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14 Different Types of Interior Stairway Lighting Ideas

A collage of stairway lighfing.

When it comes to interior design, homeowners tend to overlook staircase lighting. And honestly, we don’t blame them. With so much to consider, including wall designing, choosing the right furniture, accessorizing the house, room lighting etc, it is thinkable to slip up on stairway lights.

In fact, the majority of people are unaware of the importance of stairway lights. While it is a modern concept to illuminate the stairs, it is full of amazing results.

Firstly, quality lights along your stairway lessen your chances to fall while climbing the stairs. Besides its amazing function, it also helps uplift the aesthetic appeal of your interior.

Lighting the stairs during the evening and night time also adds a wow factor to your house, making it appear more bright and shiny. If you are having some guests over, turning on the stair lights will add illumination to your house, making it effortlessly classy. Your stair lights will also remain to be the center of attention and people wouldn’t stop praising the aesthetics of the lighted space.

You will be glad to find out that there are innumerable types of interior stairway lighting options to choose from. Searching for each one of them on the Internet can be taxing and time-consuming.

For your convenience, we have compiled a thorough list of all popular types of staircase design ideas that are worth your notice. So, have a look at them and choose for yourself which one you want your interior designer to design for you!

Related: Types of Lighting | Types of Light Bulbs | Smart home Lighting Solutions | Patio and Deck Lighting | Foyer Chandelier Ideas

1. Small Lights on the Stairway Walls

Small Lights on Stairway Wall

Generally, the wall of a stairway is deprived of any embellishment. Even if there is any kind of adornment, then there are family photos beautiful that are framed on the walls. This is probably the most common and only way people deck up their stairway walls.

Fortunately, over time, modern homeowners have found another way to make their staircase walls more fascinating – and that is by installing modern and beautiful lights on the walls. Once the lights are turned on, they illuminate the staircase with its white/golden rays, making the steps sparkle instantly.

Depending on your preference, the lights can be as big as brick or as tiny as a dot – it all has to do with how much you want your stairway to bask in the beautiful light. The size and shape of the light are totally up to you. If you are dreamy and girly, then consider getting beautiful star-shaped lights on your staircase wall.

It is also crucial to decide the color of your lights. It is not necessary for your stairway lighting to give off typical, boring white or yellow beams. If you are a fun, bold person who doesn’t shy away from experimenting with something new and refreshing, then LED color-changing lighting option is best for you.

Having small colorful lights on the side of your staircase will be a refreshing change from the conventional lights. Plus, your stairway won’t be overhauled with colors which mean that it won’t appear too over the top either. This is the kind of lighting option that can be incorporated into a stairway design by anyone who wants a stunning, yet subtle change in their staircase.

2. Stripes of Light for Every Step

 Lighted Stair steps

Another modern and smart way to brighten up your staircase is by installing light strips along every single step. It is the kind of light that looks great on all types of staircases be it straight stairs, straight stairs with a central landing, L-shaped stairs, U-shaped stairs, or spiral stairs. However, it will be easy to attach the lights if there is a considerable gap between the lower flat part of the step and its straight, vertical part.

In cases where staircases do not have enough flat space to install the light can consider placing them at the extreme lower base of every step that links to the next. This kind of tip will work best for staircases like spiral stairs and U-shaped staircases. Keep in mind that the chunkier the staircases, the softer the light glows.

When the steps are closer to one another, the light of each step intertwines together and may end up creating an overly-bright atmosphere. To ensure that your stairs only give off a light glow, invest in warm-hued lights.

Homeowners that have stairs with a glass etched between each step can also incorporate the feature of lighting strips. Such glass-made staircases give the feeling as if one is floating or hanging. By attaching light strips, the beauty of the staircase is further intensified.

To bring this idea to life, use Luxo Light Insertions. These types of light are placed at the midsection of each step. The end result is worth the second glace!

3. Lights on the Side/Corner of the Steps

Side Lights for Your Stairway

It is likely that some of you may not board well with the idea of having central staircase lighting on every step. And if that’s the case with you, it is completely fine. The good news is that there is an alternative to it and it is worth the try!

If you are not a fan of having direct light on every step, then don’t worry. You can still make the most of this type of lighting. How you may wonder?

By attaching the lights on the corner or the side of every step. This will allow subtle light beams to penetrate from the corner of your staircase, minimizing the light to enter directly into your eyes. This is also a great idea for those of you who do not have flat staircases or big steps.

4. Illuminating the Railings

Illumination All the Way up to Railings

A staircase is incomplete without its railing, right? So why not make the railing stand out by lighting them up? To make this option work, all you have to do is install an extensive LED light strips underneath your railings.

However, bear in mind that the railing should be straight. U-shaped or spiral staircases may not have flat railings. In such cases, you may not be able to brighten up the curling rails the same way as your flat staircases.

That being said, there is still a way you can light up your railings and that is through hanging strings of light.

This is similar to the way you hang fairy lights in your room, around your dressing table or wall. In a similar manner, you can illuminate the railing by curling around the fairy lights. Note that if you have elderly living in your house, who may need a railing for support, avoid using this lighting idea and opt for another one from this list.

Another take on the bright-up railing is to add the light strips on the baseboard of the stairs. This is workable for staircases that have this feature. If you are lucky enough to have visible baseboard along your staircase, then this could be the most beautiful way to glow up your stairway!

5. Glass Railings with LED

 Glass Railings with Shiny Light

Glass railings are every modern house owner’s choice, considering the oomph factor it adds to your staircase. While most homeowners keep their glass railings simple as they require no adornment.

However, we’ll let you in on a secret to make these glass railings illuminate light. That’s by installing LED lights in them.

Since the LED lights come in a wide range of colors, it will be easier for you to choose the one that harmonizes well with your interior. From bright red LED lights to soothing blue ones to relaxing greens lights, the options are plenty. Having LED lights installed in the glass railings will also turn your simple house into an attractive extravaganza.

6. Hanging Chandelier or Lights

A Chandelier in the Center of the Staircase

If you don’t want lights on your staircases or railings, then this is the lighting method apt for you. The best part is that you can try out this “glowing” idea in a number of ways. Those of you, who love chandeliers, must know that they don’t only look stunning in your drawing rooms or hallways.

If the side passage or the central area of your stairway is empty, you can fill it up with specks of light! You can do this by installing hanging chandeliers.

Now, it is totally up to you the kind of chandelier you want to choose for your stairway or stairway passage. If you are all about glitz and glamour, then shiny crystal chandeliers are your best option. In quite an effortless manner, you will light up the stairway magnificently.

You can also look for casual glass chandeliers that will give a modern touch to your stairway. We can’t move on without discussing classics. And that reminds us of candle-style chandeliers that will impart heavenly charm through its flickering candles.

If you want to keep things simple and sophisticated, then there are plenty of ways to achieve that goal. The next best thing after chandelier in our book is the hanging light/lamp balls. You can consider stylish crystal glass balls that will infuse richness to the surrounding with its astounding beauty and glorious light.

Another great option is clear glass globe pendant lights that will give a decent yet stylish touch to your stairway. This type of lighting allows homeowners to experiment with their lights during festive seasons like Christmas.

Homeowners can consider installing Christmas hanging light balls from the top of their stairway ceilings. Doing so will take their Christmas decoration to a whole new level!

We’ll suggest you head over to your nearest lighting market where you will definitely encounter dozens of hanging lights which you can use for illuminating your stairway.

7. Ceiling Lighting

Ceiling Light

A great alternative to hanging lights and chandeliers is ceiling lighting around the staircase. If you have kids in your house then hanging lights can expose them to injury.

Therefore, in such a case, your best bet would be to install ceiling lighting. There are many types of ceiling lights that you can consider for your stairway. Some of them are discussed below:

a. Flush Mounted Lights

Ideal for low-ceiling stairways flush mounted lights are attached close to the ceiling which helps them spread light to a larger portion of the area. Available in conventional, transitional, and modern styles, these lights happen to be quite economical.

You can easily pick one out from a wide range of flush mount lights, available in different materials such as glass, copper, and plastic. The types of lighting that you can go for are – CFLs, LED bulbs, halogen lights, and incandescent bulbs. Here is the chance to make the most eco-friendly decision!

b. Semi-Flush Mount Fixtures

Another glow-up option to consider is semi-flush mount fixtures that are somewhere between chandeliers and flush-mount fixtures. Generally, these types of lights are 3 to 8 inches from the wall ceilings.

Consider this idea when you don’t want the typical height of the chandelier but still want the fixture to make a statement. Like flush mounted lights, you can fit any type of light into the fixture and extend the splendid light along the stairway.

c. Track Lights

The purpose of the track lighting is to highlight your room’s best feature. If your stairway is the best part of your house, then don’t over-think and get track lights installed in the ceilings of your stairway. While it is considered an ideal option for glorifying hallways, lounges, and living rooms, it is equally remarkable for stair passageways as well.

Try it to believe it!

d. Recessed Lights

Typically, these lights are attached behind the false ceiling to lessen the strong effect of lights. Owing to this reason, the source of light is always soft, creating a cozy and intimate impact. With these lights, homeowners wouldn’t be disturbed even if these lights stayed on all night.

8. A Glitter Staircase

Magnificent Staircase

Since typical lighting is the basic way to make your stairway totally lit, a glittering staircase happens to be the most unique option in the entire list. We bet, this is the type of lighting idea that not many people may have tried and tested. So, why not you become among the first few to try this method of astounding lighting?

There is probably no one who doesn’t get drawn towards glitter. A bit of glitter is something that everyone likes. Having glitter lights installed in each step of your stair will make you feel like climbing the stairs of nirvana.

Choosing the color of glitter is most important in this design. Ask yourself the kind of glitter you like best – silver, golden, or multicolor. Silver glitter will sparkle more subtly and is, comparatively, a far more sophisticated option.

On the other hand, golden glitter leans towards a more OTT style, opt for those who like everything a little “extra”. Multi-color glitter is of the sort that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Before you invest in this type of glitter, question yourself whether you personally like it or not.

After all, you will have to live with it. Second of all, get in touch with an interior designer that can help you decide whether it will go well with the aesthetics of your house or not.

Just imagine the glow that sequined staircase will infuse during the night time. But to make sure that the staircase sparkles well in the dark, utilize buckets of good quality glitter and other materials necessary to bring this design to life.

Having a shimmering staircase will also help you in cutting down on your energy bills! Isn’t it a total win-win situation?

9. Glittery Walls

Glittery Walls

An alternative to a glittery staircase is the glittery staircase wall that you can look into. If the idea of having a sparkly staircase doesn’t sit well with you, you can always go for glittery walls. The light shined through the shimmery walls will not only make your stairway look pretty but will allow you to take the steps easily at night.

Having a glittery stairway will make your interior nothing short of alluring. Make sure that the area surrounding your stairway complements your dazzling wall. For that, you will need to ensure that the flooring and furniture you choose go well with your staircase.

10. Rainbow LED Staircase

 Rainbow colored stairs

Again, like a glittering staircase, a rainbow LED staircase is a design that may not appeal to every reader. It is the kind of lighting that risks getting rejected by faint-hearted, for sure.

However, when you think of it, it is a unique luminous idea that could work if cleverly incorporated. For instance, the rainbow LED stairway is something that you can consider for your kids’ play area. If there is a floor that you have designated for your kids’ playing, then you can signal its separation from other floors by having a rainbow LED staircase.

For this, you will only be required to have specific stairs (leading to your kid’s playroom) to be in rainbow colors while the rest of the stairs can have a normal lighting system.

This type of lighting is something that not only you will love it but your kids will be excited to see it too. To say the least, rainbow LED staircases are a sight for sore eyes. Seeing multiple colors will help soothe your eyes and make you want to chill on the stairs!

11. Stairwell with Windows

Wooden staircase with a window.

Having windows along your stairwell is a brilliant way to make the most of the natural light. Our daily lives revolve around working under artificial lights so much that having a source of sun beam is indeed a breath of fresh air.

Instead of having LED lights in your stairway, you can carve out large and stylish windows in the staircase wall. This will make your interior twice as beautiful and if the view outside is impeccable than double the perks.

The kind of window you want to install is a personal choice; however, we’ll suggest you have at least two windows if the size of them is medium to large. On the other hand, if you prefer small windows, then make sure that you have gradients of small windows in your staircase walls. This will keep the staircase brighter than ever and will also allow wind to easily penetrate into the house.

In the night time, seeing the moonlight entering into the house through these stairwell windows will be a sight worth remembering forever. This will prevent you from investing in artificial lights and will also lower your monthly electrical bill.

Out of all these brilliant stairway lighting options, which one made you light up the most? Hard to pick one, right?