Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

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Jmaclicious
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Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:29 pm

So I am about to place an order for some lights but having some trouble trying to figure out how I want to light up the basement.. I plan on using the 4" slim LED 3000k 9w lights however the beam/duct work bulk head runs across the middle of my basement... in order to avoid dark areas should I place these slim lights underneath the duct work or would a wall sconce be better in this area? (if so, I wouldnt be able to put it on the left wall where the level/broom is leaning as that is a pocket door)

Also is it better to have the lights 2' from the walls, or 3' from the walls and I assume Ill try and go every 4' if possible, however since the bulkhead is a wonky measurement on the other end of the basement I may have to spread the lights out a bit otherwise ill end up with 1 on the edge of the bulkhead which would look funny. The lights that are there now are old ones that will be replaced and moved. I still have to adjust the bulkhead a little bit as I took some pieces down for when i get spray foam.
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Shannon
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Shannon » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:35 pm

Well first off 9w lights will be very dim. I would go no less then 11w and with 11w I would keep them 4’-5’ max apart. I also try to keep lights about 3’ from walls when I can.
I would place slims in the bulkhead bottom if you can.
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:37 pm

Shannon wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:35 pm
Well first off 9w lights will be very dim. I would go no less then 11w and with 11w I would keep them 4’-5’ max apart. I also try to keep lights about 3’ from walls when I can.
I would place slims in the bulkhead bottom if you can.
Really, i find the 9w actually pretty bright, the bottom pic there that bedroom has 1x 9w light in it right now. I feel as if 6" lights would look silly as my ceilings are only 7' 6 or so tall.

also the lights im looking at are lithonia wf4 3000k 9.6w 675 Lumens

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Aaron » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:40 pm

I agree with Shannon, you really will want 11 watt which typically corresponds to 800-1100 lumens which is roughly equivalent to the old 60 watt incandescent for light output.

I'm a fan of the 2700K or 3000K at most if it's going to be a living space. I use the 4500K-5000K over my workbench. The former is warm color light and the higher one is a more white-bluish light which is harsh but you can see better with it. I got some 4500K bulbs to replace old appliance bulbs in my fridge and freezer too.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:14 am

Aaron wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:40 pm
I agree with Shannon, you really will want 11 watt which typically corresponds to 800-1100 lumens which is roughly equivalent to the old 60 watt incandescent for light output.

I'm a fan of the 2700K or 3000K at most if it's going to be a living space. I use the 4500K-5000K over my workbench. The former is warm color light and the higher one is a more white-bluish light which is harsh but you can see better with it. I got some 4500K bulbs to replace old appliance bulbs in my fridge and freezer too.
Yeah, hmm, now im worried as i just ordered the 4" ones since they had a buy 12 get 2 free deal, I do have a 4" one and it seems pretty bright already, I just feel with my ceiling being so low that the 6" model after trim is nearly 7" big that it would look super weird.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Aaron » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:03 am

Okay then, go with what you feel is right then. If you can't go with brighter lights, then more lights sort of achieves the same effect. Maybe the wall sconces are not a bad idea, really. It's pretty common to see those in hallways, and if the bulkhead around the ducts would make the ceiling REALLY low if you needed even MORE overhead space to accommodate pot lights then I guess I would go with sconces. They look really nice, too, in my opinion--they really dress up a house.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Shannon » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:31 am

You can get 4" LEDs with 11 W if that is the issue.
I look at LED lighting this way, because you can not change the bulbs if they are not bright enough, I tend to go with more Lumens cause I can always put them on a dimmer. Lower Lumens will produce more shadows as well which to me is very annoying ,maybe cause my eyes get worse as I get older?? LOL!
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:18 pm

Hmm, any particular brands you would recommend? This is tough lol, trying to compare the specs and everything seems to be pretty similar minus the costs. Just want nice light thats not to goldy/yellow thats not going to blind people in my short basement. :geek:

Lithonia WF 4" Lights: (Pricing is approx $20.00 per light)
2700K/80CRI/10.6W/660L - 120 Degree Beam (10%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 36,000 Hours.
3000K/80CRI/9.6W/675L - 120 Degree Beam (10%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 36,000 Hours.

Liteline Classic 4" Lights: (Pricing is approx $25.00 per light)
2700k/90CRI/9W/630L - 120 Degree Beam (10%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 50,000 Hours.
3000k/90CRI/9W/640L - 120 Degree Beam (10%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 50,000 Hours.

Liteline PRO 4" Lights: (Not sure of pricing)
2700K/80CRI/12W/766L - 110 Degree Beam (10%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 50,000 Hours.
3000K/80CRI/12W/780-800L - 110 Degree Beam (10%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 50,000 Hours.

Lotus LED 4" Lights: (forget some pricing)
3000K/80+CRI/11W/700L - 110 Degree Beam (5%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 36,000 Hours.

3000K/84CRI/12W/700L - 110 Degree Beam (10%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 50,000 Hours.

2700K/90+CRI/13.5W/750L - 110 Degree Beam (5%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 50,000 Hours.
3000K/90+CRI/13.5W/760L - 110 Degree Beam (5%-100% dimmable) Projected Life 70% 50,000 Hours.


After doing a bit of scouting around I may go for the Lotus Lights.. I do have a 12W 3000K one in my basement currently that was intended for my shower, so I am debating between the 3000k 11w (comparable to 65w light) version or one of the 13.5w (comparable to 75w light) version because of the high CRI.

So the current ones I had as a sample in my basement was the 9w Liteline SLIM LED 3000k one which seems super bright compared to the Lotus 12W 3000k one, after looking at the specs that 9w liteline one has a 90CRI, 640L, 120 degree beam angle, and produces 71 lumens per watt. Where the lotus 12W one has a 84 CRI, 700L , 110 degree beam angle, which produces 58 lumens per watt. I am unsure if i have the "compatible" dimmer set up in my basement, as I just wired them up to see how they looked.. but the liteline one still seems too bright for my eyes even when dimmed to the point before turning off. Would the Lotus 11w 3000k at 700L be a good buy for the fact its $30.00 cheaper than the 13.5w version, and I could dim it to 5% which would be nice compared to the 10% of some of the others. The only thing im iffy on is the lower CRI rating compared to the 90+ CRI ones.

Then when I look at the Lithonia WF4 3000K/80CRI/9.6W/675L - 120 Degree Beam (10%-100% dimmable) which I can buy 12 lights and get 2 free ($20.00 a light), compared to the Lotus Economy 3000K/80+CRI/11W/700L - 110 Degree Beam (5%-100% dimmable) - $32.00 a light, does the additional 1.4w and 25 Lumens along with an extra 5% dimming really make it worth the $12.00 price difference?

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Shannon » Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:50 pm

LEDs do get a bit confusing because of all the info and differences, most of which we never even heard of before.
Really any of those lights will work. My recommendation is to not go below 3000k , keep at least 700 L and above 80 CRI. These specs spaced at no more then 4' - 5' apart will work well.
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by emtnut » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:34 pm

Just curious. All the wiring seems to be run under the joists.
Are you doing dropped ceilings everywhere ?
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:01 pm

emtnut wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:34 pm
Just curious. All the wiring seems to be run under the joists.
Are you doing dropped ceilings everywhere ?
Those ones are old lights, all of those including the j-box's will be removed once i get the new lights and re-wire, I am going to be drywalling the ceiling down there. I will probably be using 7/8 metal hat channel to fur down the ceiling to help level it better.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:27 am

Shannon wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:50 pm
LEDs do get a bit confusing because of all the info and differences, most of which we never even heard of before.
Really any of those lights will work. My recommendation is to not go below 3000k , keep at least 700 L and above 80 CRI. These specs spaced at no more then 4' - 5' apart will work well.
So I ordered a Philips Dimmable 11.6 Watt 4" Round 3000K Flat LED Downlight

90 CRI, 700 Lumens, 3000k 113 degree beam angle, 50,000 hours, wet & ic rated, bit of a cheaper build compared to the lotus.. but for $20 a light compared to $80 of lotus's equiv 90 CRI version... I couldn't resist.. but holy crap are they bright... lol I just hope with the dimmer at lowest setting it won't be too blinding :lol: Also nice thing too is if I ever need to replace one.. I can pick them up locally where as the lotus you need to get them special ordered in which could take weeks.

I put this light on the opposite side of the beam to compare to a Lotus 12w 80CRI 700 Lumen light I had on hand and the brightness of this Philips light to bring out the colour of the studs way more. Hoping that this was the right move.. considering 24 lights + rough in plates cost me under 750$ compared to lotus for the lights alone being $1800 lol.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by emtnut » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:31 am

Jmaclicious wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:27 am
Shannon wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:50 pm
LEDs do get a bit confusing because of all the info and differences, most of which we never even heard of before.
Really any of those lights will work. My recommendation is to not go below 3000k , keep at least 700 L and above 80 CRI. These specs spaced at no more then 4' - 5' apart will work well.
So I ordered a Philips Dimmable 11.6 Watt 4" Round 3000K Flat LED Downlight

90 CRI, 700 Lumens, 3000k 113 degree beam angle, 50,000 hours, wet & ic rated, bit of a cheaper build compared to the lotus.. but for $20 a light compared to $80 of lotus's equiv 90 CRI version... I couldn't resist.. but holy crap are they bright... lol I just hope with the dimmer at lowest setting it won't be too blinding :lol: Also nice thing too is if I ever need to replace one.. I can pick them up locally where as the lotus you need to get them special ordered in which could take weeks.

I put this light on the opposite side of the beam to compare to a Lotus 12w 80CRI 700 Lumen light I had on hand and the brightness of this Philips light to bring out the colour of the studs way more. Hoping that this was the right move.. considering 24 lights + rough in plates cost me under 750$ compared to lotus for the lights alone being $1800 lol.
I usually try to stay out of lighting threads ! It's kinda like trying to buy a dress for your wife :lol: ... you just know it's not going to end well :mrgreen:

Having said that, I'll have to check out the ones you bought. I like light... LOTS of it... like really really BRIGHT !! Like 'the mothership is landing' bright :lol:

Buy a good quality (name brand) LED compatible dimmer, and I'm sure you will be happy !
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:38 am

emtnut wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:31 am
Jmaclicious wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:27 am


So I ordered a Philips Dimmable 11.6 Watt 4" Round 3000K Flat LED Downlight

90 CRI, 700 Lumens, 3000k 113 degree beam angle, 50,000 hours, wet & ic rated, bit of a cheaper build compared to the lotus.. but for $20 a light compared to $80 of lotus's equiv 90 CRI version... I couldn't resist.. but holy crap are they bright... lol I just hope with the dimmer at lowest setting it won't be too blinding :lol: Also nice thing too is if I ever need to replace one.. I can pick them up locally where as the lotus you need to get them special ordered in which could take weeks.

I put this light on the opposite side of the beam to compare to a Lotus 12w 80CRI 700 Lumen light I had on hand and the brightness of this Philips light to bring out the colour of the studs way more. Hoping that this was the right move.. considering 24 lights + rough in plates cost me under 750$ compared to lotus for the lights alone being $1800 lol.
I usually try to stay out of lighting threads ! It's kinda like trying to buy a dress for your wife :lol: ... you just know it's not going to end well :mrgreen:

Having said that, I'll have to check out the ones you bought. I like light... LOTS of it... like really really BRIGHT !! Like 'the mothership is landing' bright :lol:

Buy a good quality (name brand) LED compatible dimmer, and I'm sure you will be happy !
check them out and let me know what you think, the model number for the slim ones i got is FD4R07930TE1W.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by emtnut » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:46 am

Jmaclicious wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:38 am

check them out and let me know what you think, the model number for the slim ones i got is FD4R07930TE1W.
I like it ! It's a warm color, but they say 75W equivalent.

I see Nedco sells them too, that's a good sign ;)

Note, I saw this on the spec page ...
Compatible with Lutron CT-600P, AYCL-153P and SELV-300P dimmers

Many other dimmers would work, but those have been factory tested by Phillips.
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:50 am

They are def a nice colour, but yeah super bright ! Also heres a dimmer list i found on philips spec sheet. :mrgreen:
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by emtnut » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:07 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:50 am
They are def a nice colour, but yeah super bright ! Also heres a dimmer list i found on philips spec sheet. :mrgreen:
I like your list better !

Funny, I got mine on the Nedco site, and I know they like to push the Lutron products. Sneaky buggers :lol:
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:28 am

emtnut wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:07 pm
Jmaclicious wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:50 am
They are def a nice colour, but yeah super bright ! Also heres a dimmer list i found on philips spec sheet. :mrgreen:
I like your list better !

Funny, I got mine on the Nedco site, and I know they like to push the Lutron products. Sneaky buggers :lol:

Haha, finally prepping everything before I get my first inspection, couple questions as I can't really find any information for Canadian code for 14/3 wires... how many 14/3 wires can be stapled under each staple? I searched around and all i could find is I can run 2x 14/3 per hole.. but only 1x 14/3 per staple.. but it not sure if this is Canadian or not. I just ran 1x 14/3 under an S2 staple and 1x per 3/4 hole to be safe.. but wow so loose I have to use more staples often so its not so slack lol.

Oh and also the guys that did my electrical panel ran wiring pretty close to the heat duct, how stiff are they on that, i am hoping I won't get dinged for that.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:32 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:28 am
emtnut wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:07 pm


I like your list better !

Funny, I got mine on the Nedco site, and I know they like to push the Lutron products. Sneaky buggers :lol:

Haha, finally prepping everything before I get my first inspection, couple questions as I can't really find any information for Canadian code for 14/3 wires... how many 14/3 wires can be stapled under each staple? I searched around and all i could find is I can run 2 cables per hole if its only 1x 14/2 and 1x 14/3 per hole.. but only 1x 14/3 per staple.. but it not sure if this is Canadian or not. I just ran 1x 14/3 under an S2 staple and 1x per 3/4 hole to be safe.. but wow so loose I have to use more staples often so its not so slack lol.

Oh and also the guys that did my electrical panel ran wiring pretty close to the heat duct, how stiff are they on that, i am hoping I won't get dinged for that.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Aaron » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:46 pm

Jmaclicious wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:32 pm
Haha, finally prepping everything before I get my first inspection, couple questions as I can't really find any information for Canadian code for 14/3 wires... how many 14/3 wires can be stapled under each staple?
Hmm, I'm not sure what 14/3 looks like in Canada.

Down here 14/3 used to be a round cable, but now they're flat and a little wider than a 14/2. If it's flat I would say you could stack two of them if the staple is wide enough. I would not stack them if they're round, though.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:32 pm
I searched around and all i could find is I can run 2 cables per hole if its only 1x 14/2 and 1x 14/3 per hole.. but only 1x 14/3 per staple.. but it not sure if this is Canadian or not.
That sounds like it could be right. Just go with that.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:32 pm
I just ran 1x 14/3 under an S2 staple and 1x per 3/4 hole to be safe.. but wow so loose I have to use more staples often so its not so slack lol.
You could have probably used an S1 staple perhaps. As long as the cable's not getting crushed, and you can pull it through with a little resistance.
Jmaclicious wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:32 pm
Oh and also the guys that did my electrical panel ran wiring pretty close to the heat duct, how stiff are they on that, i am hoping I won't get dinged for that.
Should be fine. Your panel just needs at least one meter of free clearance around it. It can be centered in that meter, or to the left or right of it. At least that's NEC code, I'm guessing CEC is probably the same.

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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by emtnut » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:03 am

Nothing in the code book for staples. BUT, you have to follow mfr instructions.
The number and size of cables for the staple is listed on the box packaging.

Keep the box handy for when the inspector comes, sometimes they ask to see it !

As for how many cables per hole, I always advise 2 cables per hole.
Technically you can have 6 'current carrying' conductors--- Keeping it at 2 cables covers all situations


A BIG pet peeve of inspectors are if the cable clamps are too tight. It can damage the cable, and has been proven to start fires. KEEP THEM LOOSE !!!
The Iberville s1 and s2 have a tab, so you know exactly how far to go ... some guys drive them in way past the tab though :sad:
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:07 am

emtnut wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:03 am
Nothing in the code book for staples. BUT, you have to follow mfr instructions.
The number and size of cables for the staple is listed on the box packaging.

Keep the box handy for when the inspector comes, sometimes they ask to see it !

As for how many cables per hole, I always advise 2 cables per hole.
Technically you can have 6 'current carrying' conductors--- Keeping it at 2 cables covers all situations


A BIG pet peeve of inspectors are if the cable clamps are too tight. It can damage the cable, and has been proven to start fires. KEEP THEM LOOSE !!!
The Iberville s1 and s2 have a tab, so you know exactly how far to go ... some guys drive them in way past the tab though :sad:
Haha awesome, thanks! I will keep the box just in case the inspector can't read s1/s2/s3/s4 on the staples :mrgreen: . I am having difficulties right now trying to play around with the lighting layout to get the perfect amount of light. This one section of the rec-room which is the bottom of the stairs and acts as the hallway to the 3 rooms is giving me issues, mainly because the bulkhead trunk line runs through here.. I currently put 4 lights in this bulkhead spaced 5 feet apart (I may change this to 3 though as it seems pretty bright) due to it being a low bulkhead. In front of the bathroom wall there is a small space that goes to normal height ceiling but it is too dark. Would you suggest I add 1 or 2 downlights up there and cut back on 1 light in the bulkhead or would wall-sconce lights be better suited for that section and go with 3 downlights in the bulkhead. The only issue I have is if I went with wall sconce on each side of the bathroom pocket door (indicted in green on the pictures), I have to fight with making a cold air return work in the stud space (in red) either by moving the studs over enough to get a box positioned nicely in there or just getting creative with thermopan and completely boxing around the light box so the box isn't in the cold air return itself, wonder how an inspector would like that idea considering it technically wouldn't be in the cold air return at that point. And YES the 12/2 light wiring is temporary as I had scraps laying around so i could see how it looks haha. and I will also be strapping that area between the wall and the bulkhead once I do the cold-air return. :geek: :mrgreen:
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Shannon » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 am

I personally think wall sconces are kinda old school . I would add an extra slim .

Have you considered just keeping that entire hall way low? That small area that will rise up is not large and drywalling up in there will be a pain for what it really gives you for height. A lot of inside corners to mess with in a small cramped area or are you doing a suspended ceiling in there?. Just a thought.
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Re: Advice on basement lighting with low ceiling

Post by Jmaclicious » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:28 pm

Shannon wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 am
I personally think wall sconces are kinda old school . I would add an extra slim .

Have you considered just keeping that entire hall way low? That small area that will rise up is not large and drywalling up in there will be a pain for what it really gives you for height. A lot of inside corners to mess with in a small cramped area or are you doing a suspended ceiling in there?. Just a thought.
I did originally have it go all the way across when the wall was pushed back more but then i dismantled it when i put the pocket door in and moved the wall. I will try and alter it around to be continuous height to see how it sets up against the pocket door :mrgreen:

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