Basement Stairwell Lighting Ideas: Stylish & Elegant [2023]

Your basement may not be the most glamorous part of your home. But, if you’re lucky enough to have a basement, then you already know how important lighting can be. That’s why we’re here to present you with some amazing basement stairwell lighting ideas.

Sure, you can use sconces, lamps, or even overhead lights to illuminate your basement, but wouldn’t it be nice to have some stairwell lighting that lets you create the perfect atmosphere for yourself and your family? Whether we’re talking about recessed lights on the ceiling that lead to the basement, or on the stairs themselves, it is much better to have an illuminated stairwell than to have none at all.

If you’re looking to give your basement a makeover, then we’ve got some creative basement stairwell lighting ideas for you!

Benefits of adding basement stairway lighting


Simply put, if you have stairs, they must be well lit.

During the day, you may not have any problems if the stairs are not lit, but when it gets dark, no one wants to use the stairs in the dark. If you illuminate them, you increase the safety of your home, that is, you reduce the chance that you will fall or trip over them.


A well-lit basement can be a nice addition and add comfort to your home.

People often forget about the basement. It is a great space to store things, but it can also be a very dark and scary place if there isn’t adequate lighting. Adding lighting to the basement stairway can make it a much more comfortable place to visit.


The lighting along the stairs creates a very pleasant ambiance.

It is a good conversation starter and will certainly not leave anyone indifferent. Most people are used to the fact that people do not pay too much attention to the lighting of the stairs. In this way, you will stand out from the crowd and have a great atmosphere.

Are there other things to think about when installing basement lighting?

In order to realize basement stairwell lighting ideas, there are some things to think about before and prepare so you can prepare for redesign effectively.

Consider the ceiling height

The ceiling height is a big factor. A higher ceiling height will make your light fixtures look sleeker. If you are installing recessed lighting, consider the ceiling height as well.

If the ceiling is too low, you should not install recessed lighting on the ceiling, but it would be better to choose the option of installing it on the stairs themselves. In this way, you avoid direct contact with the light. It’s not very pleasant to bend down and at the same time stay away from the light.

If the ceiling is of normal height or even high, you can freely opt for the option of recessed lights in the ceiling.

Measure the width of the stairs

You need to define and calculate the space you want to light.

You don’t want to over-light a narrow space or under-light a wide space. That is why we suggest that you measure everything in detail before or during the installation of the lighting itself.

Basement stairwell lighting ideas

Recessed ceiling lights

Recessed ceiling lights are a great and clear way to illuminate your basement stairwell. Depending on the space you have, make sure you don’t install too many or too few lights.

The light that illuminates from the ceiling to the floor will make going down to the basement a very pleasant experience. This is really great indirect lighting.

Related article: 7 Inspiring Indirect LED Lighting Ideas

Recessed stair lights

If you want the light to be a little more subtle, elegant, and not so direct, opt for this option.

You will have an abundance of light, but none of it will shine directly into your eyes when you go down the stairs, you will only see a nice ambient glow illuminating your every step.

If you have trouble removing a light bulb from a socket check out our article on how to remove a light bulb from a recessed socket.

Here’s also a great video on DIY stair lighting that can also be applied for basement stairwells.

Wall sconces

In case you do not want to illuminate the ceiling or the stairs themselves but prefer something classic, we recommend wall sconces.

The installation is not as complex as with recessed lighting and is just as effective. The only minus is that it takes up space, unlike the ones mentioned above.

That is why we recommend installing wall sconces only if you have enough space and if the stairs are wide enough. Here’s a handy guide on wall sconces sizing, so you can know how to choose the right one.

Lights above the door

Light above the door in the basement

You will certainly not go wrong with this method of lighting, and it is even simpler than wall sconces. You can place light just above the cellar door and thus effectively illuminate your way towards it.

This is a very intuitive and simple idea, but no less effective than the others.


A basement stairway can be a fun part of a home that needs to be cared for, but it’s also a space that is usually forgotten when it comes to lighting.

A good and well-lit staircase can make a huge difference in your home’s overall look and feel. You can choose from a range of materials, styles, and finishes to transform your basement into a functional and stylish space.

The basement stairwell lighting ideas provided in this article are not only practical and attractive but they also make good use of space. By keeping these in mind, you can be sure that you will get the best out of your basement stairwell lighting.

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