The Top Under Stairs Lighting Options for Illuminating Underutilized Spaces

Are you struggling to utilize the space under your staircase? It’s a fact that this area often ends up being the most neglected part of our homes. This article sets out to tackle this issue head-on, providing you with the best lighting options to illuminate and transform these underutilized spaces into aesthetically pleasing corners.

Get ready – it’s time to reclaim and revamp your staircase nooks!

Key Takeaways

  • LED strip lights are an affordable and easy way to light up the space under your staircase.
  • Recessed lighting provides a clean and sleek look while highlighting specific areas of your stairs.
  • Wall sconces offer both functionality and style, illuminating the space with a warm glow.
  • Pendant lights hang from the ceiling, adding visual appeal and ample lighting to underutilized spaces.
  • Step lights improve safety by illuminating each step of the staircase.
  • Motion – activated lights save energy by automatically turning on when someone enters the area.
  • Solar-powered lights are eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives that don’t require wiring or electricity.
  • Rope lights provide flexibility in shaping them along the underside of steps for an attractive glow.

Types of Under Stairs Lighting

There are various types of under stairs lighting options to choose from, including LED strip lights, recessed lighting, wall sconces, pendant lights, step lights, motion-activated lights, solar-powered lights, rope lights, and chandelier or pendant clusters.

LED Strip Lights

LED strip lights work well for under stairs. These bright lights light up every step. They come in a line on a strip that you fix to the steps. You can also use them on the wall or ceiling under your stairs.

LED strips are easy to install yourself and not hard on your wallet too! The BlissGlow color-changing RGB LED strip is one good choice. It adds style with its fun colors you can change as you like.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is a popular option for illuminating the space under stairs. These lights are installed into the ceiling, so they don’t take up any extra space. They provide a clean and sleek look to your staircase area.

Recessed lights can be used to highlight specific areas or architectural features of the stairs, creating a stylish and modern look. They are also great for providing general ambient lighting in the underutilized space beneath your stairs.

With recessed lighting, you can easily control the intensity of light by using dimmer switches, allowing you to create different moods and atmospheres. Whether you want a bright and well-lit area or a cozy and intimate ambiance, recessed lighting can help achieve both with ease.

Wall Sconces

Wall sconces are a great option for staircase lighting because they provide both functionality and style. These fixtures can be mounted directly on the wall, illuminating the space with a warm and inviting glow.

Wall sconces come in various designs and finishes, allowing you to choose one that matches your interior decor. They can also be placed strategically along the staircase to highlight specific architectural features or create an atmospheric ambiance.

Whether you prefer traditional or contemporary styles, wall sconces offer a versatile and visually appealing lighting solution for underutilized spaces beneath staircases.

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are a great option for illuminating underutilized spaces beneath staircases. These stylish and versatile light fixtures hang from the ceiling, adding both functionality and visual appeal to the area.

Pendant lights come in various designs and sizes, allowing you to choose the perfect one that matches your interior decor. Whether you prefer a modern or traditional look, pendant lights can enhance the overall ambiance of your stairs while providing ample lighting.

With their adjustable height, pendant lights can be positioned at different levels to create a dramatic effect or highlight specific architectural features. They are an excellent choice for DIY enthusiasts looking to add charm and illumination to their staircase areas.

Step Lights

Step lights are an important consideration when it comes to under stairs lighting. These small and versatile lights are installed directly into the steps, providing illumination for both safety and aesthetic purposes.

They can be used indoors or outdoors, depending on the location of your staircase. Step lights come in various styles, including LED strips, recessed lights, and motion-activated options.

With step lights, you can enhance the visibility of each step and create a well-lit pathway. So whether you want to add a touch of elegance or improve safety on your staircase, step lights are a great choice for illuminating underutilized spaces beneath stairs.

Motion-activated Lights

Motion-activated lights are a convenient and energy-efficient option for illuminating the space under your stairs. These lights turn on automatically when they detect movement, making them perfect for areas that aren’t used frequently.

You don’t have to worry about flipping switches or wasting electricity because these lights only activate when someone is nearby. They can help enhance safety by lighting up dark stairways, and they’re also great for saving money on your energy bills.

With motion-activated lights, you can easily transform the unused area under your stairs into a well-lit and functional space without any hassle or extra effort.

Solar Powered Lights

Solar powered lights are a great option for illuminating underutilized spaces beneath staircases. These lights use energy from the sun to operate, making them eco-friendly and cost-effective.

They don’t require any wiring or electricity, which makes them easy to install and maintain. Solar powered lights come in different styles and designs, such as LED strips or motion-activated lights, providing flexibility in choosing the right lighting for your staircase.

With solar powered lights, you can transform dark and neglected areas into well-lit and inviting spaces without any hassle or additional expenses.

Rope Lights

Rope lights are a versatile and affordable option for under stairs lighting. These flexible LED lights can be easily installed along the underside of the steps, creating an attractive and ambient glow.

Rope lights are available in various colors and lengths, allowing you to customize the lighting to suit your style and space. They are also energy-efficient, durable, and easy to maintain.

Whether you want to highlight the staircase or add a touch of ambiance to underutilized spaces, rope lights can be a great choice for DIY enthusiasts looking for an easy and effective lighting solution.

Chandelier or Pendant Clusters

Chandelier or pendant clusters can add a touch of elegance and style to the space under your stairs. These hanging lights come in various designs and sizes, allowing you to choose one that fits your personal taste and the size of the area.

Chandeliers usually have multiple bulbs, while pendant clusters feature several individual pendant lights grouped together. Both options can provide ample lighting for the underutilized space beneath your stairs, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Whether you prefer a modern or traditional look, chandelier or pendant clusters are sure to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your staircase area.

Considerations When Choosing Under Stairs Lighting

Consider the source and type of light, as well as the space and size of the area, bulb types, and desired light intensity when choosing under stairs lighting.

Source of light

When it comes to lighting the space under your stairs, there are different sources of light that you can choose from. One popular option is LED strip lights, which provide a bright and energy-efficient illumination.

Another option is recessed lighting, which is installed directly into the ceiling or wall for a sleek and modern look. Wall sconces are a great choice if you want to add some decorative flair to the area.

Pendant lights hang down from the ceiling and can be used to create a stylish focal point. Step lights are perfect for illuminating each step of the staircase for added safety. Motion-activated lights turn on automatically when someone enters the area, making them convenient and energy-saving.

Solar powered lights are a sustainable choice that harnesses natural sunlight to illuminate your under stairs space. Rope lights offer flexible lighting options as they can be bent and shaped according to your needs.

Type of light

When choosing under stairs lighting, there are various types of lights to consider. LED strip lights are a popular option for their flexibility and ability to create a continuous line of light.

Recessed lighting provides a sleek and minimalist look, while wall sconces can add a decorative touch. Pendant lights offer a statement piece, while step lights provide safety by illuminating each stair.

Motion-activated lights are convenient and energy-efficient, while solar-powered lights are eco-friendly. Rope lights can be used for accent lighting, and chandelier or pendant clusters create a dramatic effect.

Space & size of the area

The space and size of the area under your stairs are important factors to consider when choosing under stairs lighting. Whether you have a small or large space, there are lighting options that can fit your needs.

LED strip lights are versatile and can be easily installed in narrow spaces. Recessed lighting is a great choice for larger areas as it provides even illumination without taking up much room.

Wall sconces can add style and save space by being mounted on the wall. No matter the size of your under stairs area, there is a lighting option that will work for you!

Bulb types

When choosing under stairs lighting, it’s important to consider the type of bulb that will be used. LED bulbs are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan.

They also come in various colors, allowing for creative lighting effects. Another option is halogen bulbs, which provide bright, white light but have a shorter lifespan compared to LEDs.

For those who prefer a warm and cozy ambiance, incandescent bulbs can be used, although they are less energy-efficient. It’s important to choose the right bulb type based on personal preference and the desired lighting effect for underutilized spaces beneath staircases or sloped closets.

Additionally, motion-activated lights with LED bulbs are an excellent choice for added convenience and energy savings. These lights turn on automatically when someone enters the area, making them ideal for areas where hands-free operation is needed.

Solar-powered lights are another environmentally friendly option that eliminates the need for wiring or batteries.

Light intensity

The intensity of light is an important factor to consider when choosing under stairs lighting. You want the right amount of brightness to illuminate the space effectively without being too harsh or dim.

LED strip lights are a popular choice for their adjustable brightness levels, allowing you to create the perfect ambiance. Recessed lighting can also provide adequate light intensity while maintaining a sleek and unobtrusive look.

Additionally, motion-activated lights offer the convenience of automatically adjusting their brightness based on movement, ensuring optimal visibility when needed. So whether you prefer a soft glow or bright illumination, there are options available to suit your needs and enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your underutilized spaces beneath staircases.

Benefits of Under Stairs Lighting

Under stairs lighting provides several benefits, including adding drama to the space, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere, highlighting the staircase and architectural features, increasing safety and security, as well as being a cost-effective lighting option.

Add drama to the space

Under stairs lighting can add a touch of drama to the space, transforming it into a visually captivating area. By strategically placing lights along the staircase or beneath the steps, you can create a stunning focal point and bring attention to this often overlooked area.

Whether you choose LED strip lights that change colors or elegant pendant lights, the right lighting can make a big impact and give your underutilized space a dramatic makeover. So get creative with your lighting choices and let your DIY skills shine!

Create a warm, inviting atmosphere

Under stairs lighting can help create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your home. By strategically placing lights in these usually dark and neglected spaces, you can transform them into cozy and welcoming areas.

LED strip lights are a popular choice for creating a warm glow that adds ambiance to the space. Recessed lighting is another option that provides a soft and subtle illumination. You can also consider using dimmable lights to adjust the brightness according to your mood or needs.

With the right lighting, you can make these underutilized spaces feel cozy, inviting, and ensure they don’t go unnoticed in your home.

Highlight the staircase

Proper under stairs lighting can help highlight the staircase and make it a focal point in your home. LED strip lights are a popular option for this, as they can be easily installed along the edges of each step to create an eye-catching glow.

Recessed lighting is another great choice, as it can be placed discreetly beneath each step to provide subtle illumination. Wall sconces or pendant lights can also be used to draw attention to the staircase, adding style and flair.

With the right lighting, you can transform your staircase into a stunning feature that enhances the overall look of your space.

Highlight specific architectural features

Highlighting specific architectural features is an important aspect of under stairs lighting. By strategically placing lights, you can draw attention to unique elements like decorative molding, intricate handrails, or interesting textures on the walls.

Recessed lighting and wall sconces are great options for emphasizing these details. You can also use LED strip lights to outline the shape of the staircase or accentuate any curves or angles in the architecture.

With the right lighting, you can showcase your home’s design and make these features stand out in a stylish way.

Increased safety and security

Proper lighting underneath stairs can greatly enhance safety and security in your home. By illuminating these often dark and overlooked areas, you can minimize the risk of accidents and intrusions.

With under stairs lighting, you can easily navigate the staircase without tripping or stumbling. It also acts as a deterrent to potential burglars, as a well-lit area is less attractive for criminal activity.

Additionally, motion-activated lights offer an added layer of security by automatically turning on when someone approaches. So not only does under stairs lighting provide improved visibility, but it also helps keep you and your loved ones safe.

Cost-effective lighting option

One cost-effective lighting option for illuminating underutilized spaces beneath stairs is using LED strip lights. LED strip lights are energy-efficient and have a long lifespan, making them an economical choice.

They come in various colors and can be easily installed along the underside of the staircase steps or on the handrail to create a subtle and stylish lighting effect. Another cost-effective option is motion-activated lights, which only turn on when someone approaches, saving energy and prolonging battery life.

These lights are easy to install and provide convenient illumination without the need for manual control.

Tips for Installing Understairs Lighting

Consult with a certified electrician to ensure proper installation and safety measures are followed, and explore the combination of task and ambient lighting for a well-lit space. Discover more tips for effortless under stairs lighting installation in our blog post.

Use a certified electrician

To ensure the safe installation of under stairs lighting, it is important to use a certified electrician. They have the knowledge and expertise to properly wire and install the lighting fixtures.

This will help prevent any electrical issues or hazards that could arise from incorrect installation. By relying on a professional, you can have peace of mind knowing that your under stairs lighting is installed correctly and functioning safely in your home.

Consider task and ambient lighting

When choosing under stairs lighting, it’s important to consider both task lighting and ambient lighting. Task lighting is focused on a specific area or task, providing bright and targeted illumination for practical purposes such as reading or working.

Ambient lighting, on the other hand, creates a general glow throughout the space, enhancing the overall atmosphere. By incorporating both task and ambient lighting into your under stairs area, you can achieve a balance of functionality and ambiance.

Match the light fixtures with the interior decor

To create a cohesive and stylish look, it’s important to match the light fixtures with your interior decor. Consider the overall theme and style of your space when choosing the right lighting options for underneath your stairs.

If you have a modern or contemporary design, sleek and minimalistic fixtures like recessed lights or LED strip lights would be a great choice. For a more traditional or rustic vibe, wall sconces or chandeliers could add charm and elegance.

By selecting light fixtures that complement your interior decor, you can enhance the visual appeal of your underutilized spaces beneath the stairs while ensuring they blend seamlessly with the rest of your home’s design aesthetic.

Use a dimmer switch

A dimmer switch is a great addition to under stairs lighting because it allows you to adjust the brightness level. With a dimmer switch, you can create different moods and atmospheres in your space.

Whether you want bright lighting for visibility or softer lighting for a cozy ambiance, a dimmer switch gives you control. Plus, it helps to save energy by allowing you to lower the intensity of the lights when needed.

So, consider installing a dimmer switch with your under stairs lighting setup for added flexibility and energy efficiency.

Use a combination of lighting types

To achieve the best lighting effect under your stairs, it’s a good idea to use a combination of different lighting types. This can include LED strip lights, recessed lighting, wall sconces, and pendant lights.

By using a mix of these options, you can create layers of light that add depth and interest to the space. For example, you could use LED strip lights along the edges of the stairs for a subtle glow, while adding recessed lighting in the ceiling or walls for overall illumination.

Wall sconces or pendant lights can be used to highlight specific features or areas underneath the stairs. By combining different lighting types, you can customize the look and feel of your under stairs area and create a visually appealing space that is both functional and stylish.


In conclusion, there are many great options for lighting under the stairs. LED strip lights, recessed lighting, and motion-activated lights are just a few examples. By choosing the right lighting fixtures and considering factors like light intensity and space size, you can transform those underutilized spaces into well-lit areas that enhance both safety and aesthetics.

So go ahead and brighten up your staircase with the perfect under stairs lighting option!


1. What are the top options for under stairs lighting?

LED strip lights, motion sensor lights, recessed lighting and battery operated lights are great choices for illuminating underutilized spaces like under stairs.

2. Can I use indoor lighting fixtures for my stairway lighting needs?

Yes! Indoor lighting such as low-profile lights or dimmable lights can be used to brighten up the area underneath your stairs.

3. Is it possible to have a color-changing light system installed in my under-stairs closet?

Absolutely! You can install color-changing and adjustable angle lights in your closet or other small areas that need more light.

4. Are there any wireless options available for under cabinet lighting?

Of course! Battery-operated, wireless motion sensor LED strip-lights offer a convenient solution with no hardwiring needed!

5. Can outdoor lighting be used on stairways too?

Certainly! Outdoor types of fixture like battery-operated motion sensor ones bring safety when walking upstairs at night time.

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