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Old 06-10-2014, 08:54 PM   #1
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Brainstorm more light in basement

Hey there gang,

So I'm wondering if you'd all like to brainstorm with me. I live in a basement apartment. Sunlight, as you can imagine, is limited. I'd like to be able to get some more in here. There are two windows that currently do not let in much light. They are both under a porch.

So, anyone got any ideas on how to get some more sunlight in through the windows under the porch? Do keep in mind that this is a rented apartment. I have been here for a looong time, and the landlord and I have a great relationship. He would be up for a little project and would let me do some minor work. In other words: I could paint under the porch white. But I can't remove the porch.

Painting under the porch white is the only idea I've had so far. However the ground is dirt, so that would make painting it a bit hard.

Anyways, I appreciate any ideas, and I'd love to see what you can come up with.

Below are some links to pics of the porch and window.

Thanks all!


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Old 06-10-2014, 09:50 PM   #2
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Could you use something along this line: There are many designs of these, of accessing some shaped like sunflowers that actually help focus the light. Some of them start as cheap as about $300 in it something you could take with you.


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Old 06-10-2014, 10:01 PM   #3
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Try painting your walls a lighter color. That orange makes the room look even darker. Just an idea. You're very limited on what can be done being how you're a renter and cannot remove anything. Also remove as much of those weeds under and around the porch as you can. Others will be along with more suggestions/ideas.

Last edited by jmon; 06-10-2014 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:03 AM   #4
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I get the need for natural sunlight and there may be ways to "pipe" light into that room. In my experience any successful way will be expensive. So expensive that you will never be in a position that the cost will be paid for by any savings in electricity. My suggestion in that situation would be to put a florescent light in front of the window and put a decorative etched glass window in front of the light. You may need to put a something between the light and the etched glass to defuse the light for a more natural look and paint the walls around the window white. The more space you have between the light and the etched glass the better (more natural) it would look.

You could play with different bulbs. Try some in the 2700 - 3000 range and some in the 3500 to 5000 range. I think you will find 4200 to look most natural but you may see it differently.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:46 PM   #5
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That's pretty nifty gadgety there Msradell, but looks to be well out of a price range. Perhaps if it was my own house.

Thank you jmon for putting the pics up for me. New member and I don't have the privilege to do so yet. Getting the weeds out will help for sure, though there really aren't many at all. In all honestly, the little bit of green is a bit brighter than the brown dirt and grey wood. But clearing it from the holes in the lattice would be good.

The inside walls are actually a very light yellow, almost white. The color in that picture is just a due to the camera. But thank you.

Thank you RegeSullivan. My father in law suggested something similar. I was hoping for natural sunlight, but with the colored window, could be good enough, and better than the current state.

The only other idea I had was to take a pice of plywood and paint it white (or cover in reflective material if not too ugly) and place along the lattice work at an angle. Just not sure if this would block more light than let light in.

Let's see if I can ASCII this...

L------ |------------/
A------ |-----------/
T------ |----------/
T—>-- |---------/
I------ |--------/ <—Plywood w/
C------ |------/------white or
E------ |-----/------reflective
---------|- /
—————— <—ground

What do you think? Thanks all again!

Last edited by enigma2118; 06-11-2014 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:57 PM   #6
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You could try some galvanized metal or siding under the porch and it may help but seriously I doubt the amount of light you are going to gain is going to be much whatever you do unless you use mirrors.


"Cut it twice and it is still too short".
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