Lighting Options for Basement Living

by | Dec 14, 2021

Your basement doesn’t have to be a dark, cold, or scary place. With the right lighting and decorations, your basement will serve as a warm and inviting family space. How do you achieve this? Keep reading to find out what your options are in terms of lighting!

Best kind of lighting for the basement.

We recommend LED lighting for several reasons. One, it lasts a long time—up to 50 to 100 thousand hours compared to 1 thousand hours for an incandescent bulb. Two, it is up to 80% more energy-efficient than incandescent light bulbs and can therefore save you money. 

We also advise you to look into recessed can ceiling lighting because it is energy efficient and can make the room appear bigger by saving space and not adding any clutter to the room as you might have with a hanging light fixture.

If you are hoping to turn your basement into a movie or gaming room, recessed lighting can lessen the glare on screens. However, if your basement is already finished, you can get table and floor lamps to brighten up the room.

You also have the option of ambient lighting which involves directing light towards the ceiling rather than down towards the floor. This adds an ambient, mellow look to your basement. You can achieve this look by placing LED lights behind a valance in a wall. 

Accent lighting can help you emphasize focal points such as artwork, souvenirs, or other objects.

Layering several types of lighting by combining task lighting, ambient lighting, and overhead lighting is the best way to have an evenly bright and functional space.

Proper lighting layout. 

To figure out what kind of lighting layout you need, identify what your space will be used for. Will you be playing video games, using a table game such as billiards, or watching movies? Make sure that there is adequate lighting for whatever activities you may be doing in your basement. There should be no dark corners. 

When planning for how many lights you need for your basement, it’s also a good idea to think about where the lights will be placed. 

Straight rows of lights along the ceiling will provide you with even lighting. If you are getting recessed lights, place them roughly 8 to 10 feet apart. If your ceiling is lower than 8 feet; however, you’ll want to decrease this distance. A good rule of thumb is for every recessed light, you will get about 70 square feet of coverage.

How many lights you need also depends on how big your room is and how bright you want it. 

Calculate the square footage of your room by measuring its length and width and multiplying it. 

Then, you’ll want to find the ‘foot candle’, which is how many lumens you need per square foot. 

A living space such as a basement will generally look best with 20 lumens per square foot. 

You will then multiply the square footage by the foot candle. For example, in a 10 x 10 feet room (100 square feet) with a foot candle of 20 lumens, you will need around 2,000 lumens to properly light the room. 

What color light?

For an evenly lit space, slightly cooler white lighting is the optimal color for basements. Having a cooler overhead light will help the overall lighting in the room be neutral. Smaller warm light sources such as table or floor lamps can help bring a balanced look to your basement. 

Rely on Laswell Electric Company for help with your home projects. 

As you plan and research lighting options for your finished or soon-to-be-finished basement, know that the specialists at Laswell Electric Company are here to assist you in the process. We can help guide you through all of your options and even help you install your lighting fixtures to make sure you have even and brighter lighting. Contact us today for assistance with your basement lighting project. 

(image from Canva Pro)