A hallway or foyer area is typically the first area that guests to your home will see. As such, it represents a 'first impression', and the lighting it uses should be warm and inviting. Likewise, while they don't necessarily require elaborate lighting, these areas should feature enough light to ensure that you're not at risk of tripping over and hurting yourself.
Hall and foyer lighting design fundamentals
Gentle, warm coloured lights are the norm for halls - as we've already mentioned, it's important for these areas to be inviting and comfortable. Harsh, cold lights (like most fluorescent tubes) will often make hallways feel industrial and sterile.
Hallways and foyers are typically darker areas without a lot of access to natural light through windows, and can benefit greatly from a bit of daylight. A skylight, a transom above the door or even a sawtooth roof can do wonders not only in halls, but also in stairwells and the void areas that often accompany them. Without daylighting, it's possible that some halls may require artificial light whenever they're used.
You should also consider how referred light will be used in hallways too. Provided that you don't live in a house full of reclusive teenagers, chances are that your hallways will also benefit from referred light from the rooms it connects to.
Foyer lights in particular play a big role in the 'first impressions' your home makes, and having a nice soft light in these areas can make all the difference to the way your home feels. Something as simple as a lamp on a table can help to achieve this 'inviting' feeling, and if you're looking to improve what you already have, a sensibly proportioned chandelier is an easy and effective replacement.
To allow more daylight into your foyer, you might also consider a windowed door, or a transom or fanlight above the door.
- For safety's sake, hallways should have a light fixture every 2 to 3 metres.
- Stairs should feature light switches at both ends, both for convenience and safety.
- Stairways, doorways, intersections, steps and the walls at either end of halls should be well lit.
- The level of light in your shouldn’t be blindingly bright, so use softer lights and warmer tones.
- Overhead lights and wall sconces are equally as appropriate, depending on your taste.