Staircase Lighting – Ideas & Inspiration from Staircase Expert Richard McLane

Staircase Lighting

Your staircase can be one of the most functional yet beautiful aspects of your home’s interior and by integrating bespoke staircase lighting to its design – you have the potential to both accentuate its most creative features, whilst dramatically enhancing the ambience of the surrounding space. Often placed in the centre of the home or in an area which has a degree of interrupted light – when incorporating the right style of staircase lighting, we can help you create a truly stunning impact which brings a sense of warmth and added allure to the heart of your home.

Key Considerations For Staircase Lighting

Lighting will be most effective when considered in the early stages of the staircase design process and requires the skills of a specialist staircase designer to evaluate how it can add most value to your project. Whether you’re looking to cast a warm glow over elements of the structure itself; or indeed light up the surrounding space to create a sculptural feature – when integrated to the overall design, staircase lighting will bring the most striking results.

Understanding the purpose of your lighting is an essential part of this process and will ultimately help you decide on the most suitable style and position of the lights. Bisca has worked alongside lighting designers on many of our staircase projects – bringing together the interior lighting schemes of a property, to highlight a staircase’s true beauty.

So What Can Staircase Lighting Achieve?

It’s important to create the perfect balance – thinking about both the practical and aesthetic appeal you’d like to achieve. In our experience, we know that every home and staircase benefits from a bespoke approach – whether that be to use ambient lighting techniques which add atmosphere or bring even a luxurious feel to the space; alternatively there are solutions which will add an accent by highlighting specific staircase features; or similarly some lighting options will create a lasting statement, transforming its presence into an architectural sculpture within your property.

Stairs are often a focal point of a well designed property and can be viewed from many different angles, subtly drawing the eye to travel from one space to another. It’s important to ask yourself – what are you trying to achieve using light as part of your staircase design?

Bisca’s Founder & Design Director, Richard McLane advises on the wide range of lighting options and how to ensure you get the impact you are looking for…

Accent Staircase Lighting

Accent lighting for stairs can be used to blend in with surrounding light levels, providing safe, navigable points throughout its structure. The stairs are then visible when lighting is low if preferred – something to consider if your property is open plan. Accent lighting can be mounted within or on walls; the ceiling; a soffit; treads; or the handrail itself.

We can see (below left) how LED lighting in the handrail throws subtle light onto the treads and is balanced by a pendant and spotlights overhead. Even in a room with an abundance of natural light, accent lighting can still add impact to a staircase.

The lighting of the helical staircase (below centre) casts a warm glow and draws the eye up (or down). A recessed handrail maximises the usable width of the staircase, while the concealed LED strip becomes a feature in itself. Alternatively, shadow gap lighting completely transforms the feel of the staircase (below right), accentuating the gold within the balustrade and adding a sense of elegance to its shape.

Statement Staircase Lighting

Statement lighting for staircases such as chandeliers, drop pendants and spotlights are commonly used in or around the stair area to highlight its presence, as well as improving the overall light and giving a wow factor to the surrounding space. It’s important to work closely with a staircase specialist to obtain exact dimensions and positioning, which will ensure statement lighting is placed accurately at the point of installation.

The three flight, helical staircase (below left) was designed and crafted by Bisca for a new build property. We worked with a trusted partner, Brilliant Lighting, to ensure the globes of the pendant light aligned perfectly with the staircase and floor levels, providing optimum light on each landing platform.

In contrast, the LED lights have been recessed in to the handrail (below centre) of this timber staircase – illuminating the glass balustrade and enhancing the unique arched shape, which is formed by the perfectly curved edge of each staircase tread. Finally – the glass staircase (below right) leads to the basement of a majestic new build property, where the circular floor light brightens the space and follows the curve of the stairs, accentuating is shape and design.

Ambient Staircase Lighting

By incorporating ambient lighting to a staircase or the internal space around it, we can create atmosphere and add to the character or mood of the room. Often you will have the ability to adapt the level of brightness to suit the feeling you wish to create. So that the light is distributed evenly, the size of the room should be considered, as well as any natural light present within the space. Colour also adds an interesting and variable dimension.

Coloured lighting can create or continue a mood, using washes of one or more shade to complement the décor; adding ambient light or drama to an historic building, such as that of Belvelly Castle (below left). This is a fabulous example of where interior lighting creates theatre. Both our staircase and wine wall in the castle have concealed, colour-changing, LED strips.

Another impressive staircase project Bisca designed was for a Whisky Museum in Northumberland (below centre), where the surrounding interior replicated the feeling of being in a whisky cask. The lighting brought a warm glow to the wood, highlighting the vast scale of the room and emphasising the contour of the staircase curving around its edges. On a smaller scale, but equally as impressive (below right) was this cantilevered staircase with character oak treads, where uplighters have been placed to bring an artistic glow – creating a composition of both light and shadow on the walls of the space.

Maintenance & Replacement of Stair Lights

Maintenance and upkeep is always carefully evaluated as part of Bisca’s design process. Importantly, our design engineers will discuss the supply of power cables, locations of drivers and integration with the site electrical system – working with third party contractors where required to achieve a seamless lighting solution.

Our preferred partner for designing bespoke staircase lighting solutions is Brilliant Lighting. Located closeby to Bisca’s headquarters in North Yorkshire, we have worked together on many successful staircase projects within some of the most prestigious homes in the UK. There is a clear synergy between the way we work together, placing quality of service and outstanding design and craftmanship as absolute priorities, for every client we work with.

For advice on staircase lighting solutions, please contact us on 01439 771 702 ∣

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