How should i light my basement?

I want a lot of relatively even, high quality light in my basement. (I’m remodeling the basement, and plan to use it for social events, board games, jigsaw puzzles, TV (in the back of the room), sitting around a gas fire, and i plan to put a treadmill down there.

I’m much more likely to use the treadmill, and enjoy jigsaw puzzles, with high quality lighting.

Anyway, the two choices are cove lighting along each side and in the center, where the ceiling changes height, or several little wafer lights spread around the ceiling. Both would be LED, dimmable, and have a CRI ~90.

Assume the price is the same. (It isn’t, but that’s not the aspect I’m concerned with.) Which would you pick, and why?

Any plans to separate which area is lit? Or do you desire to have “all on or all off”?

Just let VA stand in the corner and take his shirt off. Pretty sure his chest will give off >30,000 lumins

Wafer lights (the ones that look like the old school pot lights), and lots of them. More=better. Particularly for the basement where you want it bright, and lots of light without shadows (which I think the cove would do). We have six LED’s in the ceiling in our gym in the basement and it’s just enough.


I’m so bright, my dad calls me sun.


I’m with SL, I’d prefer to have cans or wafer lights to get uniform task lighting with minimal shadows. If it were in scope I might also do some indirect lighting if it would be beneficial, but recessed/wafer lights on a dimmer would likely suffice.

You could maybe do a second switch for some recessed gimbal lights around the perimeter if that works.

There’s a light over the TV area, which is on its own switch. I was planning to have the 3 rows of cove lights each on its own fixture, but if I do wafer lights I guess it would be two areas. The utility room also has its light, as do the large storage area with two fridges and the workroom.

The cove lighting was intended to be mostly indirect.

And maybe “cove lighting” isn’t the best description. I was trying to use strip lighting with a 120 degree angle of light along 3 pieces of ceiling, with a small piece of molding so you don’t stare directly at it.

how large is your gym?

Yeah, I was giving another idea for indirect. I think that’s the real question, direct or indirect lighting, or both?

Can you describe what you suggest in more detail? Because I generally prefer indirect lighting. My experience with overhead cans is that you get a mass of little shadows, and the wafer lights look like they’d give the same effect.

About bedroom sized.

Definitely not an indirect type of light. More like daylight bright.

You do often get shadows with recessed lighting. To reduce shadows you want as much omnidirectional light as possible.

You can do ok with recessed lights by doing more cans, and reflective baffles, but you may not get what you want. I would suspect wafer lights are a bit better as the light isn’t really recessed, I’d think a wafer would have a wider beam.

If your ceilings are tall enough, flush mount fixtures put the bulb below ceiling height and are more diffuse.

Indirect lighting is nice, but it’s hard to get enough of you want task lighting. We have indirect lighting in our family room and it’s great but I wouldn’t want to read a book in there. I suppose with enough bulbs, and brightly painted walls, you could get there.

And there is nothing to prevent you from doing a bit of both.

The ceiling is low in the near half of the large room. Low enough that the standard fluorescent fixture was a minor issue when tall people danced there.

Bedrooms vary a lot in size… Can you give me an approximate square footage? Or square meters?

I’m looking for daylight bright at full power, with dimmers.

How about some dimmable red LEDs for the hanky and/or the panky?

My son wants the ones that cycle through colors. Personally, i have a bedroom for the hanky and the panky. My son also suggests i put a traffic light down there as mood lighting. He has one in his dining room.

I would consider doing some of both. For something like a jigsaw puzzle, I’d want some direct overhead light. But you’re limited to recessed lights or similar by ceiling height. Good news is recessed lights are pretty cheap and easy to install. Then supplement that with cove lights or wall sconces to get more omnidirectional light to reduce shadows. Maybe add an outlet or two on switched receptacles if you like floor lamps.

Disco ball.

You heard it from me first.