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15 Modern Staircases with Spectacular Lighting

Homeowners hang beautiful light fixtures from their ceilings and put lamps in as many dark corners of a room as they can, but how often do you visit someone’s home and see their staircase lit up with built-in lighting? Unless you’re visiting a fancy commercial building or walking down some very nicely landscaped outdoor steps, built-in staircase lighting isn’t quite as common in the average home. It may not work in everyone’s home, but it definitely helps make a staircase look more interesting and safe in the dark! Here are some great examples to check out for yourself.

Tiny Bursts of Brilliance Along the Side

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to add lighting to your staircase without a total overhaul is by using small lights along walls on the sides. These lights featured on Hative actually look like tiny twinkling stars.

Staircase with star-like lights along the wall
Staircase with star-like lights along the wall

Check out these neat-looking lights from Super Modular. A great alternative if you want just a very subtle lighting solution.

Staircase light fixtures with corners removed to light up the steps
Staircase light fixtures with corners removed to light up the steps

Here’s a staircase in a cabin featured on Small House Bills that has small lights along the side wall for every other step.

Lights along every step of a cabin/loft
Lights along every step of a cabin/loft

In some cases, lights for every other step may be a bit much. This beautiful wood staircase from Vlassak Verhulst makes use of just three very tiny and subtle lights on each side of the wall for just enough lighting.

Very small light fixtures on each wall along a wood staircase
Very small light fixtures on each wall along a wood staircase

Strips of Light for Each and Every Step

Another clever way to light up your stairs is by attaching light strips along each step. It’s easy to do if the flat surfaces of your steps juts out a bit past the vertical parts — like these basement stairs featured on Hative.

Basement stairs with LED lighting
Basement stairs with LED lighting

KLUS is one manufacturer that offers this type of lighting solution, for both indoor and outdoor stairs.

LED stairway lighting by KLUS
LED stairway lighting by KLUS

For staircases that don’t have that extra flat section that extends out each step, a different place to consider putting them is at the very base of each step that connects to the next. Take a look at the neat lighting effect this staircase from Homedit creates between each step and even on the side walls.

Lighting at the base of each step
Lighting at the base of each step

These chunkier stairs featured on Arch Daily make it easier to create more of a soft glow than a bright impression with lighting strips.

Wood staircase with lighting that creates a soft glow
Wood staircase with lighting that creates a soft glow

For anyone lucky enough to have stairs that make use of glass between each step to make it look like they’re hanging or floating, like this staircase featured on Design Milk, the look can be highlighted or exaggerated by adding lighting strips.

Oak and glass staircase with LED lighting strips
Oak and glass staircase with LED lighting strips

FreshHome featured these amazing staircases with Luxo Light Insertions, which wrap the lighting around the entire midsection of each step. The result is enough to take your breath away.

LED light strips positioned in the middle of each step
LED light strips positioned in the middle of each step
LED lighting on white staircase
LED lighting on white staircase

The hanging/floating staircase look certainly can be pleasing to the eye, and there’s at least one more way you can use those lighting strips to enhance it. This wood staircase featured on Klikk lines all the sides of the staircase that face the wall to really highlight the fact that they’re not secured to the wall — making them look like they’re floating in mid-air.

Staircase with lighting along the sides for a floating look
Staircase with lighting along the sides for a floating look

Illumination All the Way Up the Railing

Last but not least, there’s always the railing to consider too. It’s another easy way to light up your existing staircase. Simply attach a very long LED light strip beneath your railing, like this stunning example of a black and white staircase featured on Design Boom.

Black and white staircase with lighting along railings
Black and white staircase with lighting along railings

Of course, keep in mind it’s pretty much required that your railing goes straight up and down without curling around any walls for this to work. Here’s another fine example featured on Habitos.

Basement stairway with LED light strip along railing
Basement stairway with LED light strip along railing

A different take on the lit-up railing is to bring the light strip to the slanted baseboard of the stairs that runs up it. Of course, not all staircases have this, but it works beautifully in the example below from Arch Daily — especially with that lovely brick wall beside it!

Lighting along the staircase against a brick wall
Lighting along the staircase against a brick wall

What’s your favorite way to light up a staircase? For anyone who has small children or simply lives in a house that’s darker than average, this could be a beautiful and worthwhile solution for minimizing trips and falls.

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