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5 Steps to Create the Perfect Entrance & Hallway Lighting

To create the perfect atmosphere in your home, you need to focus on the lighting. Let's be honest, entrances and hallways are often overlooked when it comes to designing and decorating. We want to change that, despite this part of your home potentially being the smallest area, it is the first impression for guests and it sets the tone for your home. Should the space be too dim or too bright, it might take guests’ eyes a few minutes to adjust, or should your light fixtures be outdated, your guests might think that the rest of your house is also lacking in modern taste. Let’s look at some practical ways to help you create the perfect entrance and hallway lighting.

1. Check the height of the ceiling

Always, always check the ceiling height BEFORE you purchase the lighting you want, lighting scale has a huge impact on the overall feel and functionality of a room. You don’t want to knock your tall guests out with a low hanging chandelier or waste a beautiful high ceiling with flush lighting.

High ceilings (ten-foot or higher)

Choose a suspended light such as a chandelier or pendant. This capitalizes on height and creates a statement while being functional. Foyers that extend to the second story are a perfect opportunity to add an exquisite oversized, hanging fixture that will create an amazing first impression.

Standard ceilings (eight-foot)

You may want to choose a recessed, flush or semi-flush mount light. This way, the fixture won’t extend too far into the space, creating a risk of people bumping into it.

2. Play with different light sources for different purposes

You are not limited to a single light fitting just because it is a small area. By using different light sources, you add to the versatility, texture and atmosphere to the area. This is an important step to make the most of a small space while creating a ‘wow’ first impression.

Different light sources

  • Ceiling pendant or chandelier

  • Semi-flush/flush ceiling fitting

  • Wall lighting

  • Floor lighting

  • Table lighting

Different purposes

  • Practical - Illuminates the area so one can perform daily functions. These would generally be your top/ceiling lights that throw the most light in the room.

  • Atmosphere - This lighting creates a warmer, more welcoming feel. These would include table lamps, floor lamps and wall lighting.

  • Statement - Eye-catching lighting that creates interest and awe. These would be pieces like grand chandeliers, abstract or colour pendants or wall and ceiling lighting that highlights a focal feature like artwork or an entrance table.

3. Consider placement

You don’t want to put a single light in a long hallway or protruding wall fixtures in a narrow entranceway. Make the most of the space YOU have. This may mean you need to compromise a bit on what you initially thought but that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on the final ‘feel’ you desire.

Long hallway

  • Place lights at either end to showcase the length and create an inviting feel.

  • If it is a very long hallway, add additional lights to the center region to evenly illuminate the entire corridor.

Narrow hallway

  • Avoid using wall fittings as this will make the corridor appear more narrow and clutter the space.

General hallway rule

  • Place lights between 1.5m and 1.8m apart, depending on the wattage of the light. Lamps with lower coverage need to be placed more frequently.

4. Decide on the overall style

Are you going for a more modern look or more traditional look? Is there a particular colour palette or finishing you are wanting to continue? This will decide the look of the lighting you go for.

5. Create a statement or focal point

You may have a larger entrance hall or a smaller hallway entrance, whatever size area you have you can create a statement that is both eye-catching and functional.

  • If you have a smaller entryway, consider a centralised pendant (higher ceiling) or semi-flush fitting (standard ceiling). This is a simple but effective way to convey your style, illuminate the area and create a focal point.

  • Wall lighting can highlight a specific feature or zone such as a piece of art, coat stand or entry table. This is a great option if you don’t have a high ceiling.

  • A stylish table lamp on an entry table that creates a softer light but adds beautifully to the style you are trying to convey.

  • Pendant light grouping is a stunning way to give an ambient light while almost creating a piece of art. This adds height and interest to your entrance.

  • Add a mirror to your hallway or entrance to enhance the lighting while creating a statement. This is great for small areas as it creates an illusion of space and it is like getting 2 for 1 lighting.

  • Use a free-standing light as a focal piece. No major electrical changes needed and very effective. However, you would need a wider space for this as it would be too much for a narrow hall or entryway.

Now that you have the steps to create the perfect entrance and hallway lighting, go and get creative. Make the first impression of your home a great one! Remember, if you require any lighting products or advice visit one of Northside Electrical’s branches or call and chat to a sales consultant to personally assist you with your specific lighting needs. Northside provides the KZN region with superior quality electrical, lighting and security products and remarkable service.

Red Hill - 031 569 1005

Ballito - 032 946 0977

Durban North – 031 564 5692

Hillcrest – 031 765 4140

Umbilo – 031 942 7755

Alternatively, email

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