Basement lighting remodel


Old 01-16-14, 05:51 AM
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Basement lighting remodel

Hi there,

I'm looking to revamp the basement lighting. I currently have some florescent lights in the basement that I would like to get rid of and replace with something.

These lights are in a ballast that is recessed into the drop ceiling.

....same lights, different angle....

The 'something' part I'm unsure of though. I came here looking for some ideas. Does any one know what I can replace my current setup with?

I want to remove these ugly shop lights and put something more modern and visual appealing, get rid of those ugly light shields. I was thinking maybe recessed can lights. However, because I'm dealing with this drop ceiling, I'm not 100% of the alternatives to replace.

I'm assuming...I could mount the hardware brackets between the floor joists and maybe cut a hole through a ceiling tile and attach some trim.

It's a basement, lots of watching sports, playing video games, throwing darts..those florescent lights just aren't cutting it to create ambiance.

Any input or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks - j
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Old 01-16-14, 08:22 AM
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I'm thinking of trying to go with something like this setup....

I've check on a few lights, and the height shouldn't be a concern at this point. I'm assuming (haven't taken exact measurements) that the canisters should fit finely in the space...

thanks- j
Old 01-16-14, 10:08 AM
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Yeah absolutely you can use can lights. They are made to fit into any 8" joist cavity so the depth won't be an issue. And you can mount the lights directly to the ceiling grid (some fixtures even come with clips to do so). However considering that the ceiling grid is probably only a couple inches below the joists, getting the fixtures into position could prove difficult, because it has to be done from above in that type of installation.

If you don't have room to do that, you could simply mount the fixtures to the joists instead. The 'can' is designed to pull down from the bracket to meet the ceiling.

It's difficult to tell from the pictures how the room is set up, but you would not have to just keep the lights in that little section. In fact it would probably look goofy if you did. You will probably want to install four or five of them the whole length of that section (since they can't be centered in that section, they can be staggered, or you can just keep them in the one row).

You can use CFL or LED bulbs. To get away from the harsh color you have now you'll either want "soft white" or "bright white". "Daylight" will be the same as the "cool white" tubes you have now. I have 'bright white' CFL in my basement cans - they are nice and bright for activity without being too harsh. IMO the soft white ones are too yellow for a basement.. They are just like incandescent, and it makes it 'feel' artificially lit. Also make sure you use white or metallic/reflective baffles for maximum light throw. Black baffles 'suck up' some of the light.

If you want to install dimmers, make sure your bulbs are marked "dimmable" and your dimmers are rated for use with LED or CFL.
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