'How To' Guides
Littman Bros |  September 14, 2015

Basement Blahs – 4 tips for lighting up the lower level!

Man cave. Gym. Home theater. Kid’s space. Stuff storage. No matter what purpose your basement serves, homeowners love the extra living space it provides. We’re not all lucky enough to have a daylight basement, or walkout basement, that takes advantage of natural lighting. Sun streaming in during the day provides light rather than turning to artificial sources to give you a little of the outdoors coming in. Although you love the dark, cavernous feel of your lower level while watching a nail-biting movie, at other times you desire more light than your current basement has to offer.

Check out these four tips to bring more light into your lower level.


Recessed Lighting- There’s nothing that can add instant glow, without taking away from precious ceiling clearance for those who have height on their side, like adding recessed lighting. When lights are wired on a dimmer, you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to adjusting the amount flooding the room. Add them around the perimeter, and a few in the center, to give you the most opportunity for unobtrusive light. It’s a great way to update a dated basement dressed in paneling and cement floors. By simply adding recessed lighting and washing the walls in a light color, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.


Choose Lumens Wisely- Lumens refers to the amount of light output or brightness a bulb gives off. Do you prefer a true white level of illumination to mimic daylight? The you want the brightest white bulbs on the market. Rather have a subtler, softer light? Choose bulbs that are not as stark, not as bright. Today’s light bulbs offer great variety when it comes to bright or soft lights while also providing energy savings for consumers.


Layer with Lamps- From floor to table lamps, layer lighting in the basement just as you would in other rooms of your home. Lamps add purposeful light whether you are entertaining, need a little background lighting while you read, or just want to a little accent light to perk up a dim area. Let your personality shine through and choose something eclectic that will get your party guests chatting and admiring.

Task Appropriate Lights– If you’ve arranged your basement into zones, or task specific areas, you need clear-cut lighting that works and is dedicated to those zones. A second kitchen or wet bar needs a great overhead fixture so chopping lemons and pouring beverages can be done with ease. A pool table needs to be seen so that pesky eight-ball won’t land in the corner packet on accident. Make the most of every niche you’ve carved out by utilizing focused light sources and complimentary fixtures.


Don’t let your basement be the area you neglect when it comes to light. You can create a well-it lower level that not only has function, but also feels like you’ve brought a little of the outdoors in. With just a few small changes in how you light this space, your basement could easily go from the area your family avoids to the one that gathers them together. A little ingenuity and planning on your part can give new life, and function, to your home. Isn’t amazing what a little light can do?