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March 15, 2021

Recessed vs Surface-mounted - which is the better way to mount luminaires for basements?

While lighting a basement there is one thing that is of prime concern and that is the ceiling. Basements have a low-heightened ceiling in comparison to the main floors. Whether the basement is used for commercial or industrial purpose, proper placement and selection of lighting are of utmost importance. The first point to be considered is the headroom if someone is planning to install surface-mounted lights. It is because in surface-mounted lights the whole interior led fixture is exposed. Whereas in recessed lights, the gang box is hidden behind the surface. Numerous other pointers need to be kept in mind while choosing an appropriate lighting solution for the basement area.


Cost is an important factor that we need to consider in every project, especially when we are focusing on lighting because the price of luminaires differs a lot based on forms and usage. For lighting of a 10’X10’ basement area, we can install one surface-mounted light fixture or around four recessed luminaires. So, it is clear the recessed lightings are going to put more pressure on the pocket. Hence, you will end up spending 4-5 times more with recessed light as compared to a surface-mounted fixture.


Aesthetics cannot be ignored when lighting a space. The opinion of two people will differ when we talk about aesthetics. Someone can find recessed lights clean and modish, while some can find it cheap and tacky. So, here the main question arises what type of look you are aiming for? Whether you are looking for a clean appearance or you need some decorative lighting options. Recessed luminaires get vanished within the room but the surface-mounted light can be the point of attraction.

Remodel Vs Construction

Surface-mounted lights can be a good option while we are remodelling the area because of two reasons - i) less wire is required for completing the remodelling task, ii) the junction box can be placed using the existing or old workbox. In recessed lighting, there must be a precise circular hole in the ceiling. Then wires must be properly chained from one fixture to the other.

Difficulties in installation

In comparison with surface-mounted lights, it is difficult to install recessed lights. Installing recessed luminaires is more time-consuming. It is challenging to create a layout that will work aesthetically without obstructing the surface. Moreover, in both remodel and new construction projects, recessed lighting fixtures should be installed between the floor joists.

However, choosing recessed fixtures and surface-mounted luminaires depends on the requirements and usage of the space. Both forms of fixtures can be used optimally but, one thing you must keep in mind while selecting the luminous fixtures is the brand you are choosing. Wipro’s LED lighting fixtures can be your prime choice because we offer a wide range of LED lighting solutions with optimum specifications. You can explore our indoor lighting section to get a perfect match as per your requirements.

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