Hallways, like entranceways, are often ignored when it comes to proper and attractive lighting. Usually, they are equipped with only a single, traditional bulb or small fixture placed in the center of the long expanse which is meant to light the entire space. This is a problem because hallways are often either one of the first areas encountered by guests upon entering the home, or are the route by which visitors make their way to the bathroom or other rooms in the home.
Also, dim hallways can create feelings of apprehension and intimidation to newly entering guests. Since comfort and not discomfort is our goal in creating a warm, inviting home, this lack of hallway lighting should be adequately addressed.
Think Safety and Size
Hallways are used constantly since they are basically pathways leading to various rooms of the home. Therefore, hallways should be well lit in order to avoid accidents or mishaps. The light design rule of thumb is to place a light fixture every eight to ten feet along the length of a hallway. If a stairway enters into the hallway, a light switch should be used at both the top and the bottom in order to keep from ascending or descending the stairway in the dark.
Also, take into consideration the size of the fixtures used. Oftentimes, light fixtures are purchased based solely on their aesthetic beauty. However, if they stick out too far from the walls or hang too low from the ceiling, they can cause injury to those passing by. Choose light fixtures based on the size of your hallway, keeping in mind that smaller fixtures are needed for narrow, low hallways and larger fixtures are needed for wide, high hallways.
Hallway Lighting Fixtures
There are several lighting fixture options to choose from when planning your hallway lighting. Flat overhead lighting fixtures or recessed puck lights provide a great deal of light and fit flush, or almost flush, to the ceiling and therefore are good hallway lighting options.
Track lighting systems are also smart choices for a hallway. The tracks can be run the length of the space and the individual lighting units can be moved and tilted, providing not only good light to the hallway, but also illumination to pictures which are normally placed on hallway walls.
Wall sconces are another nice addition to hallway walls. They can be placed on either side of large paintings or mirrors, providing extra light as well as accentual decoration. However, remember the size factor when considering sconces as they tend to protrude from the wall and could present a snag problem, especially in narrow hallways.
If you take the time to plan and place lighting, your hallway will be just as warm of a space as any other in your home.