The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to spend more time at home, which may have you reflecting on sprucing up your basement. Part of that upgrade should absolutely include installing appropriate lighting.
What was once possibly a storage area, your basement may have now taken on another use – be it as a den, home office, or even a rec room. Be sure the lighting in that space suits its current purpose. By design, basements are often dark and dreary. But that’s not the look you’re going for in a place where you’re spending a significant chunk of your time.
Set a New Mood
Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, is used to enhance visibility. It’s absolutely a good place to start if you’re looking to improve visibility. Ambient lighting gives off a soft, warm glow and is perfect in a space where you are looking to relax.
If your basement has become your home office space though, task lighting is a better bet. The bright, focused lighting offered is great for keeping you alert and stimulated. It can work well in basement workshops, too.
Or maybe your basement has become an art gallery of sorts or even a man cave. Accent lighting might be best if such is the case. Accent lighting puts the spotlight on specific focal points. It can show off certificates, trophies, photographs, and other prized possessions.
Remember: you don’t have to commit to just one lighting strategy. Consider the room as a whole, but also recognize when there are dual purposes that might call for more than one lighting option.
Once you know what type of lighting you want to install, it’s time to choose fixtures. Some options to consider include:
- Recessed Lights: If your basement has a suspended ceiling, this is probably a good bet. Recessed fixtures provide plenty of ambient light, as well as reduce shadows and glare.
- Track Lights: These require little wall space and are easy to install. They can provide ambient, task, or accent lighting.
- Pendant Lights: Consider pendant lights for focused task lighting and accent lighting. They hang from your ceiling, illuminating areas of your choosing.
- Industrial Lights: If your basement is unfinished or has concrete walls or exposed beams, industrial fixtures are able to provide an abundance of light while highlighting the bones of the basement.
- Window Lights: Many basement spaces lack windows. If this is the case for you and you want to create “window-like” imagery, paint a wall bright white, install some blinds, and hang fluorescent lights on the wall to complete the illusion. It’s a great faux-fix.