If you look at your home’s staircase as little more than a pathway from one floor to the next, you’re missing out on a chance to make a serious style statement in a largely underutilized area. Your staircase is one of your home’s central features, so rather than view it as an afterthought, think of it as an opportunity to spotlight your personal tastes and preferences.
Chances are, you use this set of steps multiple times every day, so why not make it more of an extension of your existing home? Adding attractive, appropriate lighting to your staircase can serve several distinct purposes, so whether you’re concerned about safety, or you just want to enhance the aesthetic appeal of this area of your abode, consider adding illumination to create your desired effect. Before pulling the trigger, though, ask yourself the following questions.
Is safety your main goal?
Many staircases are located in dark areas of the home, meaning it can be difficult to see while using them – even during daytime hours. If your main goal in adding lighting to your staircase is enhancing safety, be careful not to take things too far. While adding simple, subtle lighting alongside the stairs, above them or under the treads can dramatically improve safety for your family (and, in particular, any older people you have living in your home), adding too much light can end up looking downright garish – and it can also attract unwanted attention to dirty carpets or scratched or damaged stairs.
Is your staircase dark even during the day?
If your staircase occupies a dark part of your home, an economical solution might involve adding LED light fixtures alongside or under your steps. Adding low, flush-fit LED lights (which are also available in motion-sensor varieties) can help illuminate the steps themselves, calling attention to potential obstructions and reducing the chance of someone falling. You can also opt for color varieties, if you’re looking for something a little bolder.
Are you starting from scratch?
While you certainly have options if you wish to better illuminate an existing staircase, the same holds true if you are looking to build a new staircase from the ground up. If you’re starting from scratch with your staircase design, don’t leave lighting considerations until the last minute. In some cases, depending on the type of light fixtures you desire, you might need to install them before finishing your steps. Furthermore, determining exactly where your light fixtures or features will sit before finishing your staircase, whether on the wall, the treads or what have you, can save you considerable time and expense from the outset.
When it comes to your stairs, the last thing you want to do is hide them. Adding tasteful, appropriate lighting, however, can reduce you and your family’s risk of falling while improving your home’s interior appeal in one step.