Home & GardenRemodeling, Maintenance & Decor

A Bright Idea For The Kitchen Pantry Or A Closet: An Automatic Door Light Switch!

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By Randy

Sandy and I visited a new home for sale today that was loaded with custom features and it had a great floor plan, too.


Among all of the great features and positive practicalities of the floorplan, there was one little thing in the kitchen pantry that caught our eye and made me think, “Why haven’t we seen this ‘bright’ idea before now?”

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying…”The simplest ideas are sometimes the best ideas.”

Or…”Ingenuity is born of necessity.”

This is one of those ingenious — albeit simplistic — ideas.


A Bright Idea For The Pantry (Or Any Small Room With A Door)

Basically, the pantry light operated exactly like a refrigerator light — with the same door switch mechanism:

  • When the door opens, the light comes on.
  • When you shut the door, the light goes off.

It’s activated by an automatic door light switch.

Right now you might be asking yourself, “How did he know the light was off before the door was opened and after it was closed?”

Ha… I say to you! Answer: There was a transom window above the pantry door:

kitchen_pantry_door_with_transom_window.JPG kitchen_pantry_with_wire_shelves.JPG

Why An Automatic Door Light Switch Is So Great

The automatic door light switch is a great little feature for this reason:

When you go into the pantry to gather the ingredients you’re after, your hands are going to be full when you come out.

No worries. Close the door with your foot or hip and the pantry light goes out!

There’s only one thing that I would have done differently with the pantry light:

It would be great to make it a little less utilitarian looking and a little more decorative — while at the same time much brighter than the fixture currently installed. I didn’t think it was bright enough for the task and, of course, it was… well… ugly.

pantry_light_door_switch.JPG pantry_light_door_switch_depressed.JPG pantry_light_door_switch_while_open.JPG 
This automatic door light is much easier to install prior to drywall installation, for obvious reasons.

But it might be something to add to your personal list of wants for your next new home. You could easily adapt this idea to work in a linen closet or laundry room, as well!

Here’s how to do it yourself: