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How to Choose the Best Basement Lighting for Your Home

Just because it’s your basement, doesn’t mean you can’t have a bright and inviting environment. If you are looking for the best basement lighting for your home, you’ve come to the right place. We have a detailed article full of all the different kinds of basement lighting you should consider.

Basement Lighting

But also, what types of finishes to use and understanding light bulb wattages. And even a roundup of some of the best-selling modern basement lighting ideas and concepts. All you ever needed to know about basement lighting can be found within this article, so make sure you read this before you go shopping around!

Types of Basement Lighting to Consider

There are so many different types of lighting you can choose from when it comes to illuminating your basement. The lighting featured below are just some of the top choices.

  • Track Lighting – Track lighting will give you the dramatic effect of several different light fixtures mounted to one, easy to control central strip. You can easily position track lights in all kinds of directions as they and be easily angled to reach various parts of the basement or area. Track lighting works best if you plan to use several different bulbs and fixtures that you’d like to have shone on different areas while being located in the same spot or track.
  • Ceiling Fixtures – Ceiling fixtures are pretty standard and one of the most common ways to display light throughout your basement. Worked by a switch or remote control, ceiling fixtures are a great way to illuminate a larger space by the use of one bulb or several bulbs in one fixture. While you can find some ceiling fixtures that offer more directional lighting, typically ceiling fixtures feature a single bulb or single display setup.
  • Recessed Lighting – A bit more modern than a traditional ceiling fixture, recessed lighting features a fixture that sits just above the ceiling and can cast downlight through several different lights. This is a clean and flush option to use if you don’t want anything that is too showy. Recessed lighting casts light downward, instead of throwing light in all directions.
  • Pendant Lighting – Pendant lighting hangs below the ceiling for a more dramatic or classic effect. You will see this kind of lighting in restaurants. Such as over tables since pendant lights look great but oftentimes do not cast enough light to light up an entire room alone. Pendant lighting is great if you’d like to throw in some accent lighting to a designated space, or you simply have a pendant light that you’d like to feature in a smaller room.

Light Fixture Finishes to Consider

Just as there are so many options for lighting, there are just as many options, if not more, for lighting finishes. These finishes below are some of the most popular and most loved.

Gold or Brass

A beautifully traditional setting, gold, or brass shines like no other. If you have a more traditional space with ornate décor, you simply cannot go wrong with gold or brass as your choice of setting. Gold and brass are some of the most commonly used settings and because of the way they gleam under light, they remain a prominent option for any type of indoor lighting finish.

Stainless Steel

This finish is a great option for homes that have a bit more of a modern flair. Stainless steel, like gold and brass, is a very popular finish setting that will shine just as brilliantly as gold and brass, but in a cooler, silvery tone that will add brightness to any room it’s placed in. It may be a bit harder to clean as you can see when dust has gathered on its shinier surface, but thankfully stainless steel is easy to clean.

Brushed Steel

The more contemporary cousin to stainless steel, brushed steel offers a sleek, diffused shine that gleams with more reservation. Brushed steel is a common finish used in kitchens, bathrooms, and lighting fixtures due to its ease of care and impressive look. Because brushed steel doesn’t gleam as brightly as gold, brass, or stainless steel, you can get away with expanding the time between cleanings.


Another popular lighting finish as it is highly durable, rust-proof and simply looks modern and sleek. Chrome is a great fixture to have in any part of your home, as chrome is so strong and can withstand years and years of use. It’s also a bit easier to clean, so all you need to do is wipe it down to remove dust every so often and it will retain its luster.

Wrought Iron

A more bold and adventurous choice, wrought iron will bring in an impressive intrigue into any space it’s placed in. Using wrought iron for lighting fixtures immediately draws in attention as wrought iron stands out in a subdued black finish. Wrought iron finishes look best when used in pendant lighting setups or even within a small chandelier to bring in a more dramatic effect to a given space.


A clean, crisp choice, using white as a finished setting for your light fixture will help brighten up a room and give it an overall glow. Whether you are using painted white fixtures or you have more of a porcelain or glass finish in mind, using white as the main accent color to your lighting fixture is never a bad idea, as this is a classic finish.

Understanding Bulb Types and Wattage

Understanding bulb types and wattages may be a bit confusing for anyone, so we’ve broken down some of the main options and explained each in more detail.

  • Halogen Light Bulbs – Halogen bulbs are very energy efficient and will save you in long-term energy costs, but they do run very hot. You should only use halogen light bulbs in a space where you can easily remember to turn them off and on so you don’t leave them on for an extended amount of time where they could potentially heat up a room.
  • LED Bulbs – Probably the most common bulb choice for basement lighting, LED bulbs burn very bright and are the most energy-efficient bulbs you can find. LED lights are also the longest-lasting bulbs you can buy that will also stay very cool to the touch. Compared to halogen light bulbs, LED bulbs burn just as long and won’t drain too much energy at all.
  • CFL Bulbs – CFL bulbs are also a great energy-efficient choice, and they don’t generate too much heat as halogen light bulbs do. The only issue with CFL bulbs is that they often need more time to get to their full brightness. So, you could turn on a CFL bulb and it won’t get as bright as it possibly can until a few minutes later. If you don’t mind the gradual brightness, CFL bulbs are a great energy-efficient choice.

Lumens vs Watts

When you start to shop around for light bulbs, you will notice that the grades of light bulbs are often categorized by both lumens and watts. Lumens measure the total amount of light emitted from the bulb while watts measure the amount of power the bulb consumes. Lumens will tell you how bright a light bulb will be, while watts will tell you how much power the light bulb will drain. So, to be short, lumens mean light and watts mean power.

The Best Basement Lighting Fixtures

We’ve rounded up a list of the best basement lighting fixtures you can find online in today’s markets, so you don’t have to go searching for them. All of these products are backed by stellar customer reviews and are sure to transform your basement into a beautifully lit space.

Ensenio Ultra-Thin LED Recessed Ceiling Light

Ensenio Ultra-Thin LED Recessed Ceiling LightView in gallery

Type: Recessed Lighting

If you’re looking for recessed lighting, you can do no better than the Ensenior ultra-thin LED recessed light. This light is IC rated which means it can be in contact with all kinds of insulations in ceilings so your junction box will always be protected. This means no having to worry about starting an electrical fire or worrying about existing insulation. This is a high brightness, easy-to-install light that comes in a wide application for easy installation and use.

Key Features

  • color or finish: White
  • number of bulbs: One per unit, comes in a pack of 12
  • price range: Less than $150

LIT-PaTH LED Flush Mount Ceiling Lighting Fixture

LIT-PaTH LED Flush Mount Ceiling Lighting FixtureView in gallery

Type: Ceiling Fixture

If you need a quick and easy ceiling fixture to install, you can’t go wrong with this nifty light from Lit-Path. This is a perfect close-to-ceiling indoor light that even comes with a three-year warranty, so you are extra protected after installation.

This ceiling light is backed by Energy Star so you can be sure that you won’t be overspending on electricity, in fact, you will be saving money with the installation of this light. This is an easy DIY project and once installed this light will give you up to 50,000 hours of life.

Key Features

  • Color of Finish: White
  • Number of Bulbs: One
  • Price Range: Less than $30

LE Flush Mount LED Ceiling Light for Bathroom Porch

LE Flush Mount LED Ceiling Light for Bathroom PorchView in gallery

Type: Ceiling Light

Sitting like a beautiful orb at the top of your basement ceiling, the LE Flush Mount ceiling light would make a gorgeous new fixture to your home. This is a 9-inch light that comes in daylight white color of 5000K. It’s ultra-bright and easy to install, which makes it a must-have if you are renovating your basement or just need a little extra light throughout the space. Waterproof and dustproof, you won’t attract any bugs to your space with this light and you will get more than 20,000 hours of light from this one bulb.

Key Features:

  • Color of Finish: White
  • Number of Bulbs: One
  • Price Range: Less than $30

Bbounder 4 Pack Linkable LED Utility Shop Light

Bbounder 4 Pack Linkable LED Utility Shop LightView in gallery

Type: Integrated Fixture

These integrated fixture lights from Bounder create a luminescent space with lights that could potentially be linked together. These are top-rated economy LED utility shop lights up to 4 feet in length that have a 40-watt power with 5000 Kelvin. You can easily connect up to four of these lights together to form a light expanse across your basement for the ultimate luminescence. You can easily see everything in the space while you do the laundry, organize the area, or while you use the space for crafts or games.

Key Features:

  • Color: Black
  • Number of Bulbs: One, but comes in a pack of four
  • Price Range: Less than $60

2-Pack LED Garage Light

2-Pack LED Garage LightView in gallery

Type: Ceiling Fixture

This light set comes in a pack of two 60-watt LED bulbs with a base set up so you can easily light up your entire basement with ease. This is a flicker-free light that has an adjustable angle so you can easily set these lights to shine in a whole area rather than one spot. These are super bright and energy-saving so you will be getting a great indoor lighting experience all around. These are easy-to-install lights with a humanized deformable design to get those 90-degree angles perfectly adjusted to your specifications.

Key Features:

  • Color: Black
  • Number of Bulbs: Three
  • Price Range: Less than $30


BIGLIGHT LED Track LightView in gallery

Type: Track Light

This LED track light from Big Light is the perfect dimmable accent lighting that comes with three easy to position rotating heads to illuminate even the biggest basement. All you have to do with this light setup is plug in the spotlight and you can use a nifty remote control to get the lights to turn on, change color temperature and turn off. There is an auto-timer function with this light that you can set to automatically turn off in 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, or even 120 minutes.

Key Features:

  • Color: White
  • Number of bulbs: three
  • Price range: Less than $30

Barrina LED Shop Light

Barrina LED Shop LightView in gallery

Type: Integrated Fixture

A perfect, sleek design in an integrated fixture light, the Barrina LED shop light features a perfect four-foot integrated fixture light in daylight white that will be sure to illuminate your basement perfectly as well as look really great. This is a high output strip light that would work wonderfully in basements, the garage, your tool shop – you name it.

Key Features:

  • Color: White
  • Number of Bulbs: Strips have light tubes
  • Price Range: Less than $70

Basement Lighting & Interior Design Inspiration

Now that you’ve seen some of the best basement lights you can buy, here is a list of some of our favorite projects that we’ve found online.

Steel and Glass Home

Steel and Glass HomeView in gallery

Hamilton Gray Designs uses plenty of track lighting and a gorgeous pendant fixture right in the center of the space. This is an elegant and modern layout of how this home has incorporated different types of lighting. The track lights offer plenty of illumination under the stairs and add in some accents at the tops of the ceilings right where the walls meet to give the space more depth and an interesting perspective.

Basement Turned Man Cave

Basement Turned Man CaveView in gallery

With this layout shared by Arcanum Architecture, your old basement could easily turn into your favorite room of the house. In this man cave design concept, there is plenty to do in the space, including playing a round of pool, working out, or even enjoying a glass of wine in the elegant sitting space. Using pendant lighting and recessive lighting, this basement has transformed into a common area that your friends and family will love to hang around in.

Basement Wet Bar

Basement Wet BarView in gallery

If your basement has a bar in it, especially a bar that looks as inviting as this one by NVS Kitchen & Bath, you can imagine that your guests will prefer to hang around down here. With the color of the warm wood tones and all this glowing track lighting, it’s no wonder that the space feels as inviting as it is. This creates the perfect setting under those ornate wrought iron finished pendant lights to pop open a few beers and destress after a long day of work.

Bar Back Lighting

Bar Back LightingView in gallery

Another perfect example of how great recessed lighting looks, this bar by Kuchar Studio is completely illuminated from the powerful glow of these bulbs. While lit up from the ceiling to the bar back, the space isn’t overpowered by light, rather bathed in the warm glow of comforting recessed lighting. This is a highly modern space that can also double as a living area for having dinners with the family.

A Sports Fan’s Dream

A Sports Fan’s DreamView in gallery

Make your basement the sport’s fan’s dream by adding in all these great elements. Metro Building and Remodelling share with us how they used a comfy couch to watch the game, giant TV screens, and, of course, the recessed lighting. You may not think that this space’s key features are the lighting, But believe us when it comes to sports, you can’t go wrong with the perfect illumination. The lighting in the space really sets the tone and helps the theme of the room come together.

Tips for Installing Basement Lighting

Installing Basement Lighting

Installing your own basement lighting can be a great way to save money and you can learn a lot in the process. Following these basic steps will get you on your way to having the best basement lighting ever.

Turn Off Power

As the first rule of thumb, you should always remember to switch off the power to whatever room you plan to install a light fixture in. For this tutorial, make sure that you turn off the power to your basement by switching off the designated breakers in your breaker box. This will ensure a safe installation with no risk of getting an electric shock.

Get All Your Tools

Depending on your lighting fixture, you are going to need specific electrician tools. Make sure to look at the packaging of your light fixture and plan appropriately. Not all light fixtures require the same tools, but it’s always good to prepare ahead of time. For example, if you have no light fixture in your basement at all, odd is you may need to drill a hole in your ceiling.

You will need a drill saw for this to help you make a perfectly circular hole in your ceiling. Also, depending on the weight of your light fixture, you may need heavier screws for the job. Pendant lighting can run a bit heavier than recessed lighting, for example, so you may need a heavier duty screw and nut for this kind of job.

Read Instructions

As tedious as it may be, reading the instructions beforehand is always a good idea. This way, you will know exactly what kinds of tools you need for the job and you can prepare way ahead of time instead of scrambling at the last minute. Instructions are tailored to your specific light fixture, so the step-by-step guide is key in making sure that your light fixture is installed efficiently and correctly so you don’t have to go back and rework a lot of mistakes.

Hire A Professional If You’re Not Comfortable

To be cautious, if you are not comfortable installing your own basement light, there is nothing wrong with hiring a professional to do it for you. If you’ve never worked with your house’s electric layout or you’ve just never installed a lighting fixture before, a professional can come in and do the job properly without you having to worry about it. There is no shame in having someone come in and do the job for you, so this is a great option if you are not comfortable trying to install a lighting fixture yourself.

The Final Verdict on Basement Lighting

So, there you have it, all the best lighting to use in your basement and a few ideas on how to completely transform your basement into a wonderful living space complete with gorgeous lighting options. Which one of these lighting ideas was your favorite?

Was the article helpful to you? If you have any comments or questions, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave your feedback and comments in the section below. And be sure to check out our tips to make your basement feel bright and airy for more ideas!