Finished Basement Remodeling Lighting Design Tips

When doing a basement remodel think about how you plan on using your finished basement. It could be an office area, a game room, even a home theater. Often the basement is the darkest part of your home. It can take on a cave-like feel but the good news is it doesn’t have to be like that.

To give your basement the same full light as you’re upstairs can be done by creating a lighting design that will compensate for the lack of windows. A well-designed lighting plan can have a huge impact and it goes well beyond just adding a few lamps. There can be challenges when trying to properly light your basement like low ceilings for example. That is why planning is an important step.

Basement Lighting - Syracuse, NY AreaUnderstanding the Three Types of Lighting

There are three different types of lighting, ambient, accent, and task lighting. You should get familiar with these three types if you aren’t already as they can help you create an inviting living space. Here’s a quick description of the different types of lighting, and how to use them.

Ambient or General Lighting

This is probably the most common type of lighting used. It’s a soft light that covers your space just enough for you to function with no harsh glare. Ambient light is often considered “natural light” within a room.

The ambient lighting of the basement can create a relaxing space. To create this type of light, look at chandeliers, pendants, recessed cans, track or ceiling lights.

Task Lighting

This type of lighting is a more concentrated light source. It is meant to be used to help you see when you are doing projects and need a light that is more fine-like reading, cooking, sewing, etc. Task lighting works best when it is combined with a contrasting light source like a low-lit room with a swing arm light on your desk. Tasking lighting can best be done using pendants, swing arm lamps, under cabinet lighting, or vanity lighting.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is a light used to draw the eye to a focal point. It can create style and drama in your home. This type of lighting is often used to highlight bookcase displays, collections, and architecture within the home.

It can also create a sophisticated atmosphere. The type of lighting fixtures used to create this lighting is wall lights, recessed lighting, and track lighting.

Fixtures to Use When Creating Your Lighting Design

No matter if your basement has high ceilings and a few windows or if it is small and dark, the right approach with lighting can turn your basement into a comfortable space. To do this you will need to use a combination of various fixtures.

Track Lights

Track lighting is easy to install and incredibly flexible. These types of fixtures give off great ambient or general lighting for your space. If you’d like directional control, get a track lighting kit with adjustable heads. Track lighting is also a great option that is contemporary.


Pendant light fixtures can be placed almost anywhere and can hang directly above workspaces. Pendants lights can be used for the ambient, task, or accent lighting. Use clear or light shades for ambient lighting.

Recessed Ceiling Lights

Not only are recessed can lights used for general room lighting, but ceiling lights can also be used as accent lighting depending on their placement. Pay attention to your basement ceilings’ height and determine if this type of lighting is beneficial to your home.

Wall Lighting

This type of fixture is perfect for design accent lighting. You can get them in a wide range of sizes that allow you to highlight large or small pieces of art. They’re excellent for highlighting artwork, or architectural elements.

Swing Arm Lamps

These are perfect task lights for use on your desks, bedside table, or mounted next to your favorite chair. Swingarm lamps allow you to easily adjust and direct the light source wherever it’s needed.

Under Cabinet Lighting

These are the ultimate task lights. Under-cabinet lights work great in a kitchen, kitchenette, or wet bar in the basement. If placed on a dimmer switch, they can make great ambient lights.

If you’re considering taking your unfinished basement and creating a usable room for your home, a basement remodel is a great option but don’t neglect your lighting. When the construction is done it is the lighting that will make the space useable in the way you want it. The proper balance of lighting will define your space and make it a great place to relax, work or play. It is also with mentioning that small led lights are also another great way to decorate a room.