Floor Lighting - Stair and Hallway Lighting
Lighting the floor space of hallways, stairwells and staircases is something to be taken seriously. Not only do these areas encounter high traffic, where safety is a big concern, but they are also areas in your home which are what the professionals call “transitional areas” – they join two rooms or spaces.
You want to ensure that whatever floor lighting you decide on eases the eye’s transition in to the different light levels located all over you home.
When it comes to stairs – you primary concern is safety. Not lighting the floor adequately could lead to a nasty or even fatal accident. All the steps need to be defined – in other words you want a very strong contrast to be created between the “”riser” and “tread” of each step.
The best type of floor lighting you could use to achieve the desired definition would be recessed fixtures (similar to the ones you so often find at the movies), or alternatively you could use recessed fluorescent strips on the each step. If you would rather down-light the stairs, one could always incorporate lighting into the under parts of the banister – neon tubes are a favorite!
All these floor fixtures can be incorporated with a “two-way delay” switch.
Hanging and pendant lights are a big “no no” when it comes to hallways. They are either going to blind some people, or just get in the way. Recessed ceiling lights will illuminate the whole floor area. Just insure they are all facing to the sides of the hallway – this way they are no going to hit anyone straight between the eyes. You could also incorporate a stylish floor lamp in one corner just to open one area of the hallway up and add another dimension. Mirrors can also be used to create a similar effect.
Decks respond best to soft light. Ideally you want to keep any source at feet level (out of the way of course), and the eyes generally respond best to low voltage bulbs. If you want to draw attention to certain features then rope light sticks (thin flexible tubes) can be used on urns, plants or even to direct the way to the outdoor bar.