Whether you are intending your basement as a sunny playroom, movie den, or man-cave, consider these tips when choosing the best lighting options for your basement.
First, make sure that you maximize natural light so that you're minimizing electricity costs. Opt for light-colored, airy window treatments that allow sunlight to filter in. Consider using a light-hued paint on the walls to brighten the space as well.
Second, plan the type of lighting you'll need based on your needs. If you have the budget and resources to install new lights, weigh the pros and cons of different fixtures in your space: a ceiling lamp, for example, is a great way to spotlight a pool table or seating area. Recessed lighting (also known as pot lights or canned lighting) take up little space because they're installed in the ceiling space, and they are a popular option for basements as a type of general, overall lighting. Track lighting offers the same coverage and is used to focus light on concentrated areas or scatter light in different directions.
If your budget does not allow for installation of new lighting, make the most of cost-effective task lighting, such as table lamps, floor lamps, and spotlights. Be creative and strategic when placing them throughout the room, depending on their use. For example, an arc floor lamp over a reading corner creates a cozy ambience.
Finally, whatever type of fixtures you choose, be sure to use environmentally-friendly lighting options, like compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Although both types are more expensive to purchase, you save hundreds of dollars in the long run in energy bills, and saving money and the environment is always the right choice.