Many months later.... Here is what it looks like with everything painted white (I blasted it with a rented sprayer) and track lights between the joists. I never got around to sheetrocking anything. After all, it's just the basement, right? I'm adding some color to the walls and putting down some carpet. Then it'll be pretty much done. I'm pretty happy with how it's coming considering the dungeon that it was before.
This thread was probably found via a Google search.
(suitable poll question) Who would prefer that the first 2012 poster do no research at all and start a new thread from that point?
I suggest a compromise; if I can't find anything after eight minutes of searching (anywhere) I feel it is kosher to start a new thread.
Often the utilities and hardware in the ceiling can be made less conspicuous by painting it all flat black. This does have the disadvantage that light bounce down from the ceiling is foregone, necessitating more new light to start with. Black above for a home theater kills two birds; the second is that the amount of light from the screen that bounces around and back onto the screen should be minimized.
Generally can lights need to be spaced closer together in a low ceiling.
Tornado victims: Do not rush to rebuild. Take your time and look for and get a good contractor. Or consider selling the property and moving to a home that is ready to live in.