Many basements could be made lighter by enlarging window openings or by putting in additional ones; if this is done, proper lintels should be placed over the openings and precautions taken to insure stability of the wall. Keeping the spaces in front of basement windows clear, especially by removal of shrubbery, grass, and weeds, allows a maximum amount of light to enter. Coating the walls with paint that reflects light will also do much to brighten a dark basement.
New houses, with the possible exception of basements, are usually provided with adequate outlets for lighting and appliances. Old houses as well as new should have enough outlets to service the necessary lamps and appliances normally required. In basements, it is important to provide adequate lighting, particularly at the steps. If the basement is to be utilized for a shop or for other purposes requiring additional electric light or power, extra outlets should be installed instead of using extension cords.
Where such cords are absolutely necessary, they should be suitable for the intended purpose. Portable extension cords should be rubber-jacketed and equipped with lamp guards and insulated sockets. Porcelain fittings are – recommended for basement fixtures to minimize the danger of shock.
Ceramic-coated bulbs give more uniform diffusion of light than plain or frosted bulbs. Two or three 25-watt bulbs properly spaced are better than one 50- or 75-watt bulb for wide distribution. However, it is advisable to use one large bulb for concentrated light, because this is more efficient than an equivalent number of smaller ones.