How Do I Get More Natural Light In My Basement?

Natural light is important for every living space of your home. The basement is no exception, especially as it does not get a sufficient amount of sunlight. But how is it ever possible to get more natural light for your basement? We have done the research to provide you with the best answer.

Your basement shouldn't look dimly lit if you employ any of the following techniques to get more natural light for your basement:

  • Add windows.
  • Build egress windows and wells.
  • Install a solar tube and lightwell.
  • Extend the ceiling height.
  • Make use of interior design tricks.

Adding windows comes first into your mind when thinking of getting more natural light for your basement. However, there are other strategies and techniques that you can explore that could serve the same purpose. Stay on this page as we discuss each option in greater detail to give you a helpful guide.

An empty basement room interior with stone wall trim and brick wall, How Do I Get More Natural Light In My Basement?

Types of Basement Windows

Determining the appropriate type of window for your basement is essential. It does not only add beauty and appearance to your house exterior but more importantly, it makes your basement more inviting than any other living space of your home.

Basement windows improve curb appeal and increase the value of your home. Potential buyers take time to notice external elements and windows give the first impression. They approach the windows and look at what kind of view they offer and how much sunlight they allow.

Take a look at the different types of basement windows for your guide.

Window of a basement cellar

Hopper or Double Hung Window

This type of window may be considered as the typical or the classic model for basements. The size is perfect for basements that are partially above ground level. The bottom is usually hinged which fully opens inward or toward the interior with an easy-to-operate lever.

Awning Window

Awning windows are the opposite of hopper windows, that is, they are hinged at the top and fully open outward or away from the interior.

Awning windows offer the most obvious advantage since they can be left open at all times regardless of the weather condition outside. In this setup, there is a continuous entry and supply of natural light, if weather permits, into your basement. They also allow air circulation and sufficient ventilation, thus lowering your energy bills.

Casement Window

This type of window can be atypical of a door that is hinged at the sides and opens outward. They offer a great way to get sufficient sunlight and ventilation for your space.

Single or Double Slider Window

Aside from aesthetics, this type of window boasts of an expansive opening, and lets in more sunlight and cool air than other window types. You can easily glide to open it to one side. With the right sizing and dimensions, it can be used as an egress window, which will be discussed in the next section.

Also, check out this article for further reading on basement windows: How Big Should A Basement Window Be?

What Are Other Ways to Brighten Your Basement?

Exterior view of an egress window in a basement bedroom

In case you can no longer add windows to your basement to get more natural light, you might as well consider the following options:

Build Egress Windows and Wells

Typically, the building code requires one egress window for every basement. But nowadays, egress windows serve another purpose other than for emergency exits only.

This type of basement window can pour more natural light into the interior compared to other window types. Now, homeowners, architects, and planners consider setting up more of this type throughout the basement.

Also, make sure that the window installation should be airtight to avert energy loss. This energy-efficient feature is cost-saving while you enjoy flooding your basement with natural light. Though the major drawback of egress windows is security, you would always take time to secure all the locks every night.

An egress window well is U-shaped or rectangular linings made of ribbed metal or plastic material, They are fixed into place by applying concrete. These linings are initially designed as protection from soil erosion and also to prevent water pooling,  puddles, and flooding.

Egress window wells can function similarly to lightwells. They can be good sources of natural light and ventilation to the basement as well.

Install A Solar Tube

Solar tubes are structures placed at the roof or at the exterior wall of your basement. A series of mirrors are fitted within the pipe that facilitates light to travel through and directed towards the interior.

These solar tubes are perfect for illuminating even the dark corners of your basement and those spaces where sunlight from the windows cannot reach.

Build Basement Light Wells

Double window in basement bedroom

A light well or an air shaft is an architectural design that brings in vertical light, the strongest that can fully illuminate your basement during daytime. It can be in full size or small window. You may position it on the exterior walls that get the most sun throughout the day. 

Extend the Ceiling Height

Basements with low ceilings make the place even darker and gloomy. You may consider increasing the vertical height of your basement by extending the ceiling height. This option could be a major renovation and should be incorporated during your remodeling or basement improvement projects. 

To learn more about basement ceilings, this article would be helpful: How Tall Is A 12-Course Basement Ceiling?

Make Use of Interior Design Tricks

You can leverage on minor home improvements so that light can be brought into every corner of your basement.

Hang Mirrors

Mirrors have the capacity to reflect light. As such, you may consider hanging up a large mirror at the wall opposite the basement window. This is your smart strategy to reflect sunlight coming inside, thus brightening up your living space and making it look bigger.

A variation of this strategy is getting home decors and furniture with glass, chrome, or metallic features in their design since they can maximize sunlight or artificial light to brighten up your basement, while at the same time creating aesthetic value. 

Click here to see this square wall mirror decor on Amazon.

Paint The Walls White

Laundry room interior

White painted walls are perfect to reflect or bounce back both natural and artificial light. Also, the white color on the walls makes the room look bigger, brighter, and livelier. It easily blends with whatever style and design you may have for your basement interiors. 

Aside from white paint, any light color hue can be a good alternative. Light colors allow light to travel around the room, As an example, a bright yellow hue for your basement walls can illuminate immensely.

Use Light Colors for Floorings and Wallpapers

A basement living and dining room area with modern furniture and stairs leading up

Choose light colors for your basement flooring and wallpaper. It gives the illusion of bright light and open space. For wallpaper, choose designs that are more towards vertical orientation since they project height and seemingly high ceilings.

Click here to see this Treetops peel & stick wallpaper on Amazon.

Have An Open Space Floor Layout

With an open space floor plan, it allows natural and artificial light to illuminate the entire space. Setting up partitions, not only constricts the space but can potentially block the sunlight shining from basement windows  Ideally, sunlight should travel uninterruptedly from one side of the basement to the other.

Pay close attention to the location of the windows before positioning your partitions and walls. Partitions can only be positioned parallel, not perpendicular, to the window. This arrangement enables natural light to illuminate other areas of your space.

Get Glazed or Glass Doors

Glass materials can add natural light coming through due to their shiny and reflective properties. You may consider installing large glass doors, glass partitions, or glass balustrades. Not only that they magnify the sunlight coming in, but also make your basement appear bigger and more open, brighter, and with modern appeal. 

Additionally, you may also consider glazed sliding doors for your basement. Their varied and reflective colors add style and flair to your basement interior.

Choose Fancy Lighting

Lighting fixtures not only boost illumination but add warmth to your basement. Since they have also glass elements and a metallic finish, they can help magnify the sunlight coming from the windows.

The advantage of lighting effects and fixtures is that you can control the illumination at specific areas of the basement where you need it most.

You may consider adding door lights and sidelights to your entryway or basement stair landing. or a pendant-like chandelier to add flair and style to your basement ceiling.

Click here to see this semi-flush mount ceiling light on Amazon.

What Are The Effects of More Natural Light Into Your Home?

Natural lighting influences how you decorate your home. Getting more natural light into your home brings in a number of these advantages:

  • It makes the space appear bigger and roomier with continuous perception of space.
  • It enlivens and brightens up the room, due to the full illumination.
  • It accentuates your home interiors—furniture, fixtures, and walls.
  • It impacts your mood and energy levels that add up to a healthy ambiance.
  • It reflects the personality of the homemaker.

In Closing

If you are looking to increase the amount of natural light in your basement, there are various techniques and strategies to make your living space look roomier and livelier. And also, a bright atmosphere can accentuate your home interiors.  

Choose to add the appropriate type of basement window, including egress windows. Installing a solar tube and basement lightwell can also boost natural light coming in.

Making use of various interior design techniques such as mirrors and lightings for your decor, glass doors, and partitions, white or light color paint for walls and flooring, and open space can all do the trick of getting more natural light.

Indeed, your basement, as in any other living space, deserves to have plenty of natural light. It should not look drab and dreary, Give it a lift!

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