The Best Basement Lighting

September 11th, 2008
Combining many different types of ligting options will make your basement beautiful and unique!

Combining many different types of lighting options will make your basement beautiful and unique!

Picking the best basement lighting for your home is a decision that can mean all the difference when adding beauty and energy-efficiency to your home. How well the basement is illuminated sets the ambiance for the entire area, can reduce eye strain, and can add to the feeling of comfort and convenience in the home. Total Basement Finishing has these suggestions on the best basement lighting:

Incandescent Basement Lighting

Although using incandescent lights is very popular, it’s becoming more and more obvious that they’re not the best option for a finished basement. These lights are short-lived and poor in energy use, with 90% of the energy they use being released as heat instead of light. And while they work well in can lights, when they’re installed in a basement ceiling with heavy traffic above, the constant vibrations will cause the lights to burn out early. They’re also very sensitive to even a slight amount of excessive voltage, which can quickly shorten their life.

Incandescent lights do have their strengths, however. Fluorescent lighting tends to burn out in areas where the lights are flipped on and off quickly such as in closets and stairways. Incandescent lights, with their significantly lower expense, are much better for these areas. Additionally, incandescent lights work best for lights with dimmers, and to many homeowners, there’s just nothing quite as attractive as the light of an incandescent.

Florescent light is a great way to improve a finished basement!

Florescent light is a great way to improve a finished basement!

Florescent Lighting

Florescent Lighting is becoming the industry-required standard worldwide as well as in the United States. Lasting ten times longer than incandescent lighting and using one-third of the energy, it’s a green choice that reduces carbon emissions and air pollution. EnergyStar.gov reports that “[i]f every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.” 90 medium-sized power plants could be shut down if Americans were to switch to energy-efficient lighting, and an enormous amount of money could be saved. As General Electric reports, simply replacing 10 standard 60-watt and five 100-watt incandescent bulbs would save the homeowner as much as $120 each year in utility costs and more than $650 over the life of the bulbs!

LED Lights

LED lights, or Light Emitting Diodes, use clusters of two to 36 solid, miniature light bulbs. While these bulbs have been in use since the 1960s, they’ve only become inexpensive enough to consider for home lighting in recent times. While a bulb can cost as much as $40, they’re able to last up to ten times longer than a compact florescent light, withstand vibrations well, and they generate less than 1/20th of the heat of incandescent basement lighting.

One disadvantage of LED lights is that they tend to shine in focused beams of light. Means of diffusing that light are being designed, but in their current state, they’re best only for task lighting purposes such as in desk lamps, nightlights, spotlights, or for use to light up cabinets and closets. The technology is changing rapidly, however, and it’s definitely worth watching!

Halogen Basement Lights

When combined with flourescent basement lights, well-placed halogen lights are a great way to add beauty to the space!

When combined with flourescent basement lights, well-placed halogen lights are a great way to add beauty to the space!

Halogen lights may not have the level of energy-efficiency of some other lighting options, but they have strengths that are hard to beat. Although they’re designed with the same technology as incandescent lights, they do so with 30% more efficiency and can provide the truest, most radiant, and brightest light available. They’re not set to be phased out as incandescent lighting is, and they offer a sensible compromise of beauty and energy-efficiency.

Unfortunately, the application of these lights are fairly limited. While they work very well in can lights, track lights and task lighting, a homeowner planning to design their basement with them will find them best used in combination with other lights such as fluorescent.

The Best Basement Lights

Finishing the basement should be forever, and planning forever deserves professional attention and careful design. Total Basement Finishing would like to provide you with an expert basement finisher that can transform your dark, dank basement into a beautiful new living space! Each of our experienced certified basement remodeling specialists is here to help you make your basement finishing project into exactly what you’re looking for in your home. If you would like a free basement refinishing estimate, call or contact us today!

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