Staircase lighting ideas might not sound like the most thrilling of interior design decisions, but as all these looks prove, the right lighting can transform these dull, light-starved spaces into a real focal point. After all, staircases are potentially the most seen and most used parts of our home, and therefore deserve the attention we give to the other rooms of our home.
Elegant chandeliers that drip down the stairwell, recessed spotlights that illuminate each tread, ornate sconces that lead you up the stairs – staircase lighting is so much more than just a safety measure.
CHIC AND PRACTICAL STAIRCASE LIGHTING IDEAS FOR ALL STYLES
‘The choice of staircase lighting can have a significant impact on the entrance of a home, which is why it is important to consider the overall look you want to achieve.’ explains Dusk Lighting’s Design Consultant, Jamie Moxey. ‘Statement lighting has become a popular choice for those who want to add a wow-factor for guests upon entrance to the home. Multi-drop pendants and intricate chandeliers are great options to draw the attention and set the tone for elegance and grandeur in the home.’
‘Alternatively, for a more minimalist, practical approach – recessed low-level lighting is a popular choice for staircase lighting, because it focuses the light directly onto the step to ensure visibility and safety. They are perfect for easy, subtle lighting that does not detract from the wider design of the home.”
So be inspired by these staircase ideas to give this often neglected space a new lease of life.
1. HANG A CLUSTER OF PENDANTS THROUGH A LIGHT WELL
If you want to create a dramatic look then placing decorative pendant lighting in the stairwell is the best way to achieve that and create layers of light along the stair path. Plus it doubles as a stylish hallway lighting idea too. Pick a design that has multiple lights and various levels so it lights up the entire height of the staircase.
Pendants are a beautiful option for ambient lighting, as ‘the indirect light casts a beautiful glow all the way up the stairs to the top floor,’ explains interior designer Heather Hilliard. ‘It makes the stairs feel like a sculpture in the middle of the house.’ But to complete the lighting scheme be sure to pair it with stronger task lighting to eliminate any darker corners.
2. BRIGHTEN DARK STAIRS BY ILLUMINATING THE TREADS
A stylish and practical staircase lighting idea, illuminating the treads with recessed lighting is sleek and minimalist and ideal if your staircase isn’t enclosed by walls, as with this design, so you can’t rely on wall lighting as your source. Choose LED strips for a seamless light for an unbroken stream of light along the staircases, or opt for recessed wall lighting to put a spotlight on every few steps.
‘Warm LED lighting under each step looks more visually impactful and works well with a contemporary interior,’ says Elliot Barratt of Elliot James Interiors. ‘It also works well for external staircases as it highlights stonework beautifully.’
3. GUIDE THE WAY WITH RECESSED HANDRAIL LIGHTING
Such a striking and unique way to light a staircase, add LED lights underneath the handrail. An ideal solution for narrow or enclosed staircases as you aren’t cluttering the walls with lighting that protrudes into the space and don’t have the tricky task of working out how to safely hang a pendant. ‘Ambient down-lighting under a handrail illuminates the banister,’ continues Elliot. ‘Whilst looking impressive, it also helps to highlight features and is especially impactful on standalone staircases.’
Just be sure to check how the lighting looks from all angles, you don’t want a strong glare from above as you walk up the stairs.
5. OR ADD RECESS LIGHTS UNDERNEATH THE STAIRS
If your staircase isn’t enclosed, consider this staircase lighting idea and light the space from below. Look closely at each of the stairs on this lovely rustic design – they have LED’s discretely built into them, so when illuminated not only does it have a really striking effect when looking from the hallway, it also adds enough light to the stairs themselves too.
‘Hallway, stairs and landings don’t have to be bright but it is best to use discreet, recessed downlight for a change of direction or change of level.’ says Piero De Marchis of Detail Lighting. ‘It’s better to have an even illumination for any tricky corners, lighting up things such as handrails and step lights. Low-level lighting is perfect for staircases as they also double up for safety night lights for family and guests.’
6. CREATE A DRAMATIC LOOK WITH A CHANDELIER
Nothing adds drama like a chandelier. They create glamour and grandeur even in the smallest spaces, and look wonderfull hung through a stairwell. And if space is tight, scale back on the size and choose a couple of similar small designs that can hang on each landing adding a touch of sparkling and connecting each floor. Or hang a more contemporary design closer to the ceiling as can be seen here, you still get all the glamour of a chandelier, it’s just more practical in heavily used spaces like hallways, landings, and staircases.
7. INTRODUCE DECORATIVE WALL LIGHTS
As well as providing function, wall sconces are a quick and easy staircase wall idea that can also double as decor. And in a space where often every inch counts, double-duty pieces are a must. Just be sure to pick designs that are to scale with your space, ensure they don’t protrude too far from the wall as this is only going to make an already tight space feel smaller.
Wall lights can also be a nice way to create a connection between the different floors of your home. Space them evenly all the way up each staircase, and use them in the hallway and on the landing to for a cohesive look that leads around the house.
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