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16 Stunning Hallway Lighting Ideas

By: Elena Johnson

When you think about interior design, the hall is probably not the first room you think about. But since it is the space that takes you from one well-decorated room to another, it’s worth putting a little thought into it. Luckily, you can do a lot with a hallway by making sure it has the right lighting.

The light fixtures in your hallway set the tone for this little space aesthetically, so you’ll want to choose carefully. We’ve gathered this list of 16 hallway lighting ideas to make sure that this oft-ignored space in your home can benefit from the best décor, and best hallway lights.

A Decorative Flush Mount

Flush lights are often subtle, but investing in a decorative ceiling flush or two can really add to your hallway. Let’s be honest, if your hallway is typical – that is, narrow – your decorative options are limited. But with an artful flush mount hall light you can add a personal flourish and needed lighting without sacrificing your limited real estate.

Marbled Wall Sconces

Don’t overlook marble in your décor. Although classically used in lush, regal environments, marble can and does have a place in subtle, modern design.

By embracing a few details in your home – such as simply designed but beautifully textured-looking marble wall sconces – your hallway will look sophisticated and polished. Stay light on other décor like a single tasteful runner carpet, and your hall will remain as deliciously understated as your taste prefers.

Wall-Mounted Lamps

Wall-mounted lamps with miniature lamp shades are a classic home hallway look. They’re homey, cozy, and impart a softer feel to your hallway, perfect for lighting the way to the bedroom. Opt for warm light throwing light bulbs to complete the soft and snuggly feel.

You may want to choose actual lamps for hallways with more natural lighting or lamp-like sconces for darker paths in the home which will need to be lit more frequently.

Try the Faux-Candle Look

For an old-school look, wall-mounted candle holders are a classy way to add an inviting glow. But in most homes, narrow hallways and busy home lives don’t make candles a practical lighting solution.

Instead, playful wall sconces in the shape of candles – with all the convenience and safety of electric bulbs – are the ideal solution. With smaller bulbs that throw softer light you can foster a similar cozy glow with much less hassle and worry.

Go White For Light

For narrow hallways, lighting ideas are not as limited as they may seem. Although you are probably stuck with flush mount hall lights or wall-mounted lamps, there is still plenty of variety to be found in either category.

For small, narrow, and dark hallways, white or light colored lamps are always a great idea. Light colors reflect more light and open up a space to help it feel roomier. Even with simple shapes and detailing, your white hallway lights can add a lot to your hall space, even if they seem like plain Janes.

Low-Hanging Lamps For Awkward Shapes

Those unusual spaces are so exciting when you tour a new place, but when it comes time to decorate, those shapes can quickly feel awkward. To fill those quirky spaces just right without overcrowding, look for a low-hanging lamp. 

Something artful with a bit of visual interest, but not so much that it commands all the attention, is ideal to highlight the originality of your little hallway – especially if it’s more of a hall-nook.

Add Drama With Metal Flourishes

If your hallway is painted or full of light already, your lighting choices may be as decorative as they are functional. To contrast with a bright and cheery paint, consider lamps or sconces with dark metal detailing and flourishes.

These artistic details will not only add visual interest, which is great for hallways that don’t have much art on the walls, they will also add a sense of drama, which adds balance to flatter, lighter spaces. As an added bonus, metal flourishes are ideal for dressing up an industrial or rustic look.

Modern Lampshade Sconces

When it comes to modern hallway lights, sometimes the best source of inspiration is tradition. The classic round lampshade is about as traditional as it gets for home lighting, but when you apply the lampshade look to a wall sconce, suddenly it gets a little more modern.

The flattened look of lampshade wall sconces like these is not only more modern, it’s also convenient for lighting a narrow hallway. While the design checks the modern and contemporary boxes, the traditional shape makes these hallway lamps homey and inviting – keeping your home chic and comfortable.

Clear Lamps for Industrial Look

With hallway light fixtures, the ideas tend to be homey, soft, and chic. But don’t be afraid to put an edgy spin on that with an industrial looking hallway lamp. An easy way to do that is to opt for clear lamps and bulbs that let you see what’s going on behind all that light.

Metal and wood details that look unfinished (without being unsafe) are also great features to look for to give your hall a little edge. The industrial look is great to pair with an already unfinished-looking basement or a rougher exterior half-hallway.

Add Drama and Flair

Although it may sound obvious, you should feel free to find something unique. Cool hallway lights aren’t just for celebrities or fancy hotels. Your home can benefit from lighting that is not only functional, but artistic and even a little dramatic.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to look for sculptural ceiling lights like this one. The sculpted metal look doesn’t often go out of style and ages well. Play up contrasts between light and dark for greater drama or keep the flair subtle by matching colors already in the space. Statement lamps and flushes make great small hallway lighting ideas, too.

Cozy Up an Entry Hallway With Lamps

If your entryway doubles as the entrance hall, why not merge your décor to match? Cozy up your open hall with a console table or bench, then add classic hallway light fixtures. Go for traditional mounted lamps or sconces to step up the inviting nature of the entry hall.

The homey elements of each space type will complement each other, creating a cozy hallway nook that’s capable of everything you need it to do: light the space, greet guests, and look good.

Go Boldly Geometric

Hallways tend to be soft, quiet places. While you don’t necessarily want to lose all that softness, it’s not a bad idea to add a little contrast with bold geometric design, dark colors, and sleek lines.

Especially if your walls are unpainted and your carpet light, the contrast between the distinct outline of your lights and the organic, open nature of most hallways will add balance. Play up the contrast more with large, artful sconces or make it a subtle look with smaller flush mounts or ceiling lamps.

Add Contrast to the Space

Even the humblest of homes has a personal design. A great way to spice up any space in the house, even the hallway, is to play up those design choices – by working with its opposite.

Choose hallway light fixtures that have dark, bold features and structured design for open hallways in light colors. Or, lighten the mood in a dark, narrow hallway with soft white lamps or floral motifs. Look to carpets and flooring, trim, wall colors, and even the very architecture for ideas about your lighting.

Rattan For a Relaxed Feel

Although not a typical contemporary look, rattan is in style for a reason. The boho chic rattan material may be just the homey look your hallway light fixtures need. Stylish yet simple, relaxed yet polished, rattan will soften the feel of your hallway, helping you and guests feel at home. Dress them up with a fine work of art and you’ll have a comfortable, effortless style.

Add a Mirror to Reflect More Light

No list of hallway lighting ideas would be complete without a mention of mirrors. Mirrors are a great way to maximize the amount of light in a space. Those lamps or flush lights won’t have to work as hard. You can focus on choosing the most aesthetic light fixtures rather than the hardest-working set.

Add a full-length mirror at the dead end of a hallway, especially if you have a smaller space you want to feel larger and brighter. For an entryway-cum-hallway a large horizontal mirror may be better.

Pair Mounted Lamps With Mirrors

You don’t have to use large mirrors to maximize lighting. Smaller mirrors, the size you might have in a bedroom for checking your hair and face, can be stylishly paired with a wall mounted light. When they are side by side the mirror will help reflect the light being thrown by the lamp, while also adding a bit of visual interest to the wall.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to hallway lighting, the ideas are simple, but not as limited as you might have thought. When you know what kind of lights you prefer – ceiling or wall-mounted, hanging or not, sconces/flushes or contained lamps – you are still spoiled for choice when it comes to design.

As always, you will want to consider any existing elements in your hallway like how much natural lighting there already is, the walls, and the style of any pieces you already have. Whether you choose to lean into those elements or add contrast to them, is up to you and your taste.