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Thread: Better lighting

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cagey's Avatar
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    Better lighting

    My sewing room is in the basement and does not have good lighting. My DH put flourescent lights in the ceiling, one over my sewing table, on over the ironing board, and one over the table where I do my cutting. It still feels dark to me - I think I crave natural light!. I've tried painting the walls a bright color. Anyone have some suggestions for more natural lighting?

  2. #2
    Junior Member bobbiesboutique's Avatar
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    I like the Ott lights But my sewing room is in the basement also with lights hanging like yours you can purchase a natural bulb for these fixtures from Lowes I believe.

  3. #3
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have to large windows, lights in the celing, ott light and several other lights, but some how it never seems like enough.

  4. #4
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Make an attic window wall hanging with a natural light above.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  5. #5
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    ​Are the rafters exposed? I find that makes a basement seen dark. You could maybe find some light coloured panelling and nail it up to the ceiling joists over your sewing area?

  6. #6
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    You might want to think about changing out the fluorescent lights with the new T12 lights. They do not get hot and give off natural light color. They are really great.
    DonnaR
    Grammy to Isaiah and Ruth

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    ​Are the rafters exposed? I find that makes a basement seen dark. You could maybe find some light coloured panelling and nail it up to the ceiling joists over your sewing area?
    Agree!! .... if the ceiling has not been closed in, then you might want to consider a t-bar ceiling, or even painting what is there, but that'd be oh so annoying for me, to paint!

    Without knowing your basement size or the length and # bulbs in each fixture, three fluorescents may not be much lighting and could easily leave the basement seemingly dark to you.

    Another help ... for the lightbulbs, did you get "daylight" ... they certainly are brighter and truer coloured than the other "colours" available.
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  8. #8
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    Years ago I was in the basement in the biggest room in the house. Every time I went down there I felt like I was in a dungeon. Didn't get much sewing done.. Then I moved to the second story and my DH took over the dungeon for his office. He loved it so much room. I'm just glad to be out of there. I get a lot more done now even though I am in a smaller space.

  9. #9
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I have seen white lattice, the stuff you could use on a fence, nailed to the ceiling in a basement. It makes the room seem lighter but still allows access to the ceiling if needed and it covers up the nasty rafters and wires. I plan to do that in the laundry room in our next house after we move in a few weeks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    ​Are the rafters exposed? I find that makes a basement seen dark. You could maybe find some light coloured panelling and nail it up to the ceiling joists over your sewing area?

  10. #10
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    My sewing room is in the basement also and the rafters had been painted black.............YIKES!!!!! So I had them painted white......took a couple coats to cover the black, added shop lights going cross ways instead of the length of the room and painted the walls which were covered in chipboard a creamy yellow. I have only two small windows on the south side so not a lot of light coming in. I like the idea of making a attic window wall hanging but I have little wall space that hasn't been filled up with pegboard to hold all the threads and stuff we use in our hobbies.
    Suz in Iowa
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  11. #11
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    Make sure your fluorescent tubes are "daylight" tubes. They will give you both the truest colors and relieve the blahs (blues) that come from a lack of sunlight.
    Shirley in Arizona

  12. #12
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    I vote for the daylight bulbs. They are the only bulb I use now. I can see much better too . In my old sewing room I had the kind of lights I could reposition. Track lighting I think its called.

  13. #13
    Senior Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Not only light but movement of air and the noise of the wind in the trees makes me feel more open.

    Daylight bulbs and ones that don't put off much heat. Daylight is a cool white, not warm white. So for the walls, I'd suggest very light taupe, rather than cream.

    The ambient light is important: this is general lighting reflecting off the ceiling (it must be light to reflect light). Then there's task lighting which would be over the work stations. Sounds like you have task lighting. Maybe you need more general lighting.

  14. #14
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    Mirrors reflect light and make rooms lighter.

  15. #15
    Senior Member skothing's Avatar
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    I redid the whole thing down stairs . I called and electrician and went with his advise of cannon lights and special lighting. We used bulbs that was nature lighting. I divided the switches to work in half on 1 circuit and the next half on the another switch. Then brought in a drywaller to do the walls. Then the floating floor was put down.

  16. #16
    Junior Member yorkie luv's Avatar
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    I have taken the funnel shaped shop clip on lights and hung them on a free standing coat rack. I can move them around as needed. You can get the daylight bulbs to put in them. I also have a good desk lamp with a goose neck, on my cutting/sewing table that I move around as needed. I find that them older I get, the more light I need.

  17. #17
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    I also sew in a semi underground area (one small window that doesn't open). We recently replaced the 2 fluorescent tubes in the light above my sewing machine with 2 tubes that contain LED lights and oh my, are they ever bright. I still have the fluorescents above my cutting table, iron and under the shelving above my counter space. You wouldn't believe the difference...cooler, cheaper to use, long life, BUT $$$$
    Quote Originally Posted by Cagey View Post
    My sewing room is in the basement and does not have good lighting. My DH put flourescent lights in the ceiling, one over my sewing table, on over the ironing board, and one over the table where I do my cutting. It still feels dark to me - I think I crave natural light!. I've tried painting the walls a bright color. Anyone have some suggestions for more natural lighting?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Rose S.'s Avatar
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    One thing to consider when buying fluorescent lights is the lumens...the higher the number, the more light it gives off. I had wondered for years what the difference was in fluorescent lights so finally thought to google it. I always go for the higher number.

  19. #19
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I'd move a bedroom to the basement and take over the bedroom. When someone is asleep it doesn't matter if the room is dark. As I told my kids when I took over the den for my sewing room and they didn't like it at all, it's your home but it is my house. They never got the den back.
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  20. #20
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishgalfromNJ View Post
    Mirrors reflect light and make rooms lighter.
    this was my thought exactly...light colors, lattice, true-light bulbs and LOTS of mirrors all over. Mirrored tiles are fantastic and I line my cabinets with tin foil to protect fabrics and to reflect light. Good luck!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member IzzysGrammie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I'd move a bedroom to the basement and take over the bedroom. When someone is asleep it doesn't matter if the room is dark. As I told my kids when I took over the den for my sewing room and they didn't like it at all, it's your home but it is my house. They never got the den back.
    See Bella? Your response is exactly what I would say. LOL!!

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