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A guide to lighting your hallway

Lighting your hallway is always going to be one of the most testing places to light in the house, partly because it’s a generally a transitory corridor space but also because more often than not hallways suffer from being confined, narrow or just awkwardly shaped.

The dictionary defines a hallway as an entrance hall or corridor, and in this post we’re going to try and simplify the lighting issues, so that you can make the most of your hallway. And for those with stairs leading off the hallway, which are the majority of houses in Britain, another dimension kicks in!

The reason hallway lighting matters is because, rather like a porch, it plays a crucial role in setting the overall atmosphere for your home. It’s where you gather to greet and say your goodbyes, so the tone you want to set is warm and cosy, never bright and brash, which is a temptation when there’s a lack of natural light.

So, just how do you achieve ‘atmosphere’ with lighting? Well, rule number is contrast. That means a single light simply won’t do and actively looking for opportunities to create shadows, pools of dark and light.

Of the 3 standard types of lighting - ambient, task and accent – the hall and stairs principally call for a combination of ambient and accent. So, your considerations of types of lights are:

Ceiling lights – If you’ve got the height then you should definitely give pendant lights consideration for an ambient light. One, two or even a cluster of three can create a dramatic effect and the style you choose should reflect your taste. If you don’t have the height then down lights can work extremely well in a hall, but on a dimmer.

Wall lights
– In a pair, either side of a mirror or on opposite sides of a corridor, wall lights are an evergreen choice in a hall for accent light. Choose light fittings that throw shadow. If you have interesting art, it’s worth the effort for a picture light in a hallway.

Table and floor lamps – Again, very versatile and perfect for accent lighting. You might even put in a storage unit or console table simply to create a surface for a lamp.

A couple of hot tips …

1.    If you’re struggling for a bit of extra atmosphere in the hallway you can always hide a plain, simple lamp somewhere to create a glow of light.
2.    Don’t forget the good old fashioned candles or a cluster of lanterns lit by candle can really set your hallway off when entertaining.
Brightening the way