It might be the gentle glow. It might be the rhythm of the spaces between them. Maybe it is the way they lead the eyes to travel upward, with the heart going up with them. Probably it is all the above and something more that makes the effect of stair lighting – or step lighting – such an incomparable touch to add to your home. People who have outdoor stair lights at home tell us they never lose the feeling of welcome that comes over them when they arrive once again and see the stair lights’ welcome.
Whether recessed to blend flush with the surface or raised to reflect its glow from that surface, the many options for stair lighting offer an elegant way to accent one of your home’s most attractive features, and yet a feature that otherwise may be overlooked.
It Started with Safety
Indoors and outdoors, stair lights were first installed to add a big measure of safety to stairways. As folks got a little older, or when their grown children began to come home as houseguests, or when their dream home included a bit of overnight or weekend entertaining, stair lights started as a way to make sure people know where they are going – and can see the way clearly.
Once installed, people noticed the aesthetic – and emotional – effect of these thoughtful touches of illumination. The ancient psalm composer wrote of “a lamp unto my feet,” and clearly the meaning was more than merely to stop us from stumbling. There is something satisfying and symbolic about having our way lit up so gently. The thought that someone anticipated us and provided the light for our way lands with deep feeling. It is a form of welcome that never gets old.
Coming as a Revelation
Often a stairway, whether indoors or leading to the porch or patio outside, is one of the most attractive features of a home. In many cases, our friends and clients tell us that they hardly noticed, or had forgotten about, how exceptionally beautiful their stairways are – until they added the feature of stair lighting.
Center-hall colonial designs, Victorian décor, Craftsman and Mid-Century Modern homes have in common the value that all these design philosophies place on a stairway. Often indoors, sometimes outdoors, and frequently from both points of view, inspired designers saw that a stairway is not an opportunity to be overlooked.
Elegant and Eye-Catching
The uplift, the rhythm, the punctuation of steps is a source of beauty, and yet it is often literally and figuratively under foot. Stair lighting awakens our awareness and attention to this feature of useful beauty. Just as people are rarely more beautiful than when they are focused on the thing they do well, so to a design feature such as a stairway can be beautiful as a direct result of its usefulness. Stair lightning reawakens our attention and awareness.
The very definition of elegance involves simplicity and directness. Stairways indoors and outdoors are among the finest examples of this principle. Let’s have a chat about how easily stair lighting can reawaken one of your homes most interesting and welcoming features.