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Lighting solutions to put your staircase in the spotlight

One of the great things about lighting is that it offers very few limitations when it comes to being creative. Dramatic effects can be achieved on a minimal budget and the usual design considerations such as space and natural light are largely irrelevant. The right lighting can make a huge difference to the appearance of your staircase and hallway, opening up some great opportunities to incorporate lighting solutions, bespoke to the design of your particular configuration.

Read on to discover how you can use lighting to enhance your staircase, including:

No natural light? No problem

In most areas of the home, natural light is a desirable feature. Stairwells, however, don’t generally receive a great deal of natural light, due to their often unique configuration. Far from being a bad thing, this offers up the opportunity to embrace the light and shade and integrate artificial lighting as a design feature.

There are many great lighting solutions which can effectively flood the space with well positioned light. Alternatively, you can go for the less is more approach and embrace the darkness. Low atmospheric lighting can be incredibly effective, especially when used to highlight particular focal points.

Create your own space

In most instances, if you want to introduce dramatic focal points into your home you are dictated by the available space. Lighting, however, can be integrated into the smallest areas to create interest.

No matter how small your space is, you are most likely able to benefit from the ‘drop’ above your staircase to hang an unusual pendant light. If you prefer the more minimal approach, spot lighting can be integrated into the walls following the rise of the stairs or even into the stair treads, creating a runway effect. Even if your design opportunities are purely limited to the walls, you can still create a stunning effect with wall lights, especially if you position mirrors to maximise the emitted light.

Take a look at our Lighting Gallery for inspiration…

Lighting Gallery

There are many different lighting design styles to suitable for staircases, including:

Statement pendant lighting

Pendant ceiling lights can be a dramatic way of illuminating most hallways or staircases, no matter what size or configuration. Larger spaces or staircases that feature a wind or half landing in their design, will naturally be able to house more elaborate or lower hanging lighting designs.

High hallway ceilings or space over a double story are required to ensure that the pendant has enough room to ‘drop’, whilst maintaining sufficient head clearance. If you are looking at installing a larger, more dramatic pendant such as a chandelier, it is also worth considering the strength of the ceiling above the staircase to ensure that you have adequate support for the weight of the light fitting.

Pendant lighting can work equally well in smaller spaces, this is a great way to add a pop of colour into an otherwise minimal space. Recent trends have brought us advancements on the traditional lightbulb, which can also serve as stand-alone design features.

Stair tread lighting

Aside from accentuating the atmosphere of the space, good lighting can also serve as a safety precaution, as dimly lit stairs can potentially be hazardous.  Tread level lighting provides the perfect solution, creating a subtle glow whilst ensuring that the stair treads are safely illuminated.

Lighting can be integrated into stair treads, or along the walls at skirting level to achieve a stunning effect. Depending on the effect you want to achieve, you may want to illuminate every step or lights can be positioned at intervals following the rise of the staircase.

Wall lighting

Well positioned wall lighting can make a big difference to a dimly lit staircase and hallway, and again it is a great way to integrate an element of design into an otherwise dead space. Even the smallest spaces can easily house down lighting or wall lighting that sits flush to the wall, and combined with mirrors, can do an effective job of giving the impression of a bigger space. If your staircase is built against an internal wall, you could also consider creating illuminated alcoves.

Under stair lighting

Illuminating the space under your stairs with simple spot lights can create a dramatic effect, and maximise generally unused space. Open staircases will benefit from the additional light coming up through the individual stairs, whereas the newly created space beneath more traditional configurations can be used for all manner of different uses.