5 Best Stair Lights To Highlight Your Interior Space

by Michael | 19th Feb 2022

Best LED Stair Lights Review

With regards to light improvement, homeowners usually overlook staircase lighting. And honestly, we cannot blame them. They might already have impressive lighting in the hallway as well as on the landings. However, if you are unaware of the importance of stair lights, chances are you might fall while climbing up the stairs. In fact, adding stair lights in the steps isn’t just about highlighting your staircase design, but it is additionally a safety measure.

Stair lights are an easy way to eliminate tripping accidents when you have to use the stairs in the evening. Aside from that, staircase lights will save you from the trouble of having to look for the light switches before you can go down or go up. As stair lights are with motion sensor function, they can be automatic on and off. This is a safety feature, especially if you have kids or pets that are prone to tripping around the house.

In addition, stair lights create a softly illuminated ambiance at the same time, it helps uplift the aesthetic appeal of your respective interior. And, lighting the stairs during the evening and nighttime also adds a “wow” factor to your home, making it seem to be much more bright and shiny. If you are having some guests or friends over, flipping on the stair lights will add illumination to your house, representing it effortlessly stylish.

Frankly, it could be easy to find out that there are innumerable types of interior or exterior stairway lighting options to choose from. But if you’re unsure which stair lighting can complement your home’s interior and match your exquisite style, don’t worry, we have reviewed a comprehensive list of all popular types of stair lights that are worth your attention.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Best Stair Lighting Round-up

1. Motion-Sensing LED Stair Lights Battery Powered2. Stick On Stair Lights Warm White Cordless3. 120V Dimmable LED Step Lights4. Plug-in Strip Lights To Light Up Stair Railing5. Motion Activated Night Light For Staircase
1. Motion-Sensing LED Stair Lights Battery Powered2. Stick On Stair Lights Warm White Cordless3. 120V Dimmable LED Step Lights4. Plug-in Strip Lights To Light Up Stair Railing5. Motion Activated Night Light For Staircase
√ Motion activated from 15 feet,
√ 20s or 60s auto shut off,
√ Battery operated,
√ Wireless installation,
√ Weatherproof.
√ Motion activated from 9.84ft,
√ 20 seconds auto shut off,
√ 3*AAA battery operated,
√ Stick on installation,
√ Warm white soft light.
√ Dimmable from 5%-100% ,
√ Made with Aluminum,
√ Modern and flat design,
√ Non-glare and very bright,
√ ETL certification.
√ 6 level dimmer,
√ 6 level timer,
√ 2 lighting modes,
√ Motion activated,
√ Super bright 1600 Lumen.
√ Motion-activated,
√ Stick anywhere and Magnetic,
√ Only turn on in the dark,
√ Battery operated,
√ Total 6 packs.
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4 Popular Types Of Stair Lights

Before we start, let’s review the most popular stair lighting styles, it should give you a little thought when it comes to decorating your stair space.

Stick On Wall Lights To Light Up Stairs1. Stick On Wall Lights

Stick on wall lights might be the easiest light solution for the stair space. It’s battery-powered so it does not need to connect to electricity which saves you from the wiring process (considering most stair areas are without access to electricity). Secondly, the installation is rather simple, just peel off the adhesive tape in the back of the light and stick it on the wall or any flat surface, then it’s done. Totally tool-free installation. And, when you want to replace the light or no longer need it, can take it down without destroying the wall or step.

Wall Recessed Stair Lighting2. Wall Recessed Stair Lights

For a clean, modern effect, go for recessed options that illuminate without the clutter. These wall-recessed stair lights are flush-mounted, which are hidden inside the wall so it does not stand out and spoil the space. In terms of installation, we recommend installing one stair light for every two to three steps. However, given that the light is with different beam angles and wattage is different, the exact installation height and space between depends on the actual situation. For instance, if your stair treads are extra large, you may need to install one light for each step.

Under Stair Tread Light3. Under Stair Tread Light

This is another popular lighting method to illuminate the stairs. The light fixtures are embedded under the stair treads, with visible light but the cumbersome lamps are hidden, thus, it creates a very eye-catching visual effect. When using it in the house, there is no need to add chandeliers or wall lamps on the ceiling of the stairs. If it’s for the outdoor landscape, the under tread light gives off warm light grow, no need to plan special light distribution.

It disappears when the lights go out, so you will not see the bulky light fixture incoordinate with your interior design. And, when you turn it on at night or anytime, these under stair tread lights create an amazing soft floating effect.

Stair Railing Light4. Stair Railing Light

Compared with under stair tread light, stair railing light is a hassle-free solution, more importantly, it costs you less money. Instead of mounting the light under each stair tread, all you need is a linear strip light to install in the railing.

Stair railing light is perfect for small spaces such as villas and clubs, it adds nice and warm elements to the space. However, according to professional lighting designers, this kind of lighting is not suitable for public areas that require higher illumination. Also, if the stairs are big and spacious, then other auxiliary lightings are required to improve the illumination level so it’s safer when climbing the stair.

Which Style Of Stair Lighting Is Best?

The best style mainly depends on your own personal preferences and how the stair lights can be installed. Given that each of our home designs is different and the purpose of adding stair lights also varies. Some of you might want to improve the brightness of the stair to ensure safety, while some of you want to emphasize the architectural appeal of the stairway, and some are looking for both. Howsoever, there is always a light fixture that can meet your desire. You can choose between recessed and surface-mounted designs in a wide range of colors and finishes, or continuous run strip lights and string lights in various lengths and functions.

In addition, LED stair lights can be customized by using different colored LEDs, dimmer switches, and even motion sensors.  For that added special touch, you can even add lighting to the underside of the handrail! If you found that it’s difficult to do it on your own, you can also look for a professional stair lighting manufacturer for help!

How To Select The LED Stair Lighting?

When selecting the light for stair space, to make the best lighting atmosphere, you will need to follow the below instructions.

  1. LED Staircase lights are used as auxiliary lighting, they will not take place of the principal lighting. Thus, the stair light wattage shouldn’t be too high, normally 1 watt is enough, maximum not exceeding 3w. Staircase lighting enhances the look of the stairs and adds an extra safety measure when other lights are off, but they’re not meant to use as principal lighting for your stairs.
  2. Light source is not visible or the light is with a frosted cover configuration, so it’s not glaring to eyes when switching on. Especially in the middle of the night, direct visible light could be stimulated to the eyes which affects sleep.
  3. Instead of using bright white light, choose the warm white color 2700K or 3000K. Warm white light gives off soft and gentle illumination, which we’re more adapted to this kind of brightness when going up and downstairs at night.
  4. For motion sensing stair lights, do not install 2 lights too close between each other. As the lighting may cause the other light to stop working. If you’re adding a separate PIR sensor switch to the lighting, the installation between the switch and light should be 1-2 meters away. As the lamp produces heat when it’s on, if the sensor switch is installed too close to the lamp, it will shorten the sensor switch lifetime.

1. Motion-Sensing LED Stair Lights Battery Powered

Motion-Sensing LED Stair Lights Battery Powered

For staircase-use lighting, we don’t want lights on all the time but we need to safely navigate the stairs – especially for the grandkids and grandmas. Therefore, this motion-sensing LED stair light perfectly fits. It instantly turns on when it detects motion from up to 15 feet away and turns itself off a short time after 20 or 60 seconds later with the motions stop.

In addition, if there is no electricity on your stairs, this step light is battery-powered, driven by 3 C-cell batteries per light. So, if you are looking to light up those dark zones of your home in none electrical areas, these motion & battery-powered stair lights are just for you. It can be also used as a stick on night light.

The light is bright enough with 35 lumens of white LEDs, it is easy to see your way up and down the steps but not overwhelming. Besides, there is a GlowMode setting option to keep a very dim light output on all the time as a marker for stairs, hallways, then the lights will go full power when motion sensed.

Brightness:35 Lumens
Power method:Battery Powered
Product Dimensions:‎4 x 3.5 x 4.5 inches
Material:Plastic
Installation:Wireless installation with mounting brackets and screws
Feature:Motion Sensing
  • Things We Like:
    √ Motion activated from 15 feet,
    √ 20 or 60-second auto shut off,
    √ Battery operated,
    √ Wireless installation,
    √ Weatherproof.
  • Things We Don’t Like:
    × C-cell batteries not included.

2. Stick On Stair Lights Warm White Cordless

Stick On Stair Lights Warm White Cordless

This is another cordless-installed stair light that you can use either the provided adhesive pads to stick on the wall or the screws to fasten. It comes with 3M adhesive stickers that enable you to stick it on the wall. The stick on feature is quick and you can install it in seconds without screws to avoid damaging the surface of the wall.

The light is facing downward that illuminates the ground and doesn’t shine in your eyes, and it gives off warm white light color, so it’s very subtle lighting. As well, it’s motion-activated that adopts PIR infrared technology to detect human motion, the stair light comes on and off as you pass by in the dark.

It’s powered by 3*AAA batteries and it’s easy to install or replace batteries. The light and battery compartment easily slide off the backing which is mounted to the wall. This battery-powered stair light is suitable for areas where with limited or unable access to electricity.

Wattage:0.5W
Power method:Battery Powered
Product Dimensions:‎1.1 x 2.9 x 2.9 inches
Material:Plastic
Installation:Wireless installation with with 3M adhesive sticker
Feature:Motion Sensor
  • Things We Like:
    √ Motion activated from 9.84ft,
    √ 20 seconds auto shut off,
    √ 3*AAA battery operated,
    √ Stick on installation,
    √ Warm white soft light.
  • Things We Don’t Like:
    × Batteries not included,
    × Not weatherproof.

3. 120V Dimmable LED Step Lights

120V Dimmable LED Step Lights

If you want to replace some old, nonworking stairwell lights, this dimmable step light will be a great alternative. They are line voltage 120V and did not require a transformer, it is easy to wire on a standard junction box with no screws showing.

Besides, the stair step light features smooth dimming, allowing you to dim the light nicely from 100% to 5% when using with dimmers like Lutron and Leviton. It has a really good range of brightness and provides a cozy and warm white glow which is aesthetically pleasing.

As for the finish, it has a clean modern design that looks like it will wear well. The step light has two shapes of horizontal and vertical type to choose from. It is made of aluminum that is more durable and corrosion resistant and it’s waterproof suitable to use in wet locations.

Wattage:3.5W
Power method:AC 120 Voltage
Product Dimensions:‎4.72 x 1.46 x 2.88 inches
Material:Aluminum
Installation:Hardwired
Feature:5%-100% dimming
  • Things We Like:
    √ Dimmable from 5%-100% ,
    √ Made with Aluminum,
    √ Modern and flat design,
    √ Non-glare and very bright,
    √ ETL certification.
  • Things We Don’t Like:
    × No electric box included.

4. Plug-in Strip Lights To Light Up Stair Railing

Plug-in Strip Lights To Light Up Stair Railing

LED strip lights are a cool option to use in the stair if there is a stair railing installed. This continuous run strip light can create a light path on the stairs when coming down and up. And the illumination lights up the whole staircase space evenly and adds a nice ambiance around it.

Additionally, it is equipped with a smart controller that enables you to set the timing, adjust the brightness and change the lighting modes. The timer setting is from 10 to 600 seconds and the dimmer is with 6 brightness levels. If you think the 1600 Lumen output is too bright, you’re free to dim the light.

Moreover, you can have them set to stay on/off manually or in motion sensor mode. So it’s convenient for you to adjust the lighting mode if you install the light in different areas.

Wattage:12W
Power method:AC 100~240V
Product Dimensions:16.4FT Long
Material:PCB
Installation:Plug in
Feature:Dimmable, Motion sensing, Timmer
  • Things We Like:
    √ 6 level dimmer,
    √ 6 level timer,
    √ 2 lighting modes,
    √ Motion activated,
    √ Super bright 1600 Lumen.
  • Things We Don’t Like:
    × None.

5. Motion Activated Night Light For Staircase

Motion Activated Night Light For Staircase

This motion activated light is not designed to provide full LED daylight illumination. It is an excellent easy to install night light that provides a low light to assist in dark stair areas. Instead of turning on the light switches at night, you can install them on the sides of the steps and go.

It’s motion-activated and automatic off after 15-30 seconds to save battery life. Although it gives off only 20 lumen brightness, the stair night light is bright enough to light stairs for safe use. And, their flat design keeps them out of the way when attached to the bottom of the wall or railing.

Overall, if you do not want to flip the light switch or when there are any power outages, this stick on magnetic night light will be the best addition to light up dark staircases.

Lumen:20 Lumen
Power method:Battery powered
Product Dimensions:‎3.15 x 3.15 x 0.8 inches
Material:‎Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
Installation:Stick on anywhere
Feature:Motion Activated
  • Things We Like:
    √ Motion-activated and auto-off,
    √ Stick anywhere and Magnetic,
    √ Only turn on in the dark,
    √ Battery operated and energy saving,
    √ Total 6 packs.
  • Things We Don’t Like:
    × Magnet is not strong enough.

5 Things You Should Know Before Choosing Stair Lights

1. Type of Installation

As we mentioned above, there are several different kinds of stair lights, which also determine the type of installation. If you simply want to retrofit a step light that is fit into a power outlet, then you can go with the wall recessed step lights that fit into wall boxes.

But If you want to add stair lights to where there were none before, and don’t want to bother the wiring, there are battery-operated options that are a breeze to install – wiring Free! If you are okay with the hardwired installation, it’s necessary to evaluate how much access to the electricity and after that, you need to do the cabling prior to installation of stair lighting.

It is important to determine what type of installations you are able to perform in your space. This will make your decision easier when comparing various lighting.

2. Size and Shape 

Stair lights come in many different shapes and sizes, so the placement will vary based on your unique needs and the style of the fixture. Many of them are in vertical or horizontal design and these stairway lights fit perfectly in a standard power outlet gang box.

Another fashionable shape is the puck-sized step light. They are in small, circular design which is common for both indoors and outdoors light improvement. And thanks to the compact design, the circular step lights fit well in the small spaces.

Some other interesting options are LED strips, string lights, and rope lights. Now that you have a view of the various shapes and sizes, think about what might work best for you.

Stair lights in different shape and installed in different Locations

Stair lights in different shapes and installed in different Locations

3. Indoor or Outdoor

When you made the decision about the shape and size of stair lights, there is another element you should take into consideration – weatherproof or not? If you’re just installing the light for indoor, non-weatherproof should also be fine. However, for outdoor lighting applications, you need to look for outdoor step lights with weatherproof features and more durable materials. For example, an all-metal-made fixture will hold up well in the weather and withstand kicks, or other outside messes. Metal is also UV resistant better than plastic, so it has a longer lifetime.

4. Stair Material

What’s the material of your steps? wood, tile, or marble? These materials compose the style of your stair, they also have different levels of reflective light.  Tile and marble are the most reflective flooring materials out there, so when mounting the step lamp, consider the quantity of light layout as well as the type of lights. It’s recommended to use a light fixture with an opal cover or use indirect lighting, so the LED emitters will not be reflected and become visible to the eyes.

5. Color Temperature

Color temperate is a frequently talked topic, it seems to be the easiest part, but if you don’t take it seriously, you may end up destroying the theme of your home. The most common light colors from the market are white light 6000K and warm yellow lights 2700K. When selecting the color, check what’s the color of the other lighting used in other areas and apply the same for the stair lights.  For instance, if the general lighting used in the hallway or room is warm white color, then you should choose the same color for stair lights. This way, all the light colors are coordinated and consistent.

Final Verdict

It’s necessary to know that stair lighting is used as accent lighting, which is an important layer of indoor lighting. But, if you attempt to create a spotless lighting effect and meet the layer lighting design purpose, the general lighting must be taken into consideration. General lighting provides the full brightness to light up the whole stairs even without stair lights. Stair lighting improves the look of the stairs and adds an extra safety measure when the overhead lights are off, but they can not serve as the general lighting for your stairs.

Therefore, if you want to make your stair space brighter, turn to ceiling lighting or wall lamps, and the options are even more! You can choose one with a high lumen output, or choose the lights that have color temperatures adjustable.

Conclusion

Well, now you learn that stair lights are not merely adding extra light, but also bring the aesthetically pleasing to the space, thus making your stairway look more appealing. If you’re looking for more information on indoor stair lights or outdoor step lights, feel free to reach out or leave your comments below.

1 reply
  1. John Anderson
    John Anderson says:

    Hi, What an impressive post! The way you sum-up this topic briefly, shows your professionalism. I Got the latest collection of outdoor spotlights at the lowest price last week. Spot Lighting enhanced the safety and beauty of my fences and walkways.

    Reply

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