Dark basement - best lighting?

cmm6797October 20, 2011

We're updating our semi-finished basement. Right now there is a drop ceiling (acoustic tile), with 6" recessed lights every 4-5' feet.

We're replacing the ceiling with sheetrock and want to make the area as bright and light as possible. There's virtually no natural light and the recessed lights now are not bright enough.

I thought we would just fit in a few more recessed lights. Some other suggestions were to get rid of the recessed and install flourescent panels but I can't get past the flourescents from the 70s.

Is there a " best" solution for a dark basement? Thanks.

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Possible choices
T8 fluorescent troffers
CREE CR24/CR24 Led troffers which are claimed to match T8 troffers in terms of light output and price
Panel lights
More recessed lights (CR6) 3' - 4' apart.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 5:46PM
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What Davidtay said.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 8:51AM
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Philips TL950 fluorescent T8 tubes are amazing - 5000K and 98 CRI (which is lighting parlance for "looks like natural daylight" and "awesome color rendering" respectively). Less than $8/bulb from lighting supply. I usually put 2 of them in recessed 1' x 4' troffers with reflective grid type cover rather than a plastic panel (less glare, more contemporary aesthetic). Other sizes are available if needed, as are surface-mounted fixtures. Get as many as you need to cover your space.

I second the Cree CR14 recommendation (same as CR22 except only 1x4' instead of 2x4', looks neater IMO). Pricey but efficient, and certainly won't be mistaken for anything from the 1970s - think more 2020s. Not quite as daylight-y though, more neutral color (3500K version) or cool-white (4000K version).

CR6 round LED recessed lights are good if you like a traditional incandescent-bulb look but they use much less electricity (10 watts each). $40 each and they include built-in trim kit that would cost $12 if you used halogen floodlamp bulbs.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 3:14PM
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You can get fixtures fr quad T8 bulbs without having to use troffers.

Those and some strategically located recessed lights 9like over ed tables near a couch) should do the job.
Use separate switches and a dimmer for the recessed lights.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 3:44PM
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