Landing lighting ideas – 10 ways to create atmospheric and chic illumination

Fall for landing lighting ideas to make it warm and welcoming as well as seriously stylish

Landing lighting ideas
(Image credit: Sims Hilditch/David Collins Studio/Future)

Whether they’re pendants, on the wall, floor, table, or in other locations, landing lighting ideas can make an impact as well as fulfilling their role of illuminating the space.

They can provide ambient lighting for the whole landing, but they can also evoke a mood, or highlight features of the space and, in the same way as hallway ideas include lighting designs, plans for a landing can make use of all three types of lighting. 

Here we’ve selected inspirational landing lighting ideas featuring beautiful examples of every type of light. You can discover, too, strategies for atmospheric as well as practical illumination from the experts.

Landing lighting ideas

A landing can be a beautiful space and not merely an entryway to other rooms, a corridor, or a pause on a staircase with considered lighting ideas. If you're looking at staircase ideas – or hallway lighting ideas – consider using a combination of ceiling and pendant lights, wall lights, those in skirtings, floor, and table lamps as sources of illumination.

1. Opt for a cascade of light

Pendant lighting in stairwell seen from landing

(Image credit: David Collins Studio)

If you are looking for landing ideas that highlight the design of the staircase, a landing can be illuminated with a pendant that makes a spectacular feature at its center.

‘We created a bespoke chandelier with a cascading lantern aesthetic which runs through the entire staircase of this prestigious townhouse,’ says Louise Lythe, associate director, David Collins Studio

‘The fixture serves to connect the different floors and accentuates the scale of the property. The materials used are bronze and alabaster which both reflect light beautifully in an interior creating a subtle glow – the staggered forms create a sense of movement and sculptural interest, as well as complementing the architectural detailing.’

2. Choose elegant wall lights for landings

Landing with neutral decor, blue cabinet with mirror above, and wall light

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

Staircase lighting ideas for the walls can be one of the most decorative landing lighting ideas as well as a functional choice. On this landing, the curved lines of the light echo that of the hand rail as it turns between the flights of stairs, as well as the ornate frame of the mirror.

‘Installing wall lights is a great way to fill the space on a landing,’ says Emma Sims-Hilditch, founder and creative director at Sims Hilditch. ‘The hallways of a home form a vital connection from room to room.’

3. Throw patterns with landing lighting ideas

Corridor style landing with neutral decor with skirting board lighting creating pattern on floor

(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)

Accent lighting often draws attention to a particular feature of a room, but it can also add drama in its own right. Here, a corridor-style landing is transformed by the pattern thrown across the floor.

‘Complete your lighting scheme with a layer of accent lighting to provide wayfinding down the corridor,’ suggests Hazel Park, senior designer at John Cullen Lighting. ‘Cazalla skirting lights set inside skirtings can provide a nightlight whilst complementing a range of home styles.’

She also suggests uplights for windowsills or floors to highlight window reveals and door frames.

4. Think landing lighting materials

Landing with metal banisters and hand rail and neutral decor

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd Photograph: David Cleveland)

Selecting landing lighting ideas is an opportunity to enjoy the color and texture of particular materials. On this landing, metal shades for the pendant lights add an industrial twist to the space and complement the material of the staircase railing ideas. Both features are refined, though, swerving the chunky style typical of the industrial look.

A cool metal like this could be an ideal option for homes in warmer climate areas. Live somewhere cooler? Bring in highlights with metals such as copper or brass.

5. Pick different sized pendants

Utah home

(Image credit: Nicole Hill Gerulat)

Choosing pendant lights of the same design in different sizes and hanging them at a range of heights can create a statement feature of landing lighting. 

The shades in this arrangement have simple lines and color for a modern look, but grouped together they’re impactful. Lighting the landing this way is an opportunity to create an individual feature with the shade sizes plus the shape of the group your own choice.

6. Light the way

Narrow landing with blue runner, windows with Roman blinds, artwork on wall, and two pendant lights

(Image credit: Sims Hilditch)

Thoughtful landing lighting ideas can make a home feel more welcoming. ‘The correct placement of lighting can lead the eye down a hallway, creating a seamless flow throughout the interior,’ says Emma Sims-Hilditch.

A high ceiling for this landing allows the use of large pendant shades but, in glass, they allow the light from the windows through to maximize natural illumination in daylight hours.

7. Go for shapely glass shades

renovated edwardian villa

(Image credit: Future / Kasia Fiszer)

You could try a different take on glass pendant shades for a landing, choosing colored versions that gently tint the light to add a touch of fun to the space. A selection of shades has modern style and you can mix shapes that showcase the glassblower’s art, too.

For a corridor-style landing, hang them in a line, but odd numbers of designs like these can be grouped as an alternative for landings of different proportions.

8. Use landing lighting ideas that show off art

Landing with two armchairs with chest of drawers between and groups of wall art with neutral decor

(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)

Whether your landing showcases individual artwork, pairs and other groups, or gallery style displays, make sure lighting illuminates pictures to best advantage.

‘Tilt directional, low glare downlights on to wall-mounted artwork to push the walls out and make narrow landings appear larger and brighter,’ says Hazel Park. ‘Additionally, choose beam widths that are sympathetic to the size of your artwork.’

9. Choose patterned lampshades

A colorful landing in a country home in Sussex designed by Kate Forman

(Image credit: Future/Robert Sanderson)

An array of patterns can bring a landing to life, so don’t miss the opportunity to add to the mix by opting for a table lamp with a patterned shade as part of the lighting design for the space. 

Designed by Kate Forman, the landing in this home continues the energy of the rest of the rooms, demonstrating the passion she and the homeowners share for color and vibrancy.

10. Create symmetry with floor lamps

Lading with neutral walls and carpet, console table, two side chairs, two floorstanding lamps and artwork on wall

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd Photograph: Rachael Smith Photography)

Make a sophisticated focal point on the landing by flanking a console table with a pair of floorstanding lamps in a symmetrical arrangement. The symmetry here is repeated with side chairs to left and right.

Floorstanding lights can allow a change of atmosphere for the space, as can other lighting choices. ‘Introduce mood lighting with dimmable table lamps, wall sconces or pendants for an ambient evening light,’ says Hazel Park. 

And if you have skylights, she suggests LED strips for an indirect glow at night.

Where do you hang lights on a stairwell?

Lights on a stairwell can be hung from the ceiling or on the walls. Some stairs may require flush-mounted ceiling lights, but hanging fixtures such as a chandelier or pendant light can make a spectacular feature for a staircase. Wall lights, meanwhile, can be an elegant solution for lighting a stairwell.

Make sure there is sufficient ceiling height for any chandelier or pendant light or group above a landing. The light fixture should not reach too low, so these are best where the ceiling is at least nine feet (2.7m) above the landing to create sufficient clearance. 

How do you illuminate landings?

There are a whole host of options for illuminating landings that will make a fabulous feature of the staircase as well as ensuring it is safe for everyone to use. Ceiling lights like chandeliers and pendants can create good ambient light as well as proving attractive in their own right, as can wall lights.

In addition, consider eye-catching solutions such as tread lighting and illuminated handrails. Low level wall lights can illuminate the steps, and up or down lights can showcase the texture of a stair wall.

On landings, don’t neglect the potential of both table and floor lamps to add interest as well as an additional layer of lighting.

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.