I have a half basement that I'm keeping open and its 45'x12'. I had always planned on doing a drop ceiling with recessed lights but I'm wondering if there is a better option considering the length of the room. My plan as of now is to install 8-10 lights total in 2 rows.

Has anyone done a living space with other lighting options so I could cut down on the amount of lights needed?

  • Are you still planning to do a drop ceiling?
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 14:52
  • 2
    Ceiling height also matters, and is usually low in basements. Lights that would blend successfully in a taller room may be more prone to pools of light separated by darkness in a short room.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 14:58
  • Yea still planning on drop just due to the plumbing above and access to kitchen Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


Number of fixtures is easily reduced by using long fixtures:

  • 4 or even 8 foot fluorescent tubes, for instance.
  • 45 foot long LED strip lights appear to be available, on a casual search.
  • Strings of small lights on cords (fairy lights, Christmas lights) hung from hooks.

Whether that's the lighting you want is a whole different question and mostly off-topic as decorating advice. But I would personally suggest worrying more about getting the light you (or your spouse, if applicable) want(s) than the number of fixtures required to do so. That may depend on what you plan to use the space for - 4 foot shop lights hung from chains or bare bulbs in ceiling sockets are typically fine for "storage" but not quite the thing in "living" space.


I had a similar situation and decided on track lighting. With track lighting you mount the tracks and can then attach multiple independent spotlights. In addition to positioning the spotlight you can easily move their position on the track. This has saved me many times when we re-arranged the room. We did one track down either side of the room which allows you to focus light where you want it.

While it might cost a little more up front the flexibility will pay for itself down the road in my opinion. Its also easier to install as you can power the track from any point which is helpful if access is limited.

E.g. enter image description here

  • I had track lights in our upstairs landing once. They suck for low ceilings because you end up with pools of light instead of even lighting. Unless, of course, pools of light is what you want/need, in which case they're perfect.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 18:07
  • I ran one track down each side and had 8 fairly defuse spots. Typically I pointed the spot at the opposite side of the room which seemed to work out very well. My ceiling was about 7'6" so walking into them wasn't an issue.
    – jonathan
    Commented Apr 3, 2021 at 20:28

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