How would you avoid Swiss cheese ceiling in this space?

JulesJanuary 9, 2014

My lower level (currently under construction) will look similar to this space; however, I'd like to avoid recessed lights if possible.

What lighting would you use instead? Do I even need lights on the ceiling? I do use many lamps.

Wall height is 9'.

Here is a link that might be useful: More photos of this room

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This photo more closely resembles the decor scheme I'll use (much less color), but you probably get the idea.

Casual cottage lower level that walks out to the beach.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 7:55PM
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I call it the airstrip runway look. While I have a beautiful ceiling fixture, I very seldom use it, even though it's on a dimmer. I prefer lamps and the ambience they project.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:02PM
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In the lower level you may really need them. I am not a fan myself but usually if you lay out the lighting in one even grid it is less noticeable than random lights all over.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:06PM
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I simply can't look at/enjoy these rooms because the light pattern makes me crazy trying to make sense of it. I do like the lights over the fireplace and the wave pattern on the wall there. Are you planning horizontal boards in your rooms?

If it were me, if I knew I would need task lighting somewhere, like if you were planning a game table or ?? I might put in a couple of recessed lights, but otherwise I'd make sure I had plenty of outlets and maybe a few in the floor so lamp placement could be optimal. I have no overhead lights in any of my bedrooms or living room and I love it.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Do you have pipes or duct work to deal with? Our architect very cleverly buried our duct work in tray ceilings which helped break up any large expanses while making it look less like a basement. You can use cans along the edges to highlight features such as drapes, art work, etc. then you can use indirect lighting if you have a tray, or use semi flush ceiling lights in the middle for general lighting...then do the rest with lamps and such.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 9:12PM
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No duct work. It's all hidden above the ceiling.

Maybe I could add wall lights like this in a couple places such as over some shelving.

Or wall sconces?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 9:50PM
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By the way, what is the name of that light style pictured above?

Edit: found it ... swing arm wall lamp

This post was edited by jujubean71 on Thu, Jan 9, 14 at 22:55

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 10:49PM
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I would cover all but a few and bring in other up and down lighting. What an absolutely beautiful room!!! ItâÂÂs not often I see pretty rooms where I would actually feel comfortable hanging out in. I canâÂÂt get over how much I love all your stuff. Are you getting rid of all that nifty furniture and décor? Love love love everything!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 11:01PM
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The photos above aren't mine ... only inspiration photos I found online. :)

But I have many similar pieces and can hardly wait to decorate my new home!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 11:20PM
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I have never seen such an overuse of recessed lighting. Why in the world do they have so many? Either someone doesn't know how to gain max lighting with fewer fixtures, or they just like everything extra bright.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 12:17AM
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If you really need some overhead lighting I would just use four or six. I love soft lamp lighting and rarely turn on my overhead lighting at all except in the kitchen. I think you could easily get away with no overhead lighting in a room that you do not need to light in order to work.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 6:19AM
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For practical purposes, I'd get at least one ceiling light. They do come in handy when you walk into the dark room and need to turn a light on, or when you need extra task lighting.

I have a lot of lamps too, but I turn on the ceiling light a few times a week when I need more light.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 7:14AM
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Thanks, all. I think I've figured out a game plan to only add a couple simple flush mount ceiling lights in case I need them. I'm also going to put three swing arm sconces over our bar shelving.

It's so nice to be able to bounce ideas off people here.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:29AM
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Library Wall Lights

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:25AM
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I really like recessed lights but you do have to be extra careful where you place them in a living room/bedroom even more than, say, a kitchen. We had 4 recessed lights put in our living room, not realizing one would be directly over the chair I use. It was horrible...I felt like I was being interrogated by the Gestapo! We just ended up unscrewing it enough so that it does not turn on.

If you do decide on no recessed lights I agree one overhead would be good...something you can flip on from the entrance (top or bottom of steps going into the basement) so you have easy, immediate lighting. You may not always want to go around turning lamps on.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Late to the thread -- a perfect example in the above where a smaller diameter can is not always the best solution for general lighting. Many (including myself) like the small cans and think they will be less intrusive, but if you add 40+ it just becomes ridiculous.

I second the recommendations above wrt to putting in an overhead light and/or wiring your outlets to a wall switch; you simply need it to navigate through at night. I do like lamps and use them most often, but for task work and entering a dark room, a wall switch in the right location (or locations -- I have two in my FR) is invaluable.

Another option alluded to above -- LED tape light and bars give a lot of uplighting options, hidden in small soffets or as uplights in a picture rail.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Yes, wire your outlets to switches so you can turn on lights without having to click on each lamp. All my outlets (in living room and all the bedrooms) are wired to wall switches, but only the top plug, so that things can be plugged into the lower receptacle that need to be kept on.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 12:05PM
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