When it comes to basement lighting, there are more options now than ever. It wasn’t long ago that recessed can lighting was your only option. Now regardless of space and budget, you can install lighting that fits your aesthetic. And with low energy LEDs readily available, you don’t have to let the type of light you need determine the style of fixture.
Recessed Can Lights
Let’s start with the classic. Although they’re not too exciting, there are a few good reasons to use recessed can lights. First, if you have low ceilings, you don’t want to use headspace on hanging lights. They’re also a good option if the basement is a high activity. If your basement is a workout area or kids playroom, recessed can lights could be the perfect option.
The third reason is cost. Compared to most fixtures, they’re inexpensive. This is great for someone using the basement strictly for storage. Installed in rows to provide overlapping pools of light, recessed canned lights are perfect when being practical, not stylish, is what you’re going for.
Track lighting is another classic basement option. Relatively inexpensive, track lighting can create bright (some might say harsh) lighting. However, with modern LED bulbs and dimmers, it’s easy to control the brightness.
You can also often turn each individual light to illuminate different parts of the basement. Many people use them to emphasize diplomas, collectables, and art. More modern track lighting can have a rustic feel or be optimized for Edison light bulbs.
Besides the versatility, a good reason to get track lighting is cost. Six light tracks can cost as little as $100 in materials.
Track lighting is one type of task lighting. Another kind is ….
If you’re looking to create a warm entertainment space, tasking lighting will help create that mood. Task lighting is popular among clients with bar-style seating and game areas. Although they can supply a nice touch of style, they obviously hang down. So, these types of lights are great for entertaining and hovering over bar seating or pool tables.
The main appeal of hanging fixtures is style. Pendant lights (which can be inexpensive) can give your basement the look of an upscale bar or restaurant. And while pendant lights are common, there are other options that will give off completely different vibes. Clusters of bare Edison bulbs, suspended tube lights, and globe fixtures have all become more popular in recent years.
This is also a category that can go high-end. Some chandeliers and customized hanging fixtures can cost well into the thousands of dollars. It’s not something we often do, but the option, if it fits the space, is possible.
Sconce and Wall Lighting
The big advantage to this type of lighting is that it doesn’t take up floor or headspace. The drawback is that you need a lot of it to light up an entertainment area. Because of this and the fact that many wall fixtures are decorative, this type of lighting is perhaps best used as a supplement.
That being said, wall sconces have advanced far beyond the gloomy movie theater and stuffy restaurant styles you’re probably picturing. These days, sconces can include contemporary finishes like brushed nickel. Like in other styles of lighting, Edison bulb-based sconces are popular. So are lamp-style matte black fixtures and geometric art deco style sconces.
This option is fairly inexpensive, but can run up into the hundreds depending on materials.
Color Changing LED strips
This type of lighting has become popular as mood lighting, and yes it does make for good selfies and gaming environments. However, there are more mature applications for LED strips. They’ve been used as accents under cabinets for years. Now there’s just more options.
If you’re lucky enough to have a tray ceiling in your basement, lining the opening with LEDs is a must. It gives an already impressive basement an epic feel. If you have lower ceilings, you can run an LED strip along where the ceiling and wall meet. Place them on the underside of your bar for a fun glow. And of course, kids love them.
Yes, Amazon is full of cheap LED strips, but there are higher-quality options that will match the feel of a nicer basement.
Floor Lamps are last because they’re not super practical. If the basement is a playroom, they can get knocked over. If the basement is for entertaining, they can get in the way of guests. And they don’t provide adequate lighting for a home office.
However, there is one great reason to use floor lamps in your basement. If you want to replicate the full family living area experience downstairs, then floor lamps are perfect. They add a coziness to any space, and are available in many styles at many prices.
If you have the space (and not the rambunctious kids), then go ahead and add that cozy touch.
Of course, most basements have a combination of two or more of these options. That’s where we come in. We can help you plan your dream basement with the dream lighting you’re thinking of.
If you live in the Greater Kansas City area and are ready to remodel your basement, schedule a free estimate to get started!