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Basement Finishing System

Finished Basement Lighting

"It's so bright and beautiful down here, I forgot I was in the basement!"

That's probably the ultimate compliment for anyone who has completed a basement makeover. And a major part of that good impression has to do with an effective lighting scheme.

Good lighting is critical in any finished basement, because there's very little natural light available.

Our estimates and consultations are free and come at no obligation. If you're interested in upgrading your lower level, call or contact us for a basement renovation estimate today!

These 4 rules will help you get the light just right in your new basement space.

  1. Choose light colors for ceiling and walls. Your basement lights won't have to work as hard if the finished ceiling and walls are light in tone. The ceiling tiles and basement wall panels used by Total Basement Finishing have light-toned finishes that will reflect light without producing glare.
  2. Consider all three types of light.The lighting scheme for a finished basement (or any space, for that matter) will most likely provide three different types of light, which are described briefly below. To decide how you'll provide general, accent and task lighting, it helps to know how your finished space will be used. Do you plan to hang photos or paintings on the wall? Will children be using the space as a playroom? Are there specific locations for furniture, equipment or built-ins? Figuring out these details can tell you more about your lighting needs and where light fixtures should or shouldn't be installed.
    • General lighting is the overall or "ambient" light that's required for a space to be safe and attractive. In a finished basement, general light is often provided by overhead lights that are integrated into a dropped ceiling.
    • Accent lighting aims to highlight specific details, like paintings, photos, a wall-mounted mirror, or even a cabinet displaying beer mugs or trophies. Since the object is the focal point, accent lights should have small, unobtrusive fixtures. Accent lighting can take the form of track lights that can be aimed at different objects or individual spot lights.
    • Task lighting does just what it says —providing bright but glare-free illumination right in the area where you are working or playing. This type of light isn't just important in a basement home office; it can also take the form of a hanging fixture above a pool table, or a freestanding lamp next to a lounge chair.
  3. Choose energy-efficient lights.If you're interested in saving energy and money, avoid incandescent lights. Instead, use fluorescent lights or LED (light-emitting diode) lights. Fluorescent lights can be included as part of a dropped ceiling. It's also possible to use Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) in place of screw-type incandescent lightbulbs. Fluorescent lights are 75% more efficient than incandescent lights —an 18watt fluorescent lightbulb provides the same level of illumination as a 75watt incandescent lightbulb.

    LED lights aren't yet as commonly available as CFLs, but they're becoming more and more popular because of their energy efficiency and longevity. LED lights use even less electricity than fluorescent lights, and will last longer too. An LED doesn't require a filament like incandescents and fluorescents, so it can be tiny in size. That's why an LED light can be ideal as an accent light.

  4. Use separate switches to control light levels. Controlling light levels enables you to manipulate the mood of a room, matching the light to the activity. At the very least, general, accent and task lights should be controlled by separate switches. Figure out where you want these switches to be located. For example, it might make sense to turn on general lighting at the top of the basement stairway. Once you're down in the basement, two switches in a single electrical box can give you control of accent and task lights.

    There are simple ways to refine this basic plan. You can put general lights on a dimmer switch, but make sure your fluorescent lights can be dimmed before making this decision (some can, while others can't). If a dimmer switch won't work, consider dividing general lights in half, so that it's possible to turn on half or full light levels. Another variation would be to eliminate a wall-mounted switch for task lights, and simply let these lights be turned on and off at the fixture.

Another Source: Natural Light!

No matter what you use to light your basement, there's no substitute for natural sunlight to keep the area beautiful. Making the most of your basement windows and window wells is the perfect way to bring as much daylight into the area as possible. And upgrading the basement windows and window wells will also do wonders to keep the basement energy-efficient!

Basement Finishing Contractors in Your Area

No matter what you opt for when designing your remodeled basement, Total Basement Finishing would like to help. Our experienced and certified basement finishing contractors and specialists are available to provide you with a free basement finishing estimate and consultation that will help get you on your way to a beautiful finished basement. In just a couple weeks, we can transform your dark, dreary basement into a beautiful and attractive new living space. Call or contact us today!

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