Stairways can be a tricky area to properly illuminate. Whether in a residential location or a commercial area, this area deserves the right solutions to make it equally effective and attractive. While this area presents some unique challenges, it can also be one of the most pleasing focal points in the space when heightened with the right lighting solutions. Here are 5 tips on lighting railings for the best results.
1. Pay attention to shadows.
While shadows might be a concern in other areas, a stairway can actually benefit from shadows if planned intentionally. Shadows can create an ambiance that is warm and inviting, but there is a catch. You want to create shadows that won’t impede safety. Stairways should have shadows that create ambiance while still having enough illumination to avoid visibility issues.
2. Choose either uplight or downlight instead of both.
When figuring out how the way to go about lighting railings, keep in mind that shadows, and the related ambiance, are created by a lack of light. If you have uplight and downlight working together, you end up with very few shadows to create ambiance since they will basically cancel each other when paired together in terms of shadows.
3. Light the steps.
With the use of step lights, you can create increased visibility for climbing the stairs, but you can also create a great deal of light for the railings. With step lights, either rectangle or rounded options, placed on the edge of the stairs near the railing, you can provide visibility while creating an attractive illumination to the railing.
4. Light the railing with rope lighting.
Rope lighting is perfect for lighting a railing for several reasons. First off, it can be customized to the specific length needed since rope lighting can be joined with other units for longer rails or shortened with end caps for shorter ones. Rope lighting is also easy to install. Best of all, it can sit underneath the rail for a seamless appearance that makes it seem the rail itself is illuminated underneath.
5. Choose the right color temperature.
When looking to create ambiance, choose warmer tones in yellows. For better visibility, choose whiter, cooler tones. Make sure you choose one tone and stick with it throughout the entire space. For example, if you have rope lights in a warm tone, but overhead lights in a cool temperature, it will most likely clash.
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