What You Should Know about Lighting up Your Basement


Basements are generally dark spaces, so when making plans to remodel one, lighting will play a big role in the outcome. There is no one size fits all approach to illuminating this space. It depends on the size, the layout you want, and what you plan to use the basement for. The following tips can act as a guide to ensure that this aspect of your remodel will not leave you with regret.

Start with Effective Planning

Even before work starts in the basement, a rough plan of your lighting setup is essential. You can do this with the help of an electrician, but your contractor may be able to help as well. A primary concern is having enough electrical outlets in the room. You will also have to ensure that all areas are properly lit. One thing you will want to avoid is having too many shadows. So work out your lighting in relation to the placement of walls and large pieces of furniture.

The Type of Lighting

While basement lighting requires a certain commitment to functionality, you are not as restricted in your lighting choices as you might think. The low ceiling height will make some options unsuitable, but you can still find attractive ways to keep the room bright. Recessed lighting is usually the preferred type for lower ceilings. For a small basement, it is best to cover the entire area to light it evenly, with roughly 10 inch spacing. Other good choices for basements include:

  • Track lighting
  • Uplighting
  • Industrial style
  • Track mounted spotlights
  • Reflector bulbs

The Bulb and the Lumens

For maximum illumination with lower energy costs, the best types are LED, light emitting diodes and compact fluorescent lights. They produce less heat, so you will also have a cooler space. Bulb wattage is not really a straightforward issue and it can get confusing for someone looking to use different lighting options in one space. In fact, two different bulbs with similar wattage may vary in terms of brightness.

When you want a well-lit basement, think about lumens instead. A lumen refers to the amount of light that is visible from a single source. Incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, and LED bulbs of the same wattage will produce different levels of lumens. So start by thinking about the amount of brightness you want in the room.

Lighting makes a big impact in a remodeled basement so make your selections carefully. You can get some attractive lighting products without going over budget on your project.