Staircase Lighting Ideas and Tips

By Sian Parsons, Senior Lighting Designer

Staircase lighting ideas for traditional staircase

When considering staircase lighting, the design of the staircase, construction and desired effects are the key elements to consider, along with finish and texture. A staircase is the central spine of your home, linking spaces and people together. It should be functional and sculptural, and staircase lighting can make a real difference.

In most cases, lighting on staircases isn’t purely a decorative theme, it also serves a very real function in terms of safety. Glare should be avoided and maintenance considered, whilst using interior lighting to enhance the form can add beauty and softness.

See 50 more examples of great lighting for staircases here

Lighting every other stair tread for beautiful staircase lighting

My first staircase lighting idea would be to add wall recessed stair lights. This can add a real wow factor whether in stone stairs or more classic stairs with runners. Here they are set higher for a wash of light over the stairs.

Miniature staircase lighting in stairs with slide

Here you can see miniature wall recessed Luccini have been used every other tread to wash light over the tread. Here they are placed closer to the steps for more of a skimming effect across the tread. Slide alongside is optional!

Decorative lighting on stair half landings

Using decorative wall lights on stairway landings can be functional and work well if there is enough room. If space is tight, up/downlights can be located in the corners such as the Metal Squares. This stair lighting effect works particularly well when used on half landings.

Niches on stairs to add interest

A great effect with plenty of impact instead of a wall light would be to create a niche or series of niches as shown here. These can be lit with miniature 1w Luccini to add drama. Combine these with 1w Oslo steplights for the perfect layered scheme.

Contemporary Staircase lighting with under stair lighting too

For more contemporary staircases, consider using the Manhattan wall washer.  This creates a stronger architectural feature.  The underside of staircases are often dark forgotten spaces.  Another good stair lighting tip is to add lighting under the stairs too.  Here 1w Lucca uplights add drama to the textured wall.

Open riser staircase lighting

For open riser staircases, the light source can be hidden from view under each tread. When not illuminated the Contour LED strip recessed into the underside of the step is invisible. When lit it creates a beautifully soft floating effect. This lights the tread below as well as casting wonderful shadows under the stair case.

Funky stair lighting idea

For the ultimate dramatic effect, conceal Contour LED strip either side of the staircase to lead your way step by step up the stairs.

Coloured funky stair lighting idea

For fun, add a colour changing option using our Contour RGB strip. Select a multitude of colour to fill the space.

Oslo Staircase light Cazalla Miniature step light for staircases luccini step up and down light John Cullen Lighting Manhattan Stair light john cullen lighting Riena angled step light John Cullen Lighting Lucca-external- LED-Uplight Metal Square wall light john cullen lighting

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