The Ultimate Basement Lighting Guide

The Ultimate Basement Lighting Guide

By Clarissa Allison | August 5th, 2016

If you are remodeling your basement, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind when it comes to lighting this space. Whether you are lucky enough to possess a loft-style basement with higher ceilings and even a window or two, or a small and relatively dark room, you can turn your basement into an illuminated getaway with the right fixtures and placement. Basements will benefit from a combination of lighting fixture types since natural light can be scarce to nonexistent. Read on for helpful lighting ideas for your renovation and click the images to be brought to the product page on

Track Lighting kits are easy to install and are renowned for their flexibility. These fixtures are great for providing ambient, or general lighting to your space. Purchase a track lighting kit with adjustable heads for directional control. Track lights are also a convenient lighting option because they will remain contemporary even after you decide to change the design or furnishings.

Four Light Brushed Nickel Directional Flush Mount 10326NI

Pendant lighting fixtures are a fantastic option for task lighting and will often be seen hanging over a dining table, desk, or sitting area. Defining the space around them, these lights are perfect for reading, cooking, being crafty or completing work that requires a light source closer to the task. Many can also be coupled with a dimmer switch, allowing you to adjust the amount of light to your needs. Pendant lights come in a staggering selection of styles and can act as art pieces even when unlit. Depending on their design, pendant lights can offer direct task lighting, general ambient lighting, or decorative accent lighting.

Scopa Suspension by Artemide

Complete in its incompleteness. The Artemide Scopa Suspension is a beautiful, semi-absent sphere that forever changes shape depending on the angle from which it is viewed. Its design transforms an otherwise mundane shape and shines down from your ceiling in a warm, inviting light from its wonderfully incorporated LED light source.

Recessed ceiling lights are a perfect option for a finished or suspended ceiling.  With their low profiles, recessed lights help to create a feeling of increased space. Use them directionally to give certain areas in the room a dynamic feel. Since they contribute bright, focused light they are perfect for seating and dining areas because they are able to minimize shadows and glare. This is one reason recessed lights are so popular in high-activity areas like game rooms. Keep in mind when installing these lights that you take note of proper spacing between them. A common recommendation for four inch lights is that you space the fixtures at about four feet apart. Place six inch lights about six feet apart, etc. Remember that as in the rest of your home, layer your lighting scheme with ambient light, task, and accent lighting as in the photograph below. Louie Lighting provides a huge selection of recessed lights with several trim and light source options to choose from.

Recessed Lighting at Louie Lighting

Have concrete walls or exposed structural systems in your basement? You can actually capitalize on your unfinished basement because it contains all of the elements of a trendy, industrial-style space. Consider adding industrial inspired fixtures to enhance this bare-bones look. Industrial styled lights are early-electric styled lighting created with a vintage or antique feel, often featuring period reproduction light sources, such as Bulbrite’s Nostalgia collection of bulbs.

Neo-Industrial 3 Light Flushmount By: Millennium Lighting

This industrial flushmount light by Millennium Lighting would be a great complement to to any industrial style basement, especially one with an exposed-beam ceiling.

Uplighting is also an important element to include in a typically windowless area like a basement. Uplighting directs light at the ceiling to produce a soothing wash of even light minus glare and harsh shadows. Fixtures such as floor lamps, wall lights and recessed floor lights are great choices for a basement space.  If you haven’t discovered LED strip lighting, give it a try. This type of lighting provides a soft yet distinct design element to your space that won’t produce stark shadows or glare.  Think of layering light as you would creating a painting. The goal is to build a palette of effects and texture. Be creative you’ll find that low level uplights can wash basement walls and create a feeling of additional space in a low-ceiling room.

A lighting scheme is nothing without additional accent lighting. Ambient lighting alone can feel artificial and hollow without the depth of decorative lighting. This type of lighting works to accentuate certain zones of the room. For example, an accent light or lamp placed near a favorite sculpture will create a focal point of interest. You may place these types of lights near artwork, houseplants, or to enhance unique architecture details.

Up/Down Accent Light

Switches and Sources

Place your controls in easily accessible spots.  For safety and security, the overhead lights should be turned on before you reach the basement.  The switches should be at the same height as the others in the house, and kept close to the doorway to eliminate fumbling.

Putting separate areas of the room on different switches will make life much easier. Your basement may contain a game area such as a pool table on one end, a media center for music and television in the center, and perhaps an office desk in another corner.  In this instance the office area should be placed on a different switch close to the desk itself, while the gaming and media sections should be on a primary switch, ideal for moving around the basement.  You can also set up another dimming switch which controls light levels in both entertainment areas separately.

Regarding light sources, incandescent lighting may be inexpensive initially, but the heat output will make your basement uncomfortable and hot if ventilation is already a problem. It will also not be ideal for your energy bill.  You’ll be better served by using CFLs or LEDs to lower the average temperature of the room, especially if you are going to use your basement to exercise in or house sensitive electronic equipment.

We hope our guide has helped you make an informed choice for your remodel. Send us photos of your newly renovated basement lighting to to be featured on the blog. The Louie Lighting Team wishes you and yours a safe and happy weekend.


The Ultimated Basement Lighting Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>