I'm pretty sold on placing the lights in the ceiling, but where for spacing?

The pantry is 24" deep, 8' long and just under 8' high. The shelves are 15" deep, and run to within 12" of the ceiling.

I'm planning on three LED downlighters, but where on the ceiling should I place them? Obviously, too far back would only light the top shelf, but how far forward is optimal? I'm guessing 18", but if there is a standard calculation or position, I'd like to use it.

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    I'm a little confused. 24" deep. With shelves 15" deep. 24 - 15 = 9" walkway to get down to the far end? Or is that not totally enclosed? But if it isn't totally enclosed then it would get light from the kitchen. A picture (if built) or drawing (it not yet built) would help. Dec 26, 2023 at 19:16
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    Personally, I'd get some LED light strips and run them along the inside of the jamb, facing the back of the pantry. That will be more useful than lights in the ceiling. (I'm assuming the pantry is basically an 8' wide closet.)
    – Huesmann
    Dec 26, 2023 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


I'd light the shelves with LED strip under the front edge of each shelf, either encased, at an angle, or behind a lip so they're not shining straight in your eyes when you're looking in the shelves, in the same way you would for kitchen cabinet underlights.

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Lights from the ceiling are only going to light the first couple of inches of each shelf & if you mount them behind you, you'll always be working in your own shadow.

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