A well-lit room or area looks bigger and brighter than a dark one, and when it comes to your staircase, adequate lighting is also essential for safety. If you’re like most homeowners, you may have given careful consideration to how to light your bedroom, your kitchen and your entryway, but you have overlooked another important area: your stairs.
While a well-designed stairwell enhances safety and helps prevent slips, trips and falls, it also improves the aesthetics of one of the main focal points of your home. Most methods of lighting your staircase fall into one of two categories: accent lighting or statement lighting.
Accent lighting is a term for lights that brighten up a particular area or item. When it comes to your stairs, you have ample opportunities to add accent lighting. How much you need depends on where the steps are located and whether they’re in an area that receives natural sunlight, but you may choose to add accent lighting underneath the handrail to help illuminate it after dark.
The steps, themselves, give you another opportunity to add accent lighting. Consider adding LED lighting underneath each step, or consider incorporating recessed or mounted lights above every third step or so. LED lights are highly energy efficient, so you can use them regularly without worrying about their impact on your electric bill. Depending on the layout of your home, you may also be able to add accent lighting on the ceiling to better-illuminate your stairs.
While accent lighting enables you to put a certain area in the spotlight, statement lighting, as the name suggests, speaks for itself and serves as a primary focal point of your staircase. A glimmering crystal chandelier with lights is one such example. Decorative hanging or pendant lights are others.
You can also utilize different colors to create the look you desire through lighting. Certain colors can amplify emotions or have specific impacts on mood, so if you’re looking to create a specific type of atmosphere, colored statement lighting may help you do so.
Explore Your Options
While your home’s layout and wiring will play a role in how you ultimately light your staircase, chances are, you have numerous options available to you. When done right, lighting up your stairs does more than just improve your surroundings and shine a spotlight on your handrails, balusters and other aesthetics – it also helps you create a well-lit space that’s equal parts welcoming and safe.