How To Lighten A Dark Hallway

The hallway is the first place to greet us as we return home, so it should be filled with welcoming light. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case  as our entrances are often narrow passages with little light and inadequate room. While you may be inclined to focus on how to light key rooms in your home, your hallway is the space of the house that gives a first impression to visitors, so you should focus on making it as vibrant as possible. Not only that, your hallway is a functional place – think about finding your keys, putting your shoes and coat on, or simply checking your appearance in the mirror one last time before you leave.

Regardless of the size of your hallway, investing in the right lighting can make the space work for you. We’ve put together this guide to lighting your hallway and maximising your space,  so you can make the most out of one of the most overlooked spaces in your home. 

Create a Focal Point

statement pendant light

When designing your hallway lighting, you may want to create a focal point. The focal point will usually be in the form of a hanging ceiling light so that you draw the eye upward – this helps to create the illusion of greater space. This is a great opportunity to choose a statement lighting piece, one of the most popular statement lighting trends is a pendant ceiling light. 

Pendant ceiling lights make a great choice for hallways as they not only draw the eye up, but provide a statement decorative element your hallway as soon as someone enters your home. In our collection of pendant lighting, you’ll be able to find hallway lighting to suit all kinds of aesthetics from modern, industrial, retro, modern, minimalist and more. 

Choose Functional Lighting

The hallway is an area that’s highly function-focused. When we look to light other highly functional rooms such as the kitchen, we look at grouping the lighting into three categories; atmospheric, functional and decorative. 

Atmospheric lighting (otherwise known as ambient lighting) is responsible for the overall atmosphere of your room; when it comes to the hallway ambient lighting is essential as it sets a tone for the rest of your home. This is where your focal point lighting will come into play, so pendant lighting is a good place to start to get your ambient lighting sorted. 

Functional lighting (otherwise known as task lighting) is for areas where you need clearer lighting in order to be able to complete tasks. In the hallway, this could apply to areas such as key hooks or additional lighting around a mirror. One of the most popular choices of functional lighting is under cabinet lighting which can work well under any lipped areas such as shelves.

Decorative lighting (otherwise known as accent lighting) is used to add the finishing touches to your hallway. You place decorative lighting in any area of the hallway that you wish to highlight, which leads us on to our fourth tip…

Illuminate Areas of Interest

Once you have lighting that illuminates your hallway at large and sets the tone of your decor, and you’ve installed functional lighting in any area where you may benefit from the practical benefits of additional lighting, it’s time to look for areas of interest. 

Areas of interest in a hallway can range from the practical, such as mirrors or coat pegs, to the simply decorative such as paintings, pictures and ornaments. If you have shelves that display decorative items of any kind, using accent lighting such as wall lighting to highlight these areas can ensure that they are noticed and appreciated.

Small Hallway Lighting Ideas

For smaller hallways, all of the above can still be implemented, but you may wish to consider lighting options that don’t intrude on any precious space. For example, you could create a focal point with recessed ceiling lighting or semi-flush ceiling lighting to draw the eye upwards without giving the appearance of a lower ceiling.

Instead of investing in decorative lighting, try to keep walls in a smaller hallway clear of clutter and instead save this space for functional purposes. In a smaller area, choosing recessed wall lighting is a wiser choice than trying to fit under cabinet lighting or intrusive wall lighting designs into the space. This means that you can enter your hallway, find exactly what you need and leave again with minimal fuss. 

LED Hallway Lighting

LED light bulb

Whether you’re choosing pendant hallway lighting, wall hallway lighting or something completely different, choosing LED lighting is always a smart choice for any area in your home. LED hallway lighting is sure to be the most cost-effective choice for your home, as hallway lights are the key piece of lighting that tends to be left on throughout the evening. 

LED lights last far longer than other alternatives and, among other benefits, are extremely energy-efficient. The majority of our lighting here at Dusk Lighting is compatible with LED bulbs, so it’s well worth investing in LED hallway lighting that meets your other requirements. 

If you’re looking to save space, our Astro lights LED wall lights can be placed in the wall and look particularly effective along the staircase, again creating warm welcoming light that draws your eyes upwards. 

How to widen a narrow hallway

Adding a mirror to your hallway is a simple, yet effective, solution for creating a sense of space in a narrow area. A mirror will not only amplify your space, it will reflect and bounce light.  Remember to position your mirror so it reflects both natural and artificial light, perhaps even capture a piece of art or a plant for a decorative effect. 

A glass front door

Glass front door

Even the smallest panes of glass in the front door or side panels can help introduce more natural light. The light will pour through the hallway and give the illusion of more space. If you’re worried about privacy or security, frosted, stained or opal glass will work just as effectively. 

Stained glass windows are available in a number of stunning vibrant colours and patterns, this gives you so much scope for experimenting with lighting. Pick out an accent colour and experiment with some colourful shades.  You can also think about stealing light from an adjacent room. As well as the front door, your hallway can benefit from internal doors with clear or translucent glass. This will allow light to flow through the entire ground floor. 

How to brighten a hallway with no windows

Choosing a light palette when choosing colours, finishes and decorative elements for your dark hall can really create an illusion of more space. White floor tiles or a light wood floor with a low sheen will reflect above lighting beautifully. Painting internal walls white will absorb light and give a general sense of brightness. 

Wallpaper for narrow hallways 

Choosing the right patterned wallpapers can turn what was once a dull cave into a bright welcoming walk through area. It is important that your hallway isn’t an abandoned space, and still reflects your individual tastes and personality. After all,  it’s the first room you’re greeted with on your return home, so self-expression is essential. As aforementioned, light colours really create an element of space, but this can cover a vast variety of hues. Creating space doesn’t need to be sterile or cold – subtle shades of silver, cream, ivory, delicate browns and pastel colours can all work well. 

Don’t let talk of subtle put you off bold vibrant prints,  with the hallway being the narrowest room of the house, you can experiment with embossing and unique effect feature walls. Whether you’re a fan of flowers, geometric shapes, Art Noveau styles, nostalgic patterns or animals, choose a print with a subtle shaded base colour. If you’re choosing stripes,  make sure they are delicate lines and arranged vertically – horizontal stripes make surfaces look wider. Watch out for overly floral patterns as they can sometimes be overwhelming, delicate patterns with pastel bases are preferred. 

Lounge and hallway lighting 

You may be surprised at how much your lounge lighting effects the hallway; generally in most households, the hallway is a walkway through to the living room, so it is a good idea to create a tone that follows through to the lounge. Lighting plays an essential part in creating an ambience that turns a house into a home. Lighting has become more of a statement in interior design and designers are now experimenting more and more with shapes, sizes, fabrics and finishes to create unique pieces. The key to creating the right lighting is layering,  and finding the right balance between form and function. The lounge and hallway are rooms that are used everyday of the week, so it is essential to carefully consider your lighting choices. Lighting is a great way of creating texture in a room – even if your lounge is on the smaller side, you need at least three light sources so there’s illumination at every level. Start from your ceiling with chandeliers, spotlights or pendant lighting, then come to eye level with wall lights and finish with table and floor lamps. Here at Dusk Lighting, we have everything you need to illuminate your house into a home, browse our range of lounge and hallway lighting to create an ambient inviting atmosphere. 

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