Staircase pendant lighting serves both a functional and decorative role. The staircase needs to be well-lit for safety, as a basic requirement. But a staircase can also be a place to add a decorative lighting feature to your home, especially if the staircase is visible from the entry.
The best placement of pendant lighting on the staircase depends on the ceiling height. Unlike other locations, where the floor underneath a pendant is generally level, the risers on a staircase means that you need to consider the minimum clearance between the treads and the ceiling. In other words, as someone moves up the steps, the distance between their head and the hanging pendant changes. A pendant should be hung so that it’s over head height, wherever someone is standing on the stairs. This will of course be different for different people, depending on whether they are short or tall.
If you have a double height staircase where the ceiling goes right up to the full height of the upper floor, then you have a wider choice and can select one of the more elaborate fixtures, such as a chandelier or crystal light. For standard ceiling heights, a landing, either mid-way up the stairs or in the hallway at the top or bottom, can be an ideal place to hang a pendant. There are a huge range of pendants to choose from, whether your taste is for something modern or traditional, or if you have a particular style of decor in mind for example Victorian or Hamptons.
If the light is more functional, for example for stairs going down into a basement, you might choose a more basic fitting. As basement spaces are generally enclosed with no natural light entering, they are particularly dark so you will need to choose a bright light.
When placing a pendant on a staircase it’s important to remember that there should be a switch to operate the light at both the top and bottom of the staircase. Whatever design you choose, whether simple or with intricate detail, a staircase pendant should give clear illumination of the steps and any handrail. An LED lamp with a suitable lux level is a recommended choice, as LEDs give excellent quality of light and are highly energy-efficient.