When designing and finishing your basement, be sure to take time to think about lighting!
Home theater lighting
If you’re planning to include a dedicated home theater or multi-purpose media room in your finished basement, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the lighting. You don’t want your whole basement on only one or two switches that are either ‘on’ or ‘off’. You’ll want several lighting zones in your basement, and you’ll want to include dimmer switches too.
Lutron dimmer switches are a great option if you want quality lighting for a reasonable price. If you really want to dazzle your friends and get professional ‘theater-style’ lighting, consider custom dimmers like the remote-controllable Lutron Maestro, or programmable home theater lighting like the Lutron Spacer System in your new finished basement.
Standard dimmer switches
Basic dimmer switches from Lutron and other brands come in a variety of styles. Some have a basic on/off switch with a small sliding dimmer switch on the side. Some feature a round button that you push for on/off and rotate to brighten or dim the lights, and others have a large slider in the middle without a separate on/off switch.
Standard sliding dimmer 3-gang dimmer switch with rotary knobs
Lutron Maestro dimmer switch
If you want to make a step up from a basic dimmer switch, Lutron has an inexpensive dimmer switch, the Lutron Maestro that can be remote controlled. It includes its own remote, and can even be controlled by many of today's universal home theater remotes like the Harmony 890 and others.
Lutron also offers a wireless Maestro (rather than standard infrared which requires line of site to the switch) which is another option. Both of these options are great, but keep in mind that you'll be brightening/dimming every light in the room- not always what you want to do.
If you want to control programmable lighting zones in your basement, and be able to have pre-programmed 'scenes' for various activities, check out the Lutron Spacer System instead!
Home theater lighting resources: