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FIXTURES & FINISHES


INDIVIDUAL TREADS Spotlights can be recessed into the wall or stringer alongside the stair to highlight individual treads. This effect is often more about the light itself than about illuminating the staircase. This option must be considered carefully, as any light that uses a reflector can dazzle people walking up the stairs or passing by with the light at eye level.


WALL LIGHTS & HANDRAILS


As well as being decorative wall lights can add warmth and a welcoming touch to a hallway, for a more dramatic impact create a series of niches and sit miniature lights within.


Embedding LED lighting in a recessed handrail provides a feature both upstairs and down.


UNDER THE STAIRS


The underside of stairs can be a dark forgotten space, so it’s advisable to focus on adding lighting here too. Uplighters can create interesting shapes and patterns on the walls.


Maintenance should also be considered as part of the design. Today’s LEDs, in the main, are durable and long lasting; however, it’s worth thinking about access to how bulbs/units will be changed if and when they fail. If incorrectly designed and wrongly specified, then the whole


staircase can become live when units fail. Glare and angle of light are important


to consider as if they are too bright lights can become a safety hazard. Also don’t forget about utilising as much natural light as is available. Specifying open treads, glass balustrades and even setting a staircase slightly away from the wall all help to facilitate the maximum flow of light throughout the stairwell. Done properly and safely, staircase lighting can be extremely effective and like staircases – it’s always better to enlist the advice of a specialist.


Richard McLane is design director of Bisca Staircases


SELFBUILDER & HOMEMAKER IS INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIED BY ABC


march/april 2018 www.sbhonline.co.uk 55


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