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Stairwell lighting ideas: Effective illumination and enhanced safety

In homes that are split across multiple levels, the stairwell is an aspect of the home that we use many times a day without even thinking about it – but it’s an area that is often neglected from an interior design perspective. It may even – in the worst-case scenario – become unsafe, harbouring a large number of tripping hazards. With this in mind, it’s all the more important to ensure that this area is well-illuminated – so a forward-thinking lighting strategy for the stairwell should be an essential part of your home design concept.

With you every step of the way: Factors to consider when planning your stairwell lighting

Good stairwell lighting shouldn’t be too dim or too bright: It needs to be bright enough for you to see, so that you don’t trip, while also ensuring that you aren’t dazzled by the lighting in the dark. We recommend warm-white colour temperatures in the range of 2700 to 3000 Kelvin.

To prevent your stairwell from becoming a trip hazard, the edges of each step should be properly illuminated. It’s easier to see each individual step if there’s a light source on the landing casting soft shadows down the stairs.

But stairwell lighting is intended not just to help you safely find your way in the dark – it can also transform the stairwell into a welcoming part of your home. Where possible, you should use a consistent lighting concept across your entire hallway or open-plan living area to create a harmonious overall effect.

Get creative: Attractive illumination solutions for dark stairwells

There are many ways you can use lighting to illuminate your stairwell in an attractive and appealing way. If your stairs don’t rest directly against a wall, you could install a strip of LEDs between the stairs and the wall. You also have the option of adding lighting below the hand rail or placing LEDs in recesses in the wall – both options look great from a design perspective and will light up your stairwell without the risk of dazzling you in the dark. Another easy path to an atmospheric and safe lighting concept is to use indirect LED lighting beneath the overhang of each step. You can create the same effect using spotlights attached at step height along the wall. The new Gira Plug & Light series is ideal for this kind of lighting concept.

Plug & Light is a stairwell lightning idea.

Gira Plug & Light: Illuminate your stairwell from your existing socket outlets

The Gira Plug & Light system is a simple and convenient way to create customised lighting solutions in dark stairwells. Using the magnetic connection, simply dock the Plug & Light spotlight on the Plug & Light light socket outlet to create the lighting scenario you need in a flash. The light attachment can be rotated by 360 degrees and swapped out at any time. If you’re renovating your home or planning a new-build project, it’s a good idea to consider a practical lighting concept for your stairwell.

Design for the stairwell: Pendant lights as a design feature

If you want to illuminate your stairwell with wall-mounted lights, you should ideally plan to install the connections you’ll need during renovation work or even when the house is built. But if your existing home doesn’t have these connections, lighting your stairwell from above is a good alternative. In open stairwells in particular, pendant lights hanging from the ceiling at different heights can be used to transform your stairwell into a design feature. The minimalist Palma pendant light by Vibia is perfect for this area of the home: Encased in two hemispheres of mouth-blown opal glass fused together to form a globe, the LED lamp emits a soft, gentle light. You can vary the light intensity using a dimmer to create lighting that suits your exact needs.

Stairwell lightning ideas for your home.

Automatic comfort and convenience: Lighting control with Gira motion detectors

Presence and motion detectors also make a useful addition to the stairwell setup – especially when you’ve got your hands full with shopping bags or the laundry basket and you can’t switch on the light. The installation of automatic lighting control also helps you find your way in the dark and saves energy – as the stairwell is only illuminated when you actually need it to be.

The Gira System 3000 Bluetooth motion detectors can also be individually configured using the Gira app on your smartphone or tablet, enabling you to programme brightness values, delay times and a night light function.

A steady dimmed light helps you find your way in the dark without shocking you into a wide-awake state as you make your way to the bathroom.

If your Smart Home is connected via a wired KNX system, you can link up multiple lights and light sources in your stairwell. The Gira KNX motion detector triggers the activation of a custom light scene when it detects movement, to light up your stairwell exactly as you envisaged.

Regardless of whether you live in a detached house or an apartment, an old or new building or on two or more floors: The right lighting in your stairwell will transform a dark and purely functional space into another inviting living area in your home.

How do you make your stairwell shine? Share your stairwell lighting ideas and let us know which of our stairwell illumination solutions is your favourite.

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