How to light a staircase

With the right lighting, you can make your staircase a stylish feature of your home in its own right. Just follow these expert tips..


What is the best kind of lighting for a staircase?

Staircases come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from dark and narrow spaces to grander and more open affairs. When lighting a staircase, it’s important to make sure that there’s plenty of practical light – and with a well-chosen lighting scheme, you can also make your staircase a lovely focal point. 

The best kind of lighting for a staircase depends on its size and shape, and its position within the house. By using a range of different types of lighting, such as overhead pendant lights, wall lights and table lamps, you can create a staircase that’s both well-lit and beautiful. 


Make a feature of your staircase with designer pendant lights

Overhead pendant lights are a very effective way of lighting a staircase, and they also offer the chance to have a bit of fun and make a statement! 

Placing a striking designer pendant light or a cluster of pendant lights on the landing will cast plenty of ambient light down and along the staircase, while also creating a lovely focal point at the top of the stairs. 

Meanwhile, if your staircase is in an open, square-shaped hallway, a single statement pendant light suspended from the hall ceiling will provide plenty of ambient light; or if the space is long and narrow, using two slightly smaller matching pendants will light the hallway and the foot of the stairs, while providing a balanced look. Our Stella pendant light makes a classy centrepiece in any space, and comes in a range of different sizes so you can mix and match.   

Finally, if you have an open, winding or L-shaped staircase, you can add some extra drama by suspending an oversize pendant, multiple pendants or a cluster light from the landing ceiling down into the stairwell, emphasising the sense of height and space. This will create a beautiful impression from both above and below – and it creates a fabulous feature in an open plan living space. 

See our stunning selection of hall pendant lights.

giant stella pendant
Giant Stella pendant

Give your staircase the wow factor with a show-stopping chandelier

A staircase is often one of the first things visitors see when they cross the threshold, and it can form part of that all-important first impression of your home. If you want to enhance your hallway and make the ultimate statement, a designer chandelier suspended from the landing or the hall ceiling (or both!) will provide plenty of illumination, while adding a feeling of glamour and luxuriousness, and really making a feature of your staircase. 

Meanwhile, if you’re lucky enough to have split stairs, chandeliers are surely the ultimate lighting choice. Also known as bifurcated stairs, these are the ‘Downton Abbey’ of staircases, having a wider central flight of stairs at the bottom which then splits into two halves, leading off to the left and right, and making it just perfect for featuring a beautiful chandelier. (It would be wrong not to.)

Of course, while chandeliers are historically associated with grand traditional settings, you don’t actually have to own a listed manor house: these days chandeliers are available in all kinds of styles and materials, from classic glass and brass, to sleek contemporary metal numbers, or retro designs such as our stunning Orb chandelier, with its 70 individual glass roundels – guaranteed to add some sparkle to any stairway.

Check out our range of beautiful, affordable designer chandeliers.


roddy wall lightRoddy wall light sconce


Use wall lights to add light and ambience to a staircase 

Wall-mounted lights or sconces are another fabulous option for lighting a staircase, either in their own right or in conjunction with overhead lights. 

One of the lovely things about wall lights is they can create a gorgeously soft, low-level ambient light, great for adding warmth and character to a staircase. A set of downlighters or uplighters placed at even intervals along the stairway will produce a beautiful effect, emphasising the wall space and drawing the eye up and along the stairs. For an enclosed staircase, staggering the wall lights on opposite sides will help to further open out the space.

Wall lights come in a wide range of different shapes, styles and materials. For narrower staircases, it’s best to choose a more compact design: our Helios wall light sits neatly against the wall and emits a lovely golden, ethereal glow. 

Browse our huge range of designer wall lights.

Glorious layers of light in this design by Clare Weeks of My-Studio, featuring Pooky's Crescent table lamp, Bow tie wall light and Bulbus pendant


Use additional layers of light to illuminate a staircase 

The best lighting schemes use a range of different types of lighting, and if your staircase is particularly confined or lacking in natural light, you can supplement any existing overhead or wall-mounted lighting with additional light sources. 

Freestanding table lamps can be a great way of boosting the lighting at the foot of a staircase or on a landing, as well as adding interest: place a lamp on a nearby table or console to provide an extra layer of warm, welcoming light. Our rechargeable table lamps are a great choice here, as they’re completely cordless so there’s no need to worry about any potential trip hazards from cables. 

Meanwhile, single wall sconces also work well in a hallway or on a landing, helping to significantly boost the light levels up and down the stairs while adding a lovely decorative element.


Pooky makes beautiful, afordable designer lighting for beautiful spaces. Browse our full range of beautiful designer lighting. 


See also:

Lighting for the tricky areas of your home

How to boost the natural light in your home





Image top: Pooky's Stella pendant light, styled by Laura Stephens. Photo: Chris Snook