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Table lamp with a textured black base and a simple white shade, set on a white marble table near a window.

Lighting Guide: The Hallway

Where natural light is limited, making clever lighting choices will help you create the perfect atmosphere, whether that’s light and airy, cosy or simply welcoming. After all, the entrance hall often forms the initial impression of a home, so it is important to set the tone for the rest of the house.

Mix impact and practicality

Hallways are versatile spaces, and your lighting should reflect that. For instance, the space may serve as a transitional area, a passageway from one room to another, or even a spot for a final check of your appearance in the mirror before heading out. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure adequate lighting. Additionally, given that hallways often lack other decorative elements, the lighting fixtures themselves need to make an impact. Opt for fixtures that not only provide sufficient illumination for tasks like using a mirror but also contribute to the overall visual appeal of the space.

Choose your lights based on the size and shape of your hallway

When looking for the most effective lighting for your hall, you should take into consideration the shape and size of the space. High ceilings offer an opportunity to incorporate elegant chandeliers or pendants to make a style statement. Depending on the size and proportions of the hall, you’ll need to decide whether you use one chandelier or pendant, or perhaps a trio, such as the selection from Wells & Maguire.

For a large square hall, choose a single central light. This is the perfect setting for a dramatic chandelier as it can be admired from every angle and with more perspective. If your hallway is on the small side, choose a more compact pendant to avoid overwhelming the space.

Look beyond ceiling lights

If you have a narrow hallway with low ceilings where there is not enough height for a chandelier or pendant, wall lights are a good choice. Positioned evenly along the walls and slightly above eye level, they will draw your line of sight upwards and make the space feel taller.

Wall lights can also direct light in different directions and create a range of moods. For example, uplighters shine light upwards and open up the space, highlighting architectural features such as arches and cornicing. Whilst, downlights can create a more subtle ambience. However, to avoid creating shadows and making the space appear gloomier and smaller, it’s best to avoid placing downlights too close to where the ceiling meets the wall.

Modern sconces that direct light both up and down the wall can create a unique atmosphere. Wall-washing lights, on the other hand, decorate the walls behind them with light, providing ambient lighting.

Remember lower-level lights

If you want to add extra warmth and welcoming light into a hallway, introduce a table lamp or a matching pair atop of a console table. When placed on either side of the mirror, the mirror will reflect light and make the space appear larger, and also illuminate the table.

Lampshades offer an opportunity to add depth and character to your hallway lighting design. However, If you decide to go with a colourful, patterned shade, make sure the dominant colour appears elsewhere in the room to create a cohesive look. You may want to switch out your lamp shade with the seasons, choosing light, fresh colours in the spring and summer and warm, dark shades in the autumn and winter.

Focus on flexible lighting

Even in a small space like a hall, it’s important to create layers of light. Incorporate general lighting, feature lighting, and task lighting so you can adjust the mood, create different effects, and carry out all the activities that need to happen in your hall. For added drama, if you have a staircase, consider installing long-drop stairwell lights.

When it comes to choosing the colour of your hallway lighting, take into account the colour temperature, which is measured in Kelvins (K). Cooler lights have a higher rating on the Kelvin scale, while warmer lights are lower down. We recommend a rating between 2700K and 3000K for your hallway. This will ensure that the lighting is warm and welcoming.

Finally, consider installing dimmer switches in the hallway. They can help to transition the space from day to night and create the perfect ambience for any occasion.