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How To Plan Staircase Lighting

Staircases are really hard to light, the high ceilings odd angles and dark shadows created a real interior design nightmare.  Follow these tips for lighting your staircase where we delve into stairs of all shapes and sizes, look at how to plan your lighting as well as highlight our favourite staircase makeovers.

by Helen
How To Plan Staircase Lighting
Image courtesy of Making It Lovely

Staircase lighting can be tricky but the key here is planning and often what works in the rest of the house isn’t the rule for staircases. There are lots of considerations to take in before fitting you start lighting it and we will lay out below how to think about your staircase lighting scheme.  

Planning your scheme

In your staircase it is important to provide substantial light to a space which is often narrow, awkward and has high ceilings. There is also a balance of achieving a bright scheme but not dazzling yourself at any point during your walk up or down the stairs. Finding this balance is key and use bulbs which are mid level brightness and ensure the whole staircase is covered. Do a couple of trips up and down the stairs to see where the dark corners and dazzling points are in your current scheme. When you are doing this pop stickers on the wall which show your eye line. Picking out these spots will show you where not to place lighting, the last thing you want is to be blinded when walking down the stairs.  

staircase | staircase lighting | modern staircase | houseof
Image by sandandsisal

Staircase lighting for high ceilings

The drop on a staircase is often very high and this leaves it a tricky space to light. Look for a cabled lighting instead of a flush light in these settings. Keeping the cables at their maximum length will guide the light exactly where you need it. Use a cluster light in these settings, like the opal ball cluster ceiling light. The multiple bulbs give maximum light output and the opal globe will shade the light and remove nasty glares.

blue staircase | houseof | staircase lighting ideas
Image by @Annalysejacobs

Wiring staircase lighting

Unfortunately the staircase is often the spot in the house where we don’t have the luxury of plug sockets. It is often the space we forget when planning our lighting layout. Having access to plug sockets on the stairs will mean you can use plug in wall lights for extra light without trailing cables down the stairs - a major trip hazard. Seriously think about your wiring plan before finalising this with your electrician. Make sure you have plenty of access points so that extra lighting can be added at a later stage.

modern staircase | Japandi staircase | houseof
Image courtesy of archdaily.com

Staircase integrated lighting

For a modern lighting solution incorporate recessed integrated lighting into your staircase. LED strips are very easy to install and are often able to be plugged in rather than hardwired. This means that they are great for adding at a later stage or upgrade on your staircase lighting. Look for LED strips which have a diffused cover for a neater look.  

modern staircase | houseof | staircase lighting
Image courtesy of @archillect

Spiral staircases

If you are lucky enough to have a feature spiral staircase in your property lighting them from above is key. As they are normally open structures you will rely on the lighting surrounding the staircase rather than inside it. Make sure the lights surrounding the staircase are bright and not obstructed. Hanging the surrounding lights in a higher position will mean you have a bright and light staircase.  

modern spiral staircase | houseof | lighting ideas for stairs
Image courtesy of Martyn White Designs
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