Borman Construction - Kitchener-Waterloo Residential General Contractor

Basement Lighting: Recessed Lights vs Fixtures

Lighting your new basement project is an important step. It can largely define the mood of a room. Dim & intimate? Bright and playful? Choosing your lighting before you begin your project is paramount to how things will turn out as well as affecting things like resale value and the flexibility of your new space in the future. The most popular lighting choices to build into your new basement renovation are recessed lighting and ceiling lights, each of which have advantages and disadvantages.

Recessed pot lights

Recessed pot lights, or “can lights” area an ideal lighting solution for a clean and modern look for your basement. they can be strategically placed to highlight features of your basement like a bar, pool table, or home theater. Interior designers love pot lights because of the control they offer in opening up design opportunities. Because of the directional, spotlight style light that pot lights offer, you can light one area of a room without it bleeding over into other areas, opening up opportunities to cater the light in your basement to your needs.


  • Light fixtures are recessed and hidden into the ceiling making for a clean, uninterrupted look
  • Can act as spotlights to accent pieces of art, tables or pool tables
  • Can be arranged in number of ways to illuminate your basement in any way you wish


  • Directional light pointed down which means you need more pot lights to produce equivalent light to other options
  • Uses more energy (although new LED bulbs help with this)
  • More holes in your ceiling making placement & arrangement important
  • Large rooms require many pot lights

Recessed lighting and pot lights are an idea solution for your basement renovation. They offer flexibility, save space and look spectacular. Pot lights are also great in hallways, kitchens, shower stalls, home theatres, basements & anywhere with low ceilings.

Ceiling light fixtures

Ceiling fixtures have featured in basement renovations for decades, and for good reason. They offer a wide variety of design choices, they offer consistent light across a room and are efficient at lighting a room.


  • There is a vast area of choices & options when choosing light fixtures
  • Cast light over a larger area
  • Requiring fewer fixtures to light the same space
  • Track lights can sometimes mimic some of the spotlight functionality of recessed lighting


  • May take away from the design of the room, making the light fixtures the focal point
  • Having only one or two lights in the room may leave dark spots in corners and nooks
  • Ceiling lights have the effect of lowering the ceiling height, which may be detrimental if you are tall

Ceiling fixtures are not ideal for basements since most basements have lower ceilings. That being said, every basement is different and ceiling lights can make for interesting and bold statement pieces for your new basement renovation.

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