Bringing extra light into a basement is a tricky but worthwhile project. If you're planning a basement renovation, consider the many ways to enhance your lighting options.
The first place to look is the windows. Many basements have small windows that limit the natural light flowing through. When finishing a basement, look for ways to add good-sized vinyl replacement windows and enlarge the ones you have. Even a few extra feet of window space helps.
While some homeowners can add drywall or install flooring in a basement on their own, it's often best to leave window installation to a professional. This is particularly true if the project involves expanding window openings and heavy carpentry work.
If you're lucky enough to have a walk-out basement, where part of the space is raised above ground level, you have plenty of options. Otherwise, look for places where an extra window would brighten the space.
The outside of your foundation is another place that can limit light flowing into the basement. If you have thick bushes right against the basement wall, plan to cut them back during your basement renovation.
When you've exhausted natural light options, turn to artificial lighting. A basement renovation often includes upgrades to the electrical system, so this is the time to do it. Maximizing the livable space should also include making it more comfortable and visually appealing.
Many people like the focused light from canned lighting, while others prefer track lights. In both cases, the lights can be directed to shine on specific areas, such as a pool table. Talk with an electrical contractor about getting the right amount of light. You can always add dimmer switches and turn them down if needed.
After the windows and lighting are in place, you can use decorative options to further brighten your basement renovation. Light colored paint, carpeting, or vinyl flooring can be a perfect complement to the other changes you've planned. Glass blocks often give the impression of extra light coming into a basement, too.
When finishing a basement, think about all the things you don't like about the current space. Chances are you could benefit from added light. By taking a few steps to bring in light, you can transform the basement into a bright, open setting as appealing as your first-floor space.