basement lighting guide

The Ultimate Basement Lighting Guide

Basements can range from large to small – if you have one at all. No matter the size of the basement, it’s always the cozy place of the house where people spend their quality time with their family or friends. However, if you have a basement or basement apartment, the chances are that this room gets the least amount of natural light of all the rooms in your house. This presents you with some unique challenges when it comes to creating a lighting plan.

What you use your basement for depends entirely on its size and the type of environment it has to offer. Most of the time, these spaces are used for storage or laundry. But regardless of what purpose your basement serves, it must be adequately lit according to its use.

Basic Basement Lighting Requirements

As with other areas of the home, basement lighting must first meet the code. Once the regulations are completed, you can upgrade the lighting to meet your own needs.

The law distinguishes between uninhabited and habitable basements. An uninhabitable basement is generally a vacant basement or used for storage or vital services and utilities. Habitable space is used for living, sleeping, eating, or cooking. This is essentially the definition of a basement developed into a living room, home theatre, bedroom, or apartment. You must be clear about what type of basement you have before planning the lighting for it.

Types of Basement Lighting

Basement spaces benefit from a combination of lighting types, as natural light may be sparse or non-existent. Find out the various types of lights which can help you to make your basement lively and interesting.

1. Recessed Lighting

Effective lighting makes all the difference in a basement where it is usually little or no natural light. The most loved lighting options are recessed lights.

Recessed lights are recessed into the ceiling and effectively hide the light bulb while eliminating the need for fixtures. Pendant lights hang from the ceiling and allow you to choose your lighting style. A combination of both options will ensure that the room does not look too cluttered.

recessed lighting in basement

2. Ambient Light

These are fixtures that distribute light throughout a room. Ambient lighting is often best achieved with recessed ceiling lights (also known as can lights, high hats, or downlights). Track lights are an alternative to recessed lights and can be more budget-friendly, especially if you install ambient lighting in a finished space.

3. Task Lighting

Task lighting fixtures are used for specific tasks. In basements, if it is unhabitable it is mostly used as a storage area where racks & shelves are there. Spotlights can be of great use hereby directing the light specifically over the required portion.

4. Pendant Lights

They are a fantastic option for task lighting and are often hung above a dining table, desk, or sitting area. These lights define the space around them and are perfect for reading, cooking, crafting, or doing work that requires a light source close to the task at hand. Many can also be paired with a dimmer switch so you can adjust the amount of light to your needs.

Pendant lights come in an overwhelming selection of styles and can serve as works of art even when unlit. Pendant lights can provide direct task light, general ambient light, or decorative accent light, depending on the design.

5. Track Lights

Track lighting fixtures are movable lighting units attached to a fixed metal or wire track. Track lights offer a degree of flexibility because the light heads can be easily moved along the track without tools.

However, the power track can be a visual obstruction, especially in low basement ceilings less than 8 feet high. In this case, mount the track on the side of the room near a wall. Power track can be used to light pictures, fireplaces, bars, countertops, and other areas that require focused lighting.

track lighting in basement

6. Chandeliers

In case you have a game or pool table in your basement, here is your chance to add plenty of design flair with a fancy chandelier or modern lighting. If you are completely remodeling your basement, plan and ensure the lighting is placed directly above the game tables. If that’s not possible, opt for a light fixture with a large chain that can be swung over the table.

If the light is heavy, have a carpenter install the hooks to make sure they are sturdy. For a dining or game table, hang the light fixture 36 inches above the table. For a pool table, go a little lower, about 32 inches.

chandeliers over the pool table in basement

Tips You May Consider For The Right Lights For The Basement

If you are in the process of renovating your basement, lighting is the critical piece of the puzzle in getting it finished. So, taking the time to plan the right lighting can make the difference between the basement of your dreams and a dingy, dark, uncomfortable space. To help you out, we have compiled a list of the top ten tips you should know about basement lighting.

  • Know Your Measurements

Before you even think about style or design, you need to consider how much and what kind of lighting your basement needs. You must figure out the size of the basement. This will help to avoid wastage, and you can also design the lighting in a better way.

  • Know Your Activities

Before you pay installation costs for a lighting fixture that may not suit your needs, think carefully about what you will use the basement for. If you are using it as an office or workout space, you’ll need to consider targeted lighting that sheds enough light on the key areas you’ll use. Unless you use the basement for working out, floor lamps and table lamps are a great way to add light and atmosphere to your basement.

  • Hide Your Wiring

Whether you choose recessed lights or hanging lights, it would help if you considered how you would hide the wiring. Irrespective of how stylish the lights are, there’s no quicker way to ruin the aesthetic than dangling wiring harnesses. You can also run the wires through beams to keep things tidy. If not, you can do the same with the walls, or you can even consider a drop ceiling where everything is neatly hidden and out of sight.


Now that you have an idea of what kind of lighting design you can set up in your renovated basement let us help you choose the right light bulbs. By taking the time to plan your basement lighting, you can effectively light the space while creating the look and feel you want for your finished basement. There are various online stores to buy LED lights online but you should go for the best. You can buy LED lights online from Fablite, because of their premium quality lights and impeccable services.

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