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What are the Different Types of Basement Lighting?

By Norma Jean Howland
Updated May 16, 2024
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One of the challenges when choosing to renovate a basement is transforming a dark, gloomy area into a well-lit space. Recessed lighting is often a popular choice because the fixtures usually do not take up any space. Since most basement ceilings tend to be lower than their upstairs counterparts and recessed lights usually illuminate a fairly large area, this may be a practical choice for optimum lighting. Another option when planning basement lighting is track lighting, which can be angled to light up certain areas or used as direct downward lighting. Of course, standard ceiling fixtures or fluorescent lights are sometimes used for basement lighting, and are often combined with other lights to provide adequate lighting.

Although recessed lighting may be costlier to install than other types of basement lighting due to construction and wiring costs, it tends to be a popular choice for a lower floor. Since recessed lights lie inside the ceiling itself, these fixtures offer a lot of light without intruding into the space. Depending on the homeowner’s skill level, the installation of recessed lighting may be somewhat complex and time consuming. This type of lighting requires that holes be cut into the ceiling, so a skilled professional may be needed to install these fixtures.

Track lighting is usually a cost-effective choice for basement lighting and tends to be somewhat simpler to install. This type of lighting may be used for general lighting purposes, or it can be installed to light up certain areas, such as a desk or play area. Once the tracks have been installed, usually a homeowner can add more light by putting another fixture onto the track. If the basement has very low ceilings, the only down side to track lighting would be that the lights do take up some space.

Some homeowners turn to a more practical choice when thinking about basement lighting, such as fluorescent lighting, which tends to give off a generous amount of light. Yet, when style is important, lighting designs may lean toward a more traditional, classic ceiling fixture, similar to the ones found in other areas of the home. If this is done, adequate placement of stand alone floor lamps or sconces may round out the light source in a basement, adding a little glamour to a lower floor. Using dimmers and elegant sconce-type fixtures on the walls may transform what used to be a dark, cave-like area into a stylish family room.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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