One of the most important things you should look at when preparing for a basement remodel is proper lighting. Naturally, humans crave light, and if we do not get enough light, we can dip into a pitiful funk that’s hard to recover. By adding a good balance of natural light and artificial light, you can make your basement as bright as a beach in sunny California. Here, we discuss different kinds of basement lighting and tips that you can use in your basement remodeling project. 

How do you illuminate a basement?

The first thing you should look at is how much natural light you already have and consider what you want to add. Since basements do not get the kind of consistent natural sunlight, you will need to turn your attention to the windows if it is the natural light you are looking for. While some basements offer minimal window access due to how the basement was seated, part of your basement remodeling can fix this. Your basement can have new, more oversized windows installed by excavating window wells that will bathe it in natural light.

Artificial light can also complement the natural light you have added during your basement remodel. While natural light can reach the outer areas, the central rooms can feel a bit like a cave. This makes artificial light necessary and should be part of your basement remodeling’s initial planning phase. While your basement is bare, you will have wiring run to enhance the number of outlets. The general lighting that most basements come with is nowhere near enough to light typical living spaces comfortably. 

Indirect lighting will also help open up the room, mainly if you focus the glow in large pools of light on the ceiling. Another way to ensure a good mix of light is by using uplighting and traditional recessed lighting. Each of these features will help extend your natural light sources into places they do not typically reach without shining directly into the eyes of family and guests. If you want to make a significant impact, consider adding mirrors to the walls of your basement. Mirrors pick up light from all angles and increase the brightness by a substantial degree in places where an additional light source is not practical.

How do you mimic natural light in a basement?

Install windows

Installing windows in your basement is the most effective way to let light enter this part of your house. Windows also provide you with other benefits, such as controlling your basement’s temperature and providing better ventilation. 

Paint your walls white

Variations of white help lighten and mimic natural light in your basement. Painting your basement walls white will also make your planning for your final basement lighting easier. 

Select light wood flooring

Basement flooring has a significant effect on your basement’s brightness. You may want to opt for wood flooring because it is often shiny due to its polishing. Wood flooring will also give your basement a warmer vibe. 

Choose bright furniture

Bright pieces of furniture also help your basement look like a bright space. However, if you have neutral-colored pieces of furniture, ensure that you put in some bright accents like vibrant pillows to give your basement a more radiant look.

Hang mirrors

Mirrors are one of the primary agents of reflecting light, meaning that they are suitable accessories for your basement to look brighter. Moreover, mirrors can also make your basement appear more spacious. 

How to Design a Basement with Light Fixtures

Harness Natural Light

Basement windows are often small, and most homes have a minimal number of windows in that area. However, that does not mean that natural light will not play a significant role in your below-grade space. Maximize the impact of what you have with colors, window treatments, and décor strategically chosen and installed.

Light paint and wallpaper colors help reflect and expand sunlight and artificial light. Choose bright neutrals for the walls and ceilings. When including a contrasting accent color, be sure to limit any dark areas so that the site is not overwhelmed in shadow.

Leave basement windows uncovered or opt for frosted glass to add privacy without blocking the natural light. Sheers work well when you need a window treatment and other thin and translucent materials. Avoid heavy drapes and light-blocking shades.

Mount mirrors in strategic locations to double up your natural light, directing sunlight throughout the room. And try to avoid placing pieces of furniture too near a window, potentially blocking the light.

Overhead Lighting for Optimum Coverage

Overhead lighting in the basement needs to be unobtrusive while providing good coverage throughout the room. Some basement living spaces can function with floor lamps and other portable lighting systems, but most family basements need to be well-lit for optimum enjoyment.

Consider pot lighting for the central area. These fixtures are recessed into the ceiling to maximize headroom and hide any unsightly wires and switches. A single pot light covers a wide range, and most designs call for a set of lights. If you consider using fluorescent light fixtures in your basement, be sure to invest in quality brands with attractive shapes and mounting.

Task Lighting

Think about your home areas that require task lightings, such as desks, computer areas, and craft stations. Then consider the timing and frequency of activity in those areas. Do you need specific task lighting, or can you get away with a dedicated lamp?

When you need a well-lit area any time of the day or night, consider under-cabinet fixtures or three-way lamps to make the space practical.

Energy efficiency and safety

Use energy-efficient CFL bulbs in your basement to keep costs and environmental impact low. Also, consider installing timers and encouraging your family members to turn the lights off when leaving the room. This can be especially expensive in the basement, as you may leave lights on for a long time with no one to notice.

Put in night lights to brighten dark corners, and always install three-way switches near the stairway to provide safe passage up or down.

Finish your basement brightly and comfortably with well-designed lighting. Take advantage of natural light and choose overhead and task lighting with your lifestyle and hobbies in mind. Good lighting makes this space more enjoyable and fun for the whole family.

Different Basement Ceiling Lighting Options

Installing ceiling lights and wall sconces are two of the most effective ways to brighten up your basement. Ceiling lights are divided into a few categories, which are:

Track Lighting 

track lighting

Source – Amazon

Track lighting utilizes several lighting fixtures placed on a central strip called the track. Track lighting is easy to install, flexible, space-saving, and stylish, making it one of the best choices for your basement ceilings. 

Recessed Lighting

 

Source – Pinterest

Recessed lights are light fixtures installed in a ceiling and illuminate the room. Recessed lights have more excellent coverage in terms of lighting. They also light the entire basement uniformly.

Pendant Lighting

Pendant Lighting

Source – Amazon

Pendant lighting uses light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, often between one to three feet, typically by a cord or metal rod. Pendant lighting fixtures are space-saving, versatile, and, most importantly, stylish. However, pendant lighting might not do a great job lighting up the entire basement. That is why it is advisable to install other lighting fixtures with it.

Flush Mount Lighting

Flush Mount Lighting

Source – Lowe’s

Flush Mount Lighting utilizes light fixtures that are installed directly on the ceiling. A single flush mount light can already light up an entire room. Modern flush mounts are already available in the market, giving you many style options. 

Different Basement Walls Lighting Options

Going for wall sconces is the best solution for illuminating your basement and adding an accent to your basement walls. There is a wide array of wall sconces available in the market. However, five types of wall sconces stand out from the rest. These are:

Directional Sconces

Directional Sconces

Source – Pinterest

Directional sconces allow you to illuminate your basement areas by letting you direct the light where it is needed. Directional sconces are energy-efficient and have lower glares increasing your basement’s visual comfort. 

Swing-arm Sconces

Swing-arm Sconces

Source – Pinterest

Swing-arm sconces are usually used in bedrooms and living rooms because they function well as reading lamps. Swing-arm sconces allow you to move the light into various positions. 

Candle Sconces

Candle Sconces

Source – Pinterest

Candle sconces are a pleasant way of illuminating your basement. You can choose from different designs available in the market ranging from contemporary to modern, and the material can be metal, wood, or aluminum.

Lantern Sconces

Source – Pinterest

Lantern sconces are inspired by traditional styles where lanterns light up rooms. Lantern sconces not only provide adequate lighting for your basement but also elevates its aesthetic value. 

Wallchiere Sconces

Wallchiere Sconces

Source – Pinterest

Wallchiere sconces are usually used to spread light in your basement or direct light upwards. Wallchiere sconces are now becoming a popular choice not just for their lighting ability but also due to their decorative function.

How to choose the best basement lighting

Know the Purpose

Depending on how you want to utilize your basement, you should adjust what type of lighting you wish to install. Whether you need ambient lighting, task lighting, or accent lighting, knowing your basement’s purpose will help you install the best type of fixtures to illuminate your space. 

Examine the Material

It would be best if you opted for basement lighting that is both durable and long-lasting. You can save lots of money by minimizing repairs or replacing the lighting you installed. Moreover, the material can be a factor for safety.  

Look at the Bulb Type and Wattage

Choosing the correct bulb type is crucial in ensuring that it fits the fixture you want to install. Moreover, wattage is an equally important standard you should consider. The more energy-saving the bulb type and lighting fixtures you have installed in your basement, the more you will be able to minimize the cost of your electric bill. 

Consider the Brightness and Color Temperature

Brightness and color temperature are two factors you should not neglect because this is where much of your basement’s illumination will depend on. Brightness is measured by lumens, which means that the brighter the light source is, the higher the number of lumens. On the other hand, color temperature is rated using the Kelvin light scale. Typical residential lighting falls between the scale of 2000K to 6500K.

What is the best lighting for a basement?

It depends on your basement’s existing lighting and the demands to execute your basement remodeling plan flawlessly. However, there are usually four options you can choose from – incandescent bulb, fluorescent bulb, LED bulb, and Halogen light.

Incandescent bulbs

Incandescent bulb’s color temperature usually ranges from white to yellow, giving your basement a warm but comfortable vibe. However, this type of bulb can be energy inefficient. That is why it is advisable to use this type of lighting in areas that do not need frequent lighting. 

Fluorescent bulbs

A fluorescent bulb is more energy-efficient than an incandescent bulb and has a longer lifespan. It also gives off bright white light without producing tons of heat perfectly suited to give a dark and gloomy basement adequate lighting. 

LED Bulbs

Light-emitting diodes (LED) is a semiconductor light source that produces light when powered by electricity. An LED bulb can be a little pricey. However, it can last ten times longer than a fluorescent bulb saving you a lot of money in the long run. An LED bulb is usually the top choice for basement lighting due to its ability to light up the entire space without consuming so much energy. 

Halogen light

Halogen light is one of the basement lighting options that produce a warm and radiant glow. However, it is not as energy efficient as a fluorescent bulb but has a higher rated life than an incandescent bulb. If you were to install halogen light, you should accompany it with other types of bulbs. 

Top Basement Lighting Ideas in 2021

Ambient Lighting

Ambient Lighting

Source –  Pinterest

Ambient lighting is also referred to as general lighting due to its basic features. 

Accent Lighting

Accent Lighting

Source –  Pinterest

Accent lighting emphasizes certain areas or objects in your basement

Mirror with Lighting

Mirror with Lighting

Source –  Pinterest

Mirrors with lighting are often used in basement bathrooms or vanity areas. 

Stair Lighting

Stair Lighting

Source –  Pinterest

Stairway lighting has both practical and aesthetic functions. 

Industrial-style lighting

Industrial-style lighting

Source –  Pinterest

Industrial-style lighting incorporates unfinished elements into the style to mimic factories or industrial spaces. 

Dramatic Lighting

Dramatic Lighting

Source –  Pinterest

Dramatic lighting not only illuminates your basement but also elevates its aesthetic value. 

Subtle Lighting

Subtle Lighting

Source – Unsplash

Subtle lighting gives your basement a touch of simplicity. 

Glass Lighting

Glass Lighting

Source – Unsplash

Glass lighting takes advantage of pendant lights. 

Laundry Room Lighting

Laundry Room Lighting

Source –  Pinterest

Installing proper lighting in your laundry room will illuminate the area and make the chore feel easier. 

When and where to find a remodeling contractor to help you with your basement lighting plans?

You should hire a basement remodeling contractor if you want to ensure that your basement lighting project is done safely without compromising the unique design experience that it provides. A basement lighting project should be carried out with the utmost care and attention because it involves working with structures and electricity. Professional basement remodeling contractors have the relevant experience and necessary tools and equipment to carry out your basement lighting project safely. They also have expert knowledge regarding various design styles that serve both style and functionality. 

If you are looking for a professional remodeling contractor, you are already in the right place. Paragon Remodeling has provided top-notch basement remodeling services in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland areas for over 15 years. We ensure that our basement remodels ideas and services will make your investment worth it. The projects we work on are not just renovation projects for us. We want to provide you with the comfort, warmth, and safety you deserve.