrical work in attic, crawlspace or basement


1. What Does It Mean To Be GFCI Protected?

While choosing a light for your crawl space, you must ensure that it is protected by GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter). This means that the light will automatically shut off if there is a sudden power surge or drop in the circuit, thus preventing any potential electrical hazards. Also, make sure to install the light in an easily accessible location so you can quickly turn it off in an emergency.

2. What Is The Difference Between A Fluorescent And An LED Light Fixture?

Fluorescent lights use a gas-filled tube to produce light, while LED (light-emitting diode) lights use semiconductor chips. Fluorescent lights are less energy-efficient and have a shorter lifespan than LED lights. However, they are cheaper to purchase upfront and have extra wide light spread. LED lights are more expensive to purchase initially, but they last much longer and use less energy, making them more cost-effective in the long run.

3. What Are The Best Locations To Install Crawl Space Lights For Extra Wide Light Spread?

The best locations to install crawl space lights are in the corners of the space, near any entry points and windows. This will ensure adequate lighting throughout the space and make it easier to see when you are working or moving around in the crawl space.

4. How Do I Wire Crawl Space Light Fixtures?

Wiring a crawl space light is a fairly simple process. First, you will need to install a junction box where you want to install the light. Then, run the wiring from the junction box to the light fixture. Then, connect the wires to the terminal screws on the light fixture and screw them into place. While doing this, ensure all the connections are tight and secure to avoid any potential electrical hazards.

Be sure to check out our other essential crawl space guides.

Crawl Space Insider
Looking for excellent instructional materials on how to repair your crawl space and enhance the indoor air quality of your home? You’ve come to the right place! We cover everything from crawl space encapsulations, waterproofing, mold, insulation and more.