Basement apartments are naturally dark and gloomy. With limited or small windows, natural sunlight cannot brighten the whole area. Also, inadequate lighting affects how you do your daily tasks. To help you with this, we have done the research to provide you with the best ways to brighten a basement apartment.
Making a basement apartment brighter is possible even with limited resources. Listed below are some simple things you can do to brighten your basement apartment:
- Installing lights
- Placing mirrors to help reflect light
- Using reflective floors and surfaces
- Decluttering the basement
- Painting the walls with light colors
Get as much light as you want to suit your needs. A bright basement adds some life and comfort. If you follow these simple tips you can make your basement apartment more inviting. Keep reading to discover how to brighten up your basement apartment.
Basement Apartment Brightening Ideas
With limited windows, basements can remain dark. Even if basement apartments have some windows, there might be obstacles outside that block light from coming through. You might also have thick curtains or window blinds that prevent light from coming into the basement.
Check if the apartment meets the lighting specifications set by state building codes. It would not be conducive for reading, studying, and remote work if the basement is too dark. As much as possible, the basement apartment must allow natural light in all common rooms.
Below are common ways to lighten a dark basement apartment.
Installing Lighting Fixtures
You can install some lighting fixtures in key areas of your basement apartment. Before buying your lights, you should figure out where you want to install them. Some common places where you should have adequate lighting are the living room, bedroom, and dining areas.
Here are some lights you can use that add some aesthetics without compromising function:
- Recessed lights - This type is best when you have limited basement ceiling height. These lights blend well with the ceiling and create more illumination.
- Accent lights - These lights are typically for decorative purposes. You can place accent lights on your workspace or dining table.
- Track lights - With track lights, you focus the beams of the light to highlight an area. It would be great for lighting the hallways or staircase. You can also use track lights for built-in cabinets or shelves with a wall sconce.
- Plinth lights - You can use plinth lights for the baseboards of a room or as under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen.
Another way to lighten the basement is by placing mirrors on the walls or shelves. Mirrors are effective in reflecting light from a source.
Even with a few mirrors, you can place the mirror halfway between the windows and a wall. Doing so will ensure that the mirror reflects the light from the window to the rest of the room.
For aesthetic purposes, you can place mirrors anywhere you like. It is up to you to choose the mirror size that best suits the space in terms of aesthetics and lighting needs. You get both style and function with mirrors in your basement apartment.
Using Reflective Surfaces
You can help brighten the basement by using reflective surfaces that bounce back the light. A major surface to consider is the basement floor. The floor reflects the light from the ceiling. For your floors, you can choose polished hardwood, shiny tiles, or concrete.
Some other materials you can use for a reflective surface include:
- Countertops with glossy tiles (e.g., polished porcelain glass)
- Light-reflecting carpets
- Large mirrors on the walls
- Glass tabletops
- Shiny decorative accents (like vases, picture frames, and candle holders)
Decluttering Your Basement
The easiest and cheapest way to add brightness to your basement apartment is to simply remove the clutter. There might be things that block the passage of artificial or natural light in the basement.
The basement space also will appear bigger once you get rid of unnecessary fixtures, boxes, and other storage stuff.
Painting The Walls
You can create a bright and lively basement space by painting your walls with light colors. White or light colors like light gray and cream can help lighten up your basement space.
After all, the choice of paint is a matter of your preference. You can go with neutral hues, add some pop of color, or choose light pastels. Regardless of what you choose, painting the walls will make the basement apartment appear lighter.
If you choose to paint, read further to find the best color for your basement walls.
What Is The Best Color(s) For Basement Walls?
There is a wide range of colors you can choose for your basement walls. To narrow down the selection, here are the top color choices that will brighten your basement:
- Bright white - White creates a clean and bright feel for a basement. You can use any color of furniture and fixtures with white walls.
- Cream - If you don't want to go purely white, cream can be a good alternative. This relaxing color is also versatile.
- Sky blue - This shade of blue has a calming effect. The pale hue creates an inviting space.
- Purple - If you want to show your creativity, you can use this elegant and playful color.
- Gray - For a subtle yet sophisticated look, you can choose gray for your basement. You can easily pair gray with neutral colors.
- Green - From lime to emerald hues, green creates a tranquil and a cozy vibe.
- Yellow - The color yellow brings energy and life to your basement. You can pick a bolder hue of yellow for a basement due to the lack of natural sunlight.
- Brown - This neutral color makes you feel enveloped with nature which can feel relaxing. Brown is great to pair with white trims on the walls.
In the end, your choice of color depends on the style you want to achieve.
What Color Light Is Best For The Basement?
It is crucial to select the best color for the lights in your basement. The wrong light color choice can make your basement appear dim instead of bright. The color varies due to the temperature of the light bulbs. The temperature can be warm or cool, which is measured in Kelvin.
The warmer the light, the lower its temperature and vice versa. Lower temperature lights give off a warm, soft yellow light, while higher temperatures emit harsh light. There are lights that you can control to adjust its temperature.
If you want to get the brightest color of the lights, opt for cool white lighting. The temperature ranges from 3,100 to 4,500 K. Cool white bulbs are great for common areas like the living room. Also, cool white light is great for doing daily tasks and reading.
What Artificial Light Is Closest To Sunlight?
Basements lack natural sunlight. Even with some windows, it isn't easy for sunlight to come inside. There are artificial lights that mimic the natural light balance and color temperature of sunlight. You can use a high-quality full-spectrum bulb that matches the midday sunlight.
Here are some benefits of choosing full-spectrum lights:
- Improves productivity while doing tasks
- Helps create a sense of energy
- Reduces eyestrain, headaches, and stress
- Aids in combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression
- Promotes better sleep
How Do You Fake A Window In A Windowless Room?
Aside from artificial lighting, you can make a fake window to brighten a windowless basement room. You will feel less cramped or claustrophobic while inside. A fake window can create an illusion that also adds to the appeal of your basement.
You should plan where you want to install the fake window as well as your desired measurements. You also must prepare the materials and tools you will need.
One simple way to create a fake window is using a window film. The film is available in different patterns like frosted or mirrored, which mimics glass. Installing the window film is easy. Here are the steps to follow:
- Cut the film into your preferred measurement.
- Spray the film lightly with water.
- Slowly remove the backing of the film while pushing it into the wall.
Other ways to add a fake window include:
- Creating a light-box.
- Using electro-luminescent sheets.
- Adding drapery to mirrors.
- Using stick-on decals with some scenery.
- Installing LED plant grow lights.
With a dark basement apartment, you might not be able to do your daily tasks. You can reduce the darkness by using mirrors, reflective surfaces, or simply decluttering. If you have time and budget, you can paint the basement walls to suit your style.
You can also buy lights that resemble the color of natural sunlight. If you have no windows, you can even create fake windows to brighten up the space. With adequate lighting in a basement apartment, you can live more comfortably.
Before you go, be sure to check out these other guides that might be of interest: