Basements are often neglected spaces that soon turn into storage spaces that are in a state of disarray. Moving through such a space or even finding anything in it can be quite the task. But what if you want to get more use out of your basement? We have some ideas on lighting your basement using LED lights. So, whether you are trying to light the space and make items more visible or set up a home theater, you are sure to get inspired. Let’s get started:
Why Use LED Lights?
Traditional incandescent lighting may be relatively cheaper than LED lights, but it does not even come close regarding performance, durability, and versatility. On average, an LED bulb will last for as long as 50,000 hours. But what about an incandescent light with the same light output? Probably 1,000 hours? See that difference? It’s no wonder people are flocking to https://www.lepro.com/led-tube-light in the hope of swapping their traditional bulbs for durable LEDs.
Also, LEDs have lower running temperatures and emit minimal heat to the environment. As most of the energy goes into lighting the bulb rather than heating it, LEDs also have shorter startup times. Did we mention that 4ft LED ballast bypass bulbs use as much as 75% less energy than traditional bulbs? Add that LED lighting is uniformly and directly distributed, and you can see why these lights would be a hit.
How Can You Use LED Lights in Your Basement?
First, you need to understand how you will use the basement as its function determines the lighting you can use in the basement. Lighting generally falls into:
- Ambient or General: This lighting is ideal for budget-friendly makeovers and generally distributes light across an entire space. For example, using track lights in your basement will give you just enough light to safely walk through the room and can even create a calming ambiance.
- Accent or Indirect: If the goal is to set the mood or focus on specific sections in the room, indirect lighting is a good idea. Take the example of rope lights installed inside shelves. These bathe the shelves with light and create an undeniable visual interest that draws attention from any corner in the room.
- Task: Are you using your space for a specific purpose? Suppose you use your basement as a library. In this case, having hanging fixtures over the reading nook would provide you with enough lighting to focus on your reading. That way, you will not strain like you would if you only had ambient lighting.
Why are you lighting your basement? What are you hoping to achieve? Let’s look at some lighting options:
These lights, also known as can lights or downlights, are often used in ceilings to cast light from above. They sit flush against the ceiling, and their minimalistic nature makes them ideal for basements that are often cramped and need less intrusive features. They generally fall under ambient lighting though you can also use them as accent lights around visual pieces. Additionally, you can veer off the standard use in ceilings and install them on the floors and walls.
When using recessed lights, we recommend that you space them 8 feet apart on average. Of course, your spacing may be less or more, depending on the size of the fixtures or the room. However, the goal should be to illuminate every part of the room rather than leaving some parts feeling bare. Did you know that you can retrofit LED lights into finished basements?
As earlier mentioned, track lights are an excellent source of ambient light. These lights are pretty strong and come with two main benefits- they cover a wide area and provide directional lighting. Plus, they work well with low ceilings as they barely take up any space between their ends and their connections. You can even find LED options smaller than 6 inches such that you will hardly notice their presence.
They are especially great choices for people who want to save money on installation by forgoing any drilling work when installing the lights. All you need is to run a cord across the ceiling, and you can easily hide this using paint or molding to avoid an unsightly look. Alternatively, you can rely on your junction box and get an electrician to help with the wiring.
Pendant lighting is an excellent idea for people using their basements as kitchens, bars, dining areas, and other spaces that need a bit of glam. You can install these over countertops or islands to create some visual interest which takes away from the somewhat bland setting. What lighting do they serve? Both ambient and task lighting! Pendant lights, while aesthetic pieces, also offer strong lighting that can cover large spaces. Plus, you can always play around with their designs to match the décor you have in the basement.
Does it take a lot of work to install pendant lights? If your ceiling is finished and you do not have LED fixtures, retrofitting and drywall cuts will be necessary. But if you are yet to finish the basement ceiling, you are in luck!
Under Cabinet Lighting
It’s now considered the norm to light every nook in the kitchen, leaving no part untouched. Thanks to their magical touch on prep spaces, under-cabinet lights have especially suffered a positive boost in the last few years. They offer ambient and task lighting, and they also highlight the aesthetic features in a space. While they are often used in kitchens, they also work in bars, dining areas, and other rooms with cabinets.
Chandeliers and Hanging Lighting
Why not take your basement to the next level by installing chandeliers? It might seem off, but adding some flair to a basement might be the way to maintain its charm. Of course, it depends on how you use the basement. For dining and gaming areas, chandeliers work pretty well. Be sure to account for overhead spacing to avoid knocking the fixtures over. Or go for smaller pieces that do not require much headroom.
Whatever your choice, keep the basement’s use in mind, as the lighting should complement rather than compete with the purpose. All the best!