Staircase Lighting Solutions

Stair lighting can be dramatic, subtle, functional – or all of the above.   Stairs are often a key focal point in a house and can lead your eye through from one space to another.

There is no one ‘right way’ to light staircases; it very much depends on design, construction and desired look and feel.

Concrete Staircase beautifully litConsider staircase lighting at an early stage in the build

A key consideration in staircase lighting is fixing points.   Whether you’re lighting from above, at tread level or in the wall or string, factoring the staircase lighting into the plans is really important in achieving the desired effect.

This striking concrete and marble clad staircase is lit by little LED ‘mushrooms’ located on each tread.  Lighting the stairs from above would have flattened its lovely curves, and nothing could be fixed on to the glass balustrade. The LD64s were the perfect solution.  They are complemented by a ground recessed Magna fitting uplighting the smooth plaster underside, again accentuating the sinuous nature of the structure.

The wonderful lighting shown here very nearly didn’t happen.  The staircase was cast and in-situ before our clients commissioned us.  We were lucky with the building team.  We found the perfect lighting solution and with the co-operation and persistence of the building team  – one of whom spent days core-drilling the structure for fittings and cable access – we achieved this stunning end result.

Detail of underlit stairs using warm LED fitting

Consider the practicalities of staircase lighting as well as the “wow” factor

These narrow stairs have been given a dramatic but discrete treatment. A golden linear LED fitting under each tread warms the oak, and provides excellent no glare lighting.

The design and construction of the stair detailing was quite complex; fittings had to be invisible from any angle, yet easily removable for maintenance if required.  We liaised closely with the staircase providers to define exactly how the risers, nosing and cable access were constructed.  The end result has worked perfectly and transforms what could be a plain corner of a games room into a welcoming, visual link between the main entertaining space and the mezzanine above.  Again the key to delivering this level of finish is integrating the lighting design into the wider build plans at an early stage.

Clever lighting floats this massive oak staircase off the wallThink about lighting from a different angle

The stairs are the ‘spine’ of this house, connecting two main areas together. The massive oak balustrades have been offset with a line of light on the underside of the stairs.

The lighting ‘lifts’ the area with a deft lightness of touch. Again it is completely glare free, and concealing and accessing the light fitting was considered at a very early stage in the stair design.  The light source is an energy efficient very warm white linear LED fitting.

Carefully selected modern fittings can work well on stairs in period homes

Staircase Lighting in a Country House

Small LED lights lighting the staircase in a beautiful old property

Very discrete, angled LD42a LED fittings provide subtle tread lighting on the back stairs of this super old country house. This treatment works well on carpeted treads and the very low glare nature of these particular fittings makes them particularly nice to use.

The small size and subtlety of the fitting blends well with more traditional style houses making this a very versatile solution.

Staircase lighting can be an excuse to have some fun

This fun, family, colour filled house has staircase lighting to suit.  The architecture throws up a real mixture of low and high ceilings and sight lines are really important in drawing your lines across the space.

Fun and colour.  An ancient barn lit with modern fittings

The plaster in LED fittings are almost invisible when off, and when lit they draw your eye up around the curve to the floor above.  The soft blue glow is a magical effect with the direct light source effectively invisible.

So there are many ways to light staircases with treatments suitable for all styles and periods of houses.  The consistent theme running these sample solutions is the importance of integrating the lighting design with the architecture and the interior treatment.  Involving your lighting designer early in the design process means the cabling, fixing locations and fixture specifications for your staircase lighting can be incorporated at the correct stages of your build.