Stairway Lighting Guide

Stairway Lighting Guide

Stairway lighting can often be overlooked, but it is an important part of your home. Lighting your stairway can help with both form and function. Whether you have a grand staircase or a simple one, a light fixture can illuminate your path and create a captivating statement.

Here are some tips to help you choose the best lighting for your staircase:

General Tips for Stairway Lighting

If you’re hanging the chandelier or pendant above a space where people will be walking, allow for a minimum of 7-8 ft from the bottom of the fixture to the floor. If you plan to place furniture or home decor below your chandelier, ensure there is at least 30 inches between the item and the bottom of the chandelier.

Recommended amount of space to leave below a stairway chandelier

Consider how the chandelier or pendants will look from all angles. You want to choose a fixture that looks good from below on the first floor as well as above on the second floor.

A stairway chandelier from multiple angles

Tips for Each Location

Depending on where you are hanging a chandelier or pendant, there are different considerations.

Staircase Landing

If your staircase has a landing, that can often be the perfect place for a light fixture. In this case, make sure that the ceiling above the landing is at least 9 ft tall. This is to ensure that you can leave at least 7ft below the chandelier, enough room for someone to walk under.

Hanging a chandelier above a staircase landing

Staircase Foyer

In an open foyer, the chandelier or pendant can hang at eye level (or lower) when viewed from the second floor.

Pendant view from foyer and second floor

Spiral Staircases

If you have a spiral staircase or an opening in the centre of your staircase, a chandelier or a cluster of pendants is the perfect focal point for a dynamic cascading look. In this case, make sure you measure the opening of the staircase to leave enough room between the railing and the fixture.

Spiral staircase lighting options

More Lighting Options for Stairway Lighting

When it comes to lighting your stairway, you aren’t limited to chandeliers and pendants. Take a look at some other ways you can light up your stairs, while still bringing a luxurious feeling to your home.

Wall Sconces

If there’s not enough room above your head, wall sconces are a great way to light up the stairs. Stairways typically require a minimum overhead light every 8 ft along the length to ensure safety.

Stairway wall sconces

Wall/Step Recessed Lights

If you’re looking for a sleek, minimalist way to bring a luxurious feeling to your home, wall/step recessed lights are the way to go. Step lighting highlights the architectural details of your staircase, elevating the space. 

Recessed Step Lights

Stairway Design Trends

The design on your stairway can make a big impact on how your home looks and feels. For a modern touch, take a look at these two trends:

Glass Paneling

Using glass paneling on the railings allows you to create unique lighting compositions. Combining stairway lighting and glass creates a reflective effect, further illuminating your steps.

Glass Panels as Stairway Railings

LED Strips

Placing LED strips along the wall or under the tread of each step can create a stunning display on your stairs.

LED Strips along a Stairway

Display and Picture Lights

Oftentimes, the stairs are the perfect place to show off family pictures. Highlight certain images and bring a gentle light source to the space with a picture light.

Display and Picture Lights on a Stairway


Now you know all about stairway lighting! To choose lights for your stairway, you can explore our collection of stairway lights here

Any questions? If you'd like to consult our team of experts for your next project contact us. We'd be happy to support you in any way we can.