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35 Basement Lighting Ideas & Design Tips



Basements are notorious for being dimly lit and drab, but that doesn’t mean that yours has to be! In fact, with a little forward-thinking and creativity, your basement could be the best-lit room in your entire house.

If you’re in the process of refinishing your basement to turn it into more than just an oversized storage compartment, then the following 35 basement lighting ideas will help you transform your basement from an underground dungeon to an illuminated living space that’s full of vigor and life. All you need are some DIY skills and a good eye for aesthetics, and your basement could quickly become your favorite room in the home.

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The 35 Basement Lighting Ideas

1. Basic Hanging Lights

You can go basic with your lighting and still have a well-lit and attractive basement. Don’t underestimate the power of the basics when they’re done right.

2. Sconces Add Elegance

You can add sconces to any room to change the vibe immediately. When they work with the geometric designs of the walls like they do here, the effect is truly elegant.

3. Illuminated Crown Molding

Don’t stifle your imagination to just regular lights hanging from the ceiling. You can get crafty with your use of illumination, such as hiding the lighting behind the crown molding.

4. Under Stairs Lighting

You have to take stairs to get down to the basement level, but those stairs can be part of the lighting. Hide some lights under the stairs for a truly awesome effect.

5. Bright but Simple

White walls can always help to make use of limited lighting. When you can’t have lights hanging down, it’s ok to go with basic fluorescents. They’re cheap and offer plenty of light to brighten up a dark basement.

6. Rustic

Mounting lights like these in your basement doesn’t require you to drill holes and spend a lot of money. But no one will know that, because the rustic touch that these lights add fits perfect with the beams that are often found in basement ceilings. No need to cover it with drywall; embrace the natural wood feel.

7. It Doesn’t Have to be Fancy

Again, we can see that it doesn’t take much to light up a basement that’s lacking in natural light. A few well-placed hanging lights will do the job just fine.

8. Combine Your Lighting

You’re not limited to one type of lighting throughout your entire basement. Instead, you can incorporate many types of lighting, like recessed lighting, hanging lights, and even track lighting, all in the same basement setting.

9. Let’s Keep it Bright

White ceilings help to keep the room looking bright, even when the walls are neutral grey. But you’ll also want plenty of smartly placed ceiling lights to cover the room in a blanket of illumination.

10. Illuminate the Corners

You can make any room feel special by simply running lights in the very corners. Whether it’s hidden under the crown molding or it’s a set of rope lights smartly mounted in the ceiling’s perimeter, the effect will be impressive.

11. Turn Your Light into a Work of Art

Why not use your lighting as an art installation? It’s a great way to add some serious light to your basement while also giving the room its own unique character.

12. Sometimes Simple Makes Sense

This basement is only used as a children’s playroom. It makes sense to keep things simple. Running string lights is an easy and effective way to illuminate any basement quickly, though it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing option.

13. Less is More

This basement is well-lit, though there isn’t an overload of lighting. These lights are placed smartly, offering a minimalist approach to basement lighting.

14. Under-Railing Illumination

There are many ways for you to get creative with your lighting. You can even illuminate the underside of the handrail to the stairs coming down to your basement. The light almost makes it feel like a stairway to heaven.

15. Dark, yet Bright

You can have a basement room filled with dark colors that still appears bright instead of gloomy, so long as the lights are well-placed and powerful.

16. Well-Lit Whites

Of course, all white rooms are always the easiest to illuminate. The white walls reflect the light, helping to make the most out of whatever light is available.

17. Think Outside the Tub

Get creative with your basement lighting. Come up with unique ideas like this lightbulb from a spicket. Your basement can be whatever you want it to be, so have fun with it.

18. Not All Lighting is in the Ceiling

Try not to get caught up in the trap of thinking that all lighting must come from above. Lighting placed in the baseboard can be an awesome addition to any basement room. Not only do they help keep the place brightly lit, but they’re also a unique feature that makes the room feel special.

19. As Simple as it Gets

Your basement doesn’t have to win any awards or beauty contests. Many people prioritize function over form. If you’re one of these people, then stick to basic lighting that gets the job done. It’s affordable and keeps the room lit. What else could you ask for?

20. Affordable and Efficient

Another great example of how you don’t have to do anything special to get a well-lit basement room. You can use regular can lighting and paint the ceiling and wires all at once. Sure, you’ll be able to see them if you look, but it’s an affordable and effective way to light any basement with minimal work or cost.

21. Dramatic and Mesmerizing

You can use lighting to create some dazzling effects. But you don’t need to spend a lot on it if you get creative. Repurpose an old disco ball or two for a mesmerizing effect that spreads throughout the entire room.

22. Classic and Simple

A few recessed ceiling lights at evenly spaced intervals offers a simple but very attractive lighting solution. You can always add extra lighting on the walls in areas that you feel need to be brightened up a bit.

23. Exposed Doesn’t Mean Unfinished

When finishing a basement, you can leave the ceiling exposed. Just because it’s exposed doesn’t mean it’s unfinished. And if you go for the industrial look in your basement, the exposed ceiling can even play into it and add extra depth to the effect.

24. Theatre Lighting

It takes very little lighting or electricity to achieve this theatre effect. Don’t overdo the lighting. Try to approach it with a less is more attitude and you might find that the effects are quite pleasing.

25. Maximize Your Light Sources

If your basement has natural light sources available, then you should maximize them to the best of your abilities. A glass door will let in plenty of extra light. Don’t put curtains on the windows that will block the light. Let the natural light add to the lighting that you’ve installed for a bright and cheery basement setting.

26. Get Creative

You can use your lighting as a sort of architectural art. Try doing something new, like floor lights that create entrancing patterns down your basement hallway.

27. Everything Fits

Your basement can be many things in one, and so can your lighting. Don’t feel limited to just one type of lighting or just one through your whole basement.

28. Cove Lighting

Cove lighting around your basement’s perimeter can make for an elegant look that everyone will think cost a fortune. But it’s a pretty simple thing to do yourself if you have a bit of DIY experience and a few tools.

29. Create a Mood

Basements are a great place to put a theme to work. Whether you want to go modern, classic, Victorian; the choice is yours. Use a theme to create a mood and turn your basement into your favorite part of your home.

30. Illuminated Artwork

You can use your favorite artwork as a giant light. It’s not going to illuminate the entire basement, but it will set a mood that you can’t ignore.

31. Recycled and Repurposed

By repurposing some old materials, you can create a truly unique look that makes your basement true to your personality. Plus, it will save you a bunch of money during the build process.

32. Change the Hue

Lighting doesn’t always have to be white; especially in the basement. Today, using different colored lighting to set a mood is easier than ever with smart bulbs that are controlled by remote and capable of emitting multiple colors.

33. Starry Ceiling

Enough small lights mounted across your basement’s ceiling beams can create a starry-night effect. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to light your basement that looks better than you’d expect for the price.

34. Double-Lit Molding

You can opt for molding with both hidden and recessed lighting, offering plenty of illumination around the perimeter of your basement.

35. Accentuate the Stairs

You can find a ton of different ways to light your basement stairs. Not only will this keep your stairs safe, but it’s also a good indicator of the bright moods to come when you’re on your way down to the basement.

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There’s no excuse for having a drab, poorly lit basement anymore. Though they were once left unfinished and often unused, basements are starting to be seen for the blank canvases they really are. Take some inspiration from the 35 lighting ideas you’ve seen here and implement them into your own basement to bring it into the modern area and help it earn a place as one of your favorite rooms in the house.

Featured Image: Вахтбович Максим, Pexels

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