9 Creative Stairwell Lighting Ideas to Try for Your Home

Stairwell Lighting

Many homes still ignore stairwell lighting even though it’s an essential aspect of a building’s interior.

Why’s having lighting on the stairwell important?

  • It acts as a safety measure by illuminating shadows and dark spots.
  • It adds to the overall lighting in the home.
  • It adds to the home’s decor, providing an aesthetic appeal.

You see, back in the day, a single overhead chandelier or a fixture at the top of the stairs seemed to be all there was as far as lighting went.

Today, emerging stairwell lighting technologies revolutionize this vital but sometimes ignored feature. Vonn lighting knows that this is an important area to have lighting and has many different types of lighting listed in this article.

Check out our creative stairway light ideas you can try for your home:

1. Small LED Step Lights

LED step lights are a popular choice for many modern households and luxurious buildings. 

You install these lights on the riser above every individual step. Depending on your taste, you can have them below the center of the steps or on the sides.

Aside from their obvious visual appeal, step lights provide ample lighting and focus on individual threads. 

They also provide better illumination without being overwhelming. The idea is to spread the glow and not concentrate it on a specific spot.

2. Cove Lights

This is a type of lighting design installed into the recesses of the area you want to light up, in this case, the stairwell.

The primary function of cove lights is to illuminate an area indirectly. You’ll see where the light is coming from, but you won’t see any fixtures. It’s supposed to minimize clutter and still offer artistic appeal.

You can use cove lights as primary stairwell lighting or accent lighting. But either way, the watts should be robust enough to brighten the stairwell without being glaring.

3. LED Wall Lights

An alternative to step lights is more user-friendly LED wall lights. These are just as elegant but a lot less fussy and quite pocket-friendly as you won’t be installing one for each thread.

Depending on its size and voltage, a single light can illuminate a wide area. 

This consideration to light coverage is ideal if you’re on a budget. You can get larger fixtures and install them a bit high above the steps for a wider reach. This way, you’ll also use fewer fixtures.

4. Linear Lighting

Linear lighting is one of the most effective stairwell lighting options you can find. 

However, bear in mind that there are different types of linear lights. Some run along the stairwell, or you can suspend them from the ceiling.

You can mount the stairway fixtures in a series of continuous arrangements along a specific area of the stairwell. You can have these LED-powered lights running along the sides of the steps or the wall.

You can also opt for visible fixtures, or go with recessed linear channels for specific areas.

5. Newel Post Lighting

Who said you must have contemporary taste to enjoy elegant stairwell lights?

If you’re into Victorian or retro aesthetics, you may want to consider antique newel post lighting. These light fixtures come in different designs, but all mount the wall via newel posts.

Newel post lighting is pretty practical and has been serving residences for centuries. You’ll hardly go wrong with a couple of these stairwell lighting your way.

You can mount the fixtures on the posts at various intervals, depending on your stairwell lighting needs. 

This lighting style is not restrictive. You may use traditional lamps or go with modern LED installations.

6. Open Riser Lighting

Usually, open riser staircases are perfectly safe and follow International Residential Code Standards (IRC) for construction.

Still, these floating stairs can cause accidental slips and missteps. Open stairways demand excellent lighting to avoid incidents.

One of the best lighting ideas for your floating stairs is the recessed LED strips. These hidden light sources generally go along the underside of each step. They create clear outlines showing where one step ends and another begins.

Stairwell Lighting

7. Hanging Lights

The alternative for lighting stairwells without directly installing fixtures is using hanging lights.

There are two excellent hanging light options you can choose from.

If you’re into the glossy magnifique, you’ll love chandeliers. They provide ample lighting, and you can hang them on the ceiling above the landing or where it serves you best.

Alternatively, if you’re more in tune with low-key, luxe styles, you may go with pendant lights that run from the ceiling down.

Both of these lighting types are perfect when it comes to illuminating stairwells.

Besides, these hanging lights are not just good for dispelling shadows. They’re visually stunning and may also serve as accent lights.

8. Wall Lamps

For those who prefer a simple approach to stairwell lighting, sconces are a perfect choice. They are less fussy and delicately beautiful.

Light sconces affix to the wall directly above the stairs. You may use electric lamps or even candles held inside these fixtures.

On the other hand, you can install a LED wall sconce for a more contemporary look.

Depending on the size of your stairwell, you may use two or more sconces per flight.

9. Handrail Strip Lights

One of the places least used for stairway lighting is the handrail. It’s usually not an area of choice for this purpose.

However, if you’ve noticed, handrails are often lit in public buildings. As glossy as the effect is, it can be muted and reworked for general lighting purposes.

If you’re jonesing for a bit of glitz, you can use a line of fairy lights on the handrail. Alternatively, LED strip lights are a more mature and lasting option.


You can never overstate the necessity of stairwell lighting. If your stairway is not well lit, it automatically becomes a safety hazard.

So, there’s no point in taking a risk when the market provides tons of lighting options fitting different budget needs.

And with our list of creative stairwell light ideas you can implement in your home, you’ll glow with light and style.

Author bio:

Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove at Cheney to help them with their online marketing.

9 Creative Stairwell Lighting Ideas to Try for Your Home

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