Finishing Touches, How To…

Hall lighting solutions for your home

Hall lighting solutions: possibly the difference between your home and a hotel. The hallway is often the first room visitors see as they enter your home, so although you want it to scream elegance (or possibly, utter the word gently, in a breathy tone), you don’t want it to seem too impersonal.

One of the ways to make its finish truly yours is to light it in a very personal way. However you choose to adorn the walls, you can highlight certain features—the odd picture, mounted sports gear of the past, a special vintage console table—with the right lighting and ambience.

Of course, you also need your hallway to be practical. If you have a mirror in there, you’ll need a light to illuminate your face for easy checking before opening the door.

If you have bookshelves and dressers that line the walls or sit behind the doorway, perhaps you could give them a special lighting treatment to lift them. Books, particularly, can really drag the place down energetically if you let them sit there in the dark and dust. Far better to show them off with some beautiful coved lighting, and make them a real feature.

We took a look at some of the lighting options out there for hallways, and it’s clear that the best tip of all is this:
Light your hallway in layers.
Wondering what that means? Keep reading.

Ceiling lights for hallways

Hallways, particularly in town houses, tend to have quite high ceilings, so if you’re looking for an easy enough practical solution, but you’d like a bit of class, you could finish it off with a set of wonderful pendant lamps.

Three or fewer (or more) spread evenly down the hallway can provide intriguing ambient light where the edges of each hotspot overlap a little. Thinking about the need for layers, it’s important there’s more than just one light source.  This way, the light can use hotspots and shadows for visual interest.

Pendants come as all kinds, so if your tastes run more towards the utilitarian or industrial look, there are many wire-based and metal pendant lamps that can really dig your style, as well as the classics.

If you’re taller than the average person, you might prefer flush or semi flush lighting in your hall. These types of lamp enable you to fit them quite closely to the ceiling, so all the head space is available for the users of the hallway.

If you want to make a little statement—or a grand one—a single beautiful feature pendant in combination with very plain and discrete flush lights, can look very grand behind the door, at the foot of the stairs, or even on the first stair landing.

Again, we’re suggesting several lights here, not just the single pendant by itself. You need practicality in a hallway, so enough lighting is important, and the layered lighting thing can only work with several lights. The light from each lamp will surround the immediate area, so you should always place the next lamp or cluster just far enough away to create an overlap.

Wall lights in your hall

Wall lights don’t have to be boring. If you’re after something really useful on your hallway walls, try the adjustable arm type wall lights. These can look somewhat tough and industrial, but there are plenty of fancy ones too. In fact, what we’re finding is that much of the offer out there at present is aimed at a halfway point between industrial and elegant. For example, any of these types of glass-and-shine combination lamps could fit that description.

Those that look like naked Edison bulbs, with the filament as a feature, are totally on fleek at the present time. This style of light comes with a beautiful blown glass ‘bulb’ shade, and there’s a wide range of shapes on the market.

Again, layering the light means placing each lamp at the optimal distance from the last, ensuring there’s an overlap of light thrown, but allowing for dips, shadows, and a bit of textural darkness to create visual interest.

LED lighting for your features

LED lighting might seem like a right fiddly trick to pull off on home DIY, but in fact, it’s getting a lot easier now, especially with the sticky strips of LED bulbs that you can buy up to almost any length.

The trick to LED lighting, however, is to read up about the clever ways you can use it!

Some of the ones we know about include coved lighting that highlights either books or special ornaments on shelves. This can be a single colour, or if you’re a bit flashy, perhaps you’d prefer a colour change system, where the lights can happily cycle through the rainbow all day.

Another really effective way to use LED lighting is to help give a poky dark hallway a bit more context and space. If you’ve got the opportunity to create small alcoves for ornaments or special features, for example, in the wall or the side of your stairs, you can provide an extra dimension of space by back lighting the alcove. This makes the featured item inside the space stand out in a very elegant way, and the impression of more room is always good because no-one likes feeling claustrophobic, even if they are only in the hall for the time it takes them to put their coat on.

LED lights also work extremely well in the skirting board (also known as a base board). Here, they can illuminate the floor, provide general lighting that adds an extra layer to the lower area of the hall (more layer) and even create fantastic patterns and shapes for those who are particularly talented at their placement.

Whatever you choose to go with, it’s worth remembering that you can’t always find the best services online. For the best finish for your gorgeous hallway, you should always have a chat with a person in a dedicated local lighting shop—family-run shops like this are often fonts of knowledge. They’ll be able to advise on the sort of effects you can create in your hallway, and will be more likely to specially obtain the lamps you need for your hallway lighting solutions.

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