An office in your basement can be a great option, for a number of reasons. A basement office is separate from the primary living areas of your home, offering a sanctuary that's cool, private and quite, which is an important factor, especially if you have small children running around the house.
Some of the primary requirements for a functioning basement office including heat, light, communications services for both your computer and phone/fax, and the proper wiring to accommodate the electrical needs of computers and other business machines like copiers and printers.
One good idea if you're starting with an unfinished basement is to add stud walls in the room that will be your office. Stud walls allow you to run new wiring into the basement. You might also want to add a separate circuit to isolate your computer and other sensitive equipment from the power in the rest of your home. Always consult with a qualified electrician before adding a new circuit or doing any major rewiring. And plan on adding enough electrical outlets so that equipment can be moved around in case you decide to change the layout of your office at a later date.
The other important consideration, and topic of this article, is providing the proper lighting for your basement office. Adequate and proper lighting is important for anyone spending long hours working in an office environment. Just ask anyone who's driven home from work squinting through a set of raw, tired eyes.
There are two primary types of lighting you'll want to include in your new office - ambient or "central" lighting that illuminates the whole room, and "task" lighting that illuminates your work area and prevents eye strain.
Ambient light can come from several sources, including ceiling fixtures, and daylight if you happen to have windows in your basement. If you don't have windows, you can still make your space more habitable by using what's known as "full spectrum" light bulbs. These bulbs radiate light in a spectrum similar to natural sunlight.
Task lighting is flexible and can be directed where you need it. A desk lamp is a good example of task lighting. Track lighting is another good source of task lighting, as the individual heads can be trained on different sections of the room - on a copier or fax machine, for example.
Track lighting is also a great choice in rooms where electrical service in ceiling limits your lighting placement options. One advantage of a track is its ability to handle multiple fixtures in a linear configuration, allowing one electrical access point to supply fixtures in many parts of the room.
Track lighting fixtures are available in low-voltage or standard operating current depending on the application. There are also a variety of light sources available, including tungsten-halogen, incandescent, or energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs.
One last item when completing your basement office is a portable dehumidifier. High humidity in basements can slow the drying time of documents printed in inkjet printers, causing them to smear; and it can promote mold and otherwise damage valuable books and other important documents.