If you’re about to transform your dark, dreary basement into a bright, comfortable living space, don’t overlook lighting. The challenge with basements is that they lack natural lighting, so you’ll need something functional and aesthetically pleasing to get the most out of the area.
The best type of lighting for your basement largely depends on how you’ll use the space. Whether you're planning on converting your basement into a private movie theater, billiards room, or kids’ play area, there’s the perfect way to illuminate it.
Consider these possibilities to put your basement in a whole new light.
Best Lighting Options For a Finished Basement
Recessed Ceiling Lights
Utah building codes state that habitable basements can have ceilings as low as 7 feet from the finished floor. That doesn’t give you a whole lot of headroom, so consider recessed can lighting. These lights mount up inside the ceiling, making your below-grade space feel larger than it is. Plus, they’ll stay out of harm’s way in the event of an errant pool cue or ping pong ball.
Installed correctly, these lights cast uniform brightness, softly reflecting off of matt surface walls. Put them on a dimmer switch so you can set the right mood for any given activity: dark for showtime, light for game time.
As for bulbs, opt for LED or CFL. They use less energy and produce less heat than incandescent bulbs.
Track lighting includes multiple fixtures on a single strip. Angle the lights any direction you want to highlight certain elements in the room.
Hopefully, your basement ceiling has a junction box for easy installation. If not, no worries. Your electrician can run a cord across the ceiling, which can easily be disguised with wire molding. Low profile track lights will protrude only 6 inches or less from the ceiling.
Pendant lights hang from the ceiling between 1 and 3 feet, ideal for hanging above a basement wet bar. When it comes to pendant lights, you have an infinite range of options, from elegant to industrial. Open-bottom fixtures with powerful bulbs produce a harsh spotlight, which might clash with a cool barroom vibe. Opt for an accent light instead, which will showcase your beautiful stained wood bar.
Decorative Ceiling Lights
A chandelier in your basement? Why not! There’s no reason you can’t bring the same lighting principles used upstairs to your below-grade space, especially if you have a high basement ceiling. Decorative ceiling lights can bring an air of sophistication to your downstairs dwelling. Even if your ceiling is low, you can hang a statement fixture above a gaming table or desk area.
Floor lamps on either side of a sectional sofa are an easy and practical way to light up a basement, especially if an outlet is connected to a light switch. Floor lamps can either cast light upward, reflecting from the ceiling or shine down for targeted illumination. For walk-out basements that receive plenty of natural light from a walk, this might be the easiest way to go.
If your basement will be a multi-use space for lounging, working or entertaining, you can benefit from a combination of lighting fixtures: recessed lights for broad illumination, task lighting for mixing cocktails, and even floor lamps to read by. Work with the lighting experts at HedgeHog Electric to devise a custom lighting plan for your basement renovation. To schedule your appointment, call (866) 605-2113.