Five Lighting Tips for Basements

Real Estate Agent with The Kelly Group Real Estate

Making your basement an enjoyable place to spend time can be tricky. Without the right lighting it may feel too much like a dungeon (unless you’re into that!). Here are a few quick tips:

 1. Maximize the natural lighting. Trim back shrubs and other plants that block sunlight from window wells. If the window well has a cover, keep it clean or replace a cover that blocks light with one that lets light pass through.

 2. Choose light colors for walls, carpet and furniture. As much as we all miss the dark brown faux wood paneling from the ‘70s it doesn't do much to create a bright space.

 3. Accent Lighting. This will not only make the space brighter, it also makes the space feel less like a basement because lamps make the space feel decorated and lived in.

 4. Light Bulbs. Depending on the types of fixtures in the basement there are various new types of lightbulbs. Consider talking to a lighting expert to find which type of bulb is going to give you the best results.

 5. Create a false lighted window. This is simpler and more effective than you might think. Just frame and trim a “window” on a basement wall, and use creative lighting and decor (blinds, reflective paint, daylight spectrum bulbs) to make the light coming from the window look natural.



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Kelly Hagglund, Principal Broker, Licensed in Oregon.

Comments (3)

Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Ventilation is an issue. Musty smell.

I recently added a brick ventilation in a place looks like a crawl space entrance. It kept the basement safe. Previously it had a wooden door entrance.

Mar 01, 2016 12:18 AM
Kelly Hagglund

Great idea! Thank you so much for sharing Sam Shueh 

Mar 23, 2016 09:52 AM
Dan Rosenberger
Harvest Realty - Westfield, IN

I have heard of situations where a homeowner added a large egress window to a basement.  It added quite a bit of natural light.  Many people would not consider something like that since it sounds like a major project.  But for some that might be another way to increase enjoyment of the basement.

Mar 01, 2016 01:12 AM
Kelly Hagglund

Exactly! And thereby create more usable space

Mar 23, 2016 09:51 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Kelly,  I really like #5.  Sounds pretty inexpensive that can add a nice touch along with the light.  Mark

Mar 21, 2016 04:53 AM
Kelly Hagglund

I like that one too, though it is rare that home sellers follow through with the proposal. I need to find some good photo examples to share!

Mar 23, 2016 09:53 AM