Basements have accommodated many a terrifying horror movie. They’re usually damp, chilly, badly lit, and windowless – the ideal hiding place for a demonic psycho-killer (cue Talking Heads). Why on earth would anyone venture into the depths of the basement to investigate that odd noise? Run away and don’t stop running.
But basements have been given a bad rap; and they’re certainly not just for maniacs and perverts. Basements make fantastic living spaces – cozy, quiet, and naturally cool.
A well-lit basement is welcoming; not creepy. So, forget about the murderer’s lair and explore our basement lighting ideas. Lift that dead space under the stairs, into a warm, homely room that will be the envy of everyone who enters.
This fantastic floating sleeper affects a rustic reminder in a room that was once a hovel, and now performs its role as a perfectly plastered place of peace. One of the problems with aesthetically unifying all of the rooms of the house is that you potentially wipe out the mystique of the underground lair. Sure, we all love fresh plaster, lush carpets, and new ceilings, but a nod to the past can add a little pastoral pastiche to the most homely of locations. String lights are widely available these days, so this DIY solution could bring a little illuminating inspiration to all who enter your basement. The random length of the cabling enhances the homespun individuality. This solution requires a high ceiling, which most basements lack, but could be a great showpiece along a wall, lighting up the space while providing an exciting piece of art to add to the mystery of your luxurious underworld.
If you happen to be one of the cognoscenti when it comes to boozy imbibition, then there’s a selection of ways in which you might embrace the bottle as a means of bringing light into your grotto for grog. These whiskey bottle lights pay homage to everyone’s favorite bourbon brand while creating a stylish talking point. The vintage filament bulbs are the perfect choice for characterful, bespoke light fittings. And while they don’t exactly kick out a huge amount of light (and can be a little expensive to run) they offer excellent ambiance to a cozy space. The second image uses the unmistakable shape of the JD bottle with greater panache: incorporating color-changing LEDs that transform those shapely signifiers of boozy times into a work of ever-evolving art. The final image makes a good lighting effect for an ambiently-lit space, by incorporating string lights that can be haphazardly arranged to use the illuminating spread of liquid in bottles to enhance a basement meant for boozing.
The LED has transformed the lighting world, and this is a great example of the versatility that these tiny lights can help create. This downlighting effect brings a little ambient illumination to your basement space by projecting a wash of light across the floor, presenting the illusion of depth and height – useful for a room with a low ceiling.
This is a fairly simple DIY job – just add an inexpensive strip light set which will allow you to control the color and the hue of your lights by remote control. Lighting can enhance any atmosphere, especially when lighting is allowed to illuminate indirectly. This idea is easily adaptable, so you could mirror the effect with a strip of up-lighters around the top of the wall. Simple, yet very effective.
This fabulously creative lighting feature makes a great addition to a basement where you’re aiming to maintain a little of the space’s natural rusticity. This lighting effect is achieved with old-school bayonet phosphorescent bulbs, delivering a consistent, intense glow. The scaffold piping and connections reinforce an industrial theme which adds some authenticity to the tempting, orange luster of these upcycled beer bottles. Of course, you could vary the bottle color for some additional tonal interest. This would make an excellent feature lighting idea for a basement cloakroom.
Placing an object of industry and using it in a decorative context is an excellent exercise in acknowledging beauty where beauty tends not to reside. This retired petrol pump makes a brilliant light-fitting and one that is likely to bring more than just luminosity to your basement. There’s an impressive textural contrast on display here: the exposed brick adds character to any indoor space, while the unpainted wood bears the knocks and grazes of use over time. The pendant light bulb has an idiosyncratic perma-twist to the cabling, making it attractive enough to expose, while the bulb impresses with a vintage filament that immediately transports you to simpler times. Eye-catching and clever, and the perfect DIY project for someone proficient in home electrics.
Ladders, Twigs And String Lights
If someone suggested that an old ladder and a bunch of dead sticks would make an attractive lighting configuration, you’d probably laugh them out of the room. But, it’s incredibly effective, isn’t it? The string lighting has substantial globe bulbs, spreading light into the space, while the ladder makes a unique frame, accommodating a long strip of lights. The ancient ladder may look a little past its best, but it makes the perfect lodging for this funky lighting idea. The twigs add rusticity and texture, while the dangling jewels introduce some unexpected bling to lift this lighting idea into something quite extraordinary.
Many basement rooms have relatively low ceilings, so this idea may steal too much head-height. However, you could attach this fabulous ladder of luminescence to the wall, presenting it horizontally instead. Who said that lighting had to be central (and conventional!)?
Stair Tread Lighting
LEDs and stairways are a classic combination; highlighted beautifully with this glowing stairwell. Basement rooms often lack windows, so can feel a little dark and dingy, so this is an excellent way of enhancing the warmth and invite of a basement room. These painted steps look clean and stylish and bring a little sci-fi aesthetic to your favorite underground lair. There are lots of ways in which LEDs can lift the striking sophistication of a stairway, but we think that these downlit risers are sensational for safety and the best example of effortless style that we’ve seen in any staircase. Striking.
So, there you have it. Basement lighting ideas that are proper Bobby Dazzlers. We love how light can lift a simple space, transforming it into something extraordinary. What do you think? We’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to share the article with your friends.