How to Illuminate Your Basement
Give your basement a top-notch lighting system by layering pendants, spotlights, wall lights, floor lamps and more
In a basement, it’s common to lower the ceiling and install spotlights. For a more modern touch, and to make the space feel airier, consider peeling back the ceiling in places and running track lights along the exposed joists.
Not everyone is lucky enough to have high ceilings in their basement, but if you are, create a cosy vibe with task lighting over seating areas (or entertaining areas, as was done here). A chandelier above a table or a pendant above a bar will make each space feel more intimate.
The pendants here come in a variety of shapes and sizes, adding interest to the space, while the cove lighting makes the space glow.
Just because a basement is underground doesn’t mean it needs to feel dark and damp. In this example, sconces placed high on the back wall give the illusion of higher ceilings. And the tall, decorative floor lamp helps the space feel cosy and well thought out.
The most common type of lighting in a basement is the spotlight. But, as in the rest of your home, the lighting should be layered, with ambient light enhanced by task lighting and accent lighting. Pendants are a great source of task lighting, as seen here above the pool table and bar.
Browse some interesting ways to use hidden lights
Another creative way to add lighting to a basement without losing ceiling height is by consigning electrical and plumbing lines to a soffit that runs around the perimeter of the room. You can insert recessed spotlights into the soffit or affix them to the side. (Both tactics are shown here.) This approach lets you raise the ceiling in the centre of the room, which you can then light with floor lamps to create an intimate atmosphere.
Confine lower-hanging fixtures to the areas above tables, bars, pool tables and such, where you will never have to walk underneath them and worry about bumping your head.
I love the idea of a coffered ceiling with lights placed at the intersections. It highlights the architecture and is functional as well. Interesting light fixtures above the bar create a homely feel.
Check out more basement design ideas
Liked this? Let us know how you’ve illuminated a dark basement room