Step Lights: The Extra Oomph Your Space Needs

step lights

Oftentimes, the details that a space needs to achieve just the right amount of flair and attitude are those that we do not even think about so much. This is especially true for lighting. Most people believe that standard, utility lights are enough to make a space usable. But then, when they add their first floor lamp to the living room, they realise just how important ambient lighting is and wish they had thought about lighting more seriously sooner!

Step lights are one of the types of lights that are considered underdogs in interior lighting design. People do not usually pay so much attention to their staircases, neither the indoor nor outdoor ones. This is understandable, though – we care more that are staircases are sturdy and safe as that should be the priority. But making them look stunning? We often lay this thought on the table and miss to think about it for a long time.

However, as soon as you learn about step lights and see them in action, you will realise just how big of a difference they can make. For light fixtures that are just small and simple, they do pack a punch.

What exactly are step lights? How would your space benefit from having step lights installed in your staircases? We discuss that in this article.

What are step lights?

Step lights are small light fixtures that are placed along a staircase. They should come in sets as each step is usually assigned at least one step light. You can place a step light either on, beside, under, or beyond the step (i.e. handrails.)

There are different types of step lights you can choose from. Here are the different factors you want to consider when choosing step lights:


If you want your step-light to be flush to the surface such that the light seems as though it is a part of the step itself, you want to go for a recessed step light. The recessed step light is the most common type of step light, for obvious reasons: if you are placing a step light on or under a step, people might trip over or hit their foot with your step lights if they are not recessed.

However, if you are placing your step lights beside the step (for example, if you are placing them on the wall), you can get away with installing step lights that have a slight protrusion or a surface-mounted step light. Just make sure that they are not too big that they take up too much wall space, or that they are not in proportion with the size of your steps.

For your reference, most step lights are recessed. This is because the design element that step lights offer are the lights themselves. The light provides aesthetic appeal to your stairs. While other light fixtures, such as pendant lights or wall sconces, are designed in such a way that their shape and colour also add aesthetic texture to a space on top of the light they provide, the form of a step light is usually just simple and toned down.


Although step lights are usually simple in form, they don’t always look the same. The three most common shapes of step lights are round, square, or linear.

Round or square lights cover a smaller area when lit, similar to series lights. Linear step lights, on the other hand, can run from end to end of each step such that they serve as something like a glowing underline for each step.

Usually, smaller step lights like round and square ones are used for indoor stairs, as their main purpose is to accentuate the stairs and provide ambient lighting. Linear step lights are usually used for outdoor steps because they provide both ambient lighting and serve as a visual guide when it’s dark outside. However, either type work in either setting, so it all depends on personal preference.

Light colour

Most step lights come in either warm white or yellow. But today, you can find LED step lights that come in many different colours. If you have ever been to a nightclub where the steps glowed a bright green colour, those are LED linear step lights.

A cool way to incorporate coloured lights into your home is to install them outdoors, where they can complement the natural colours of your garden.

Energy source

Most step lights are hardwired. Hardwired step lights last longer and emit brighter or more pigmented light. You can control them using a switch.

You also have the option to go for battery-operated step lights. These are not as popular as hardwired lights as they are usually used as utility lighting. But generally, hardwired lights are your best option if you want something permanent.

Why Add Step Lights to Your Home?

Indoor step lights are a nice touch

Step lights may not look so sophisticated, but they boost the appeal of your indoors. They may not be the centre of attention, but what they do is provide further illumination so that your indoors can glow a different way.

Outdoor step lights improve the natural feel of your outdoors

Outdoor lights, such as step lights, wall lights, or garden lighting, help bring out the beauty of your lawn or garden even when the sun has come down. You can appreciate the magic of excellent garden lighting when you host friends and family over for a nice dinner at the patio and you notice how good the ambience you’ve created is.

Step lights allow you to get creative

No matter which step lights you choose, part of the magic of designing indoor lighting is the process of getting to the final product itself. It’s an opportunity for you to use your creative juices and design a home that reflects your unique taste.

You can get new step lights here at Galaxy Lighting

Galaxy Lighting is here for all your lighting needs. Check out our catalogues today. For enquiries, call us at 09-4432486 or 022 0728090, or email us at

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