Creative lighting for a basements - Finished Chicago Basements
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Creative lighting for a basements

Task lighting.

Creative lighting for a basements

With the exception of basements designed as a walk out basement with large windows, most basements do not have a great deal of natural light, or light at all.

To get the best lighting in your basement you may want to consider layering the lighting styles, something like ambient lighting with task lighting and accent lighting.  This will give your basement an overall warm and inviting feel.

There are many options to choose from that will help you achieve this layered lighting look.

chicago finished basements recessed lighting

Recessed Lighting

Of course the easiest and most common would be recessed can lights in the ceiling as long as your ceiling height is 7’6” – 8’ or higher recessed can lights are ideal for providing artificial light source in your basement.  With recessed can lights you’ll want to space them apart across the ceiling so that the lighting is even.

Wall sconces complete with dimmer switches are another excellent choice for lighting, these can add some warmth to the basement.

Lamps are an easy and generally budget-friendly way to add light to your basement.  Consider different size lamps and lamp shades to bring the basement to life.

Task lighting.As you are renovating your basement you’ll want to be mindful of your color scheme.  Try not to go too neutral when picking out your colors.  Basements can look dark and drab if the color scheme uses mostly grays and beiges.    If you are set on using more neutral colors such as grays and beiges considering designating a wall to add a pop of color.  Adding a pop of color will help take away from the underground dark basement feel.   Look for warmer hues of yellows, golds, oranges and warm tones of browns and muted rust tones. Use these colors in your furniture or accent pieces in the basement to add an inviting feel to the rennovation.

Task lighting can be achieved in a few ways.  If you have a reading nook or a small office space in your basement lamps would be ideal for task lighting.  Pendant and chandelier lighting is great task lighting for example if you have a game room/area in your basement pendant lighting over a pool table will not only be functional but will add to the overall design of the basement.  Pendant lighting can also be great for a bar area in the basement.

Accent lighting is used to highlight specific details in the basement.  Consider adding a light over some artwork or the family photos hanging on the walls.  You can also have a wall hanging mirror with a light that reflects in the mirror.  One of the easier ways to add accent lighting is to add small lights to any shelving in the basement.  If you have any display cases add small lights to those as well.

This should give you a general idea into how to properly light your basement.  You really want to consider lighting early on in the planning stages of the renovation as some of the design choices could hinder your lighting ideas.

Of course, when speaking with any Chicago basement finishers you’ll want to ask them do they have a lighting expert on staff or do they contract with one so that you can get the best lighting for your basement renovation.

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