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8 Best Basement Lighting Ideas for a Remodel

Brighten a dark basement with these lighting ideas for every budget.

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Layers of Light

Use multiple sources of light to make a dark and windowless basement more inviting. In this space by @amykalikowdesign wall sconces, recessed lights and one large ceiling fixture all work together to bring layers of light to the room.

“I wanted something interesting that gave off great light,” Kalikow says. “This oversized flush mount was the perfect fit for the space — modern, timeless and fun.”

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Wood flooring in basement rec room area with a lot of spacePC Photography/Getty Images

Recessed Lights

The most common type of lighting used in basements are LED recessed lights — and for good reason. They’re bright, energy-efficient and tucked into the ceiling (usually between joists), terrific for basements with low ceilings.

To determine how far recessed lights should be spaced, divide the ceiling height in half. So recessed lights in an eight-foot-tall ceiling should be four feet apart.

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Bold and Unexpected

The basement is a prime location for a statement lighting choice. This sleek and modern space by @dianabyrnedesign features a gorgeous wood lightning bolt sconce backlit with LED light.

For a more budget-friendly option, shape an LED rope light into a lightning bolt shape and attach it to the wall.

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Twinkle Lights

What’s the secret to this cozy basement from @ourbrickcottage? Twinkle lights! Affordable, impactful and easy to install, they make the space come to life.

The glow from the lights instantly transforms the exposed ceiling into something magical. Coupled with the dark, moody paint color and additional light from the floor lamp, it turns this basement into a relaxing hangout spot.

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Semi-Flush Mount

Basement ceiling height is often lower than the rest of the house, so flush or semi-flush mounts are best for ceiling fixtures. This contemporary basement by @wildenorthinteriors features a modern, circular semi-flush light fixture to highlight the seating area next to the fireplace. Recessed lights and sconces provide additional light.

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Casual Industrial

If you’re lucky enough to have a basement kitchen, it’s a great opportunity to choose lighting and decor that’s a little more casual.

The island pendants in this basement by @millhavenhomes coordinate nicely with the industrial-style kitchen and oversize beams. Check out these similar light fixtures with a pulley design, great for vintage Edison style bulbs.

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City Business Apartment, LondonAndreas von Einsiedel/Getty Images

Cove Lighting

For ceiling coves, like in this basement bedroom, highlight the architectural detail with LED strip lights. The strip lights provide a pleasant glow and add interest to the room as well as a cozy ambiance.

If you prefer plug-and-play lights over hard-wired, choose simple peel and stick LED strip lights with color and brightness options that can be changed with a remote. Small recessed lights and floor and table tamps round out the lighting scheme.

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Home Theater with birght wall sconces and orange chairsMichael Robinson/Getty Images

Home Theater Wall Sconces

Add a little ambient light to your basement home theater with wall sconces. They won’t interfere with a ceiling projector or block the view of the screen.

Choose wall sconces that shine their light up and down, but not out, so doesn’t shine in your eyes and distract you. We also recommend a dimmer so you can softly dim the sconces before the movie starts, just like at a real theater!

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.