How do you use your finished basement? As an additional living room? As a laundry or storage room? Maybe a family room or kids play? Basements are multi-functional rooms, whatever its function, with no natural daylight, low ceilings and a lack of windows good basement lighting is essential.
Due to the lack of daylight, you should incorporate more lighting in in your finished basement than in the rest of the house. One of the simplest step to consider is to increase the natural lighting downstairs and clear away shrubbery or obstacles adjacent to the basement windows.
Plan before you start any electrical works or replacing wiring, so you have sufficient outlets installed prior to closing up walls and ceilings. Focus on important characteristics of basement lighting:
- Bright illumination for safety while working
- Moisture proof luminaires in humid areas like laundry room
Traditional basement lighting usually consisted of inexpensive, practical and ‘only as absolutely needed’ lighting that did not make this area a very inviting place. Nowadays all-over lighting is best achieved through recessed ceiling cans with the ceiling height is at least 7’6″ or preferably 8′ high—or higher.
LED basement lighting is advantageous as it is energy-efficient, provides bright light, gives off less heat than traditional incandescent, which is good for gyms where you sweat and wine cellars that you want maintain at the proper temperature.
Install moisture proof luminaires in laundry rooms.
Starting with a ceiling lamp for basic brightness, install accent lighting such as wall luminaires, floor lamps and clip-on luminaires on pictures, mirrors or shelves. Illuminate storage systems by wall and clip-on. Consider illuminating tasks—counters or architectural features or furnishings. A pendant or two over a bar, lights on a wall can tastefully highlight artwork or a decorative element. Adjustable fixtures on a monorail suspended from a ceiling will aim the light beam at different features, which also makes a room look bigger. CFLs are not appropriate for directing light for these applications. A great new product for accent lighting is LED tape, which is a narrow ¼”, easy to conceal and rather inexpensive.
Installing better basement lighting can be a daunting task that requires significant electric works and replacing wiring but the goal is worth it. Be creative!