I always tell people to avoid dark paneling in the basement because most basements have little or no natural light. There are two things you can do. First, you can replace the existing paneling or simply cover it with a new and lighter one. In the last decade, the patterns and colors of paneling have improved immensely. The other possibility is to paint the existing paneling. Paneling is smooth, so you will have to clean with trisodium phosphate and sand the surface lightly first. Then you can apply any type of paint. To avoid sanding, apply a coat of a super adherent primer, followed by any type of paint.