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What is the best hallway lighting?

The right hallway lighting not only ensures that you can find your way around a large office building, but is also often decisive for the first impression. Especially in residential buildings, the hallway is one of the first rooms you enter - so it can quickly give you the feeling of having arrived home. The right choice of light colour plays just as important a role as indirect and direct lighting. We have summarized everything you need to know about the topic and why LED bulbs and fixtures create the perfect hallway lighting for you here.

hallway lighting in a office

Pexels/Max Vakhtbovych


The most important facts about hallway lighting:


  • Calculate with a lumen value of 100 lm/m²
  • There are many LED solutions for basic lighting
  • Don't forget to add accents
  • Sensor lights and dimmers are efficient
  • Depending on the application, the light colour varies


The right basic lighting: wall lights, battens or spotlights?


The basic rule for hallway lighting is that every hallway is set up and used different. Many are without windows, some already receive a little daylight. As a rule of thumb, you should achieve a lumen value of at least 100 lm per square metre - i.e. 100 lux. As a rule, hallways do not need to be as bright as other areas because you are not doing any work here that would require special concentration. Read more about lumens and lux in the blog entry: What are lumen and lux?

a hallway lighted by led-stripes


Once you have planned how many bulbs or fixtures you need in the hallway, you can turn to the different types of lighting. Our tip: Go for LED. LED bulbs not only have a long lifespan, they are also efficient and require very little maintenance. This not only saves you money, but also contributes to a more sustainable world. LED wall lights, LED battens, LED spotlights or LED panels, for example, are suitable for this.



LED wall lights and LED battens as hallway lighting


LED wall lights or LED battens are ideal for the basic lighting of a hallway. They are mounted either on the walls or the ceiling and radiate their light diffusely in all directions. This means that people cannot be dazzled by the light. Due to their size, LED wall and LED battens are more suitable for wide hallways. They can be perfectly used in offices or public facilities, for example. If you are illuminating industrial hallways, you should also make sure that you choose the right IP and IK protection classes for your lights. Here we offer you several battens that are completely protected against moisture and dust. 


LED spotlights for narrow hallways and staircases


If, on the other hand, your hallway is narrow, short or has angles, battens can easily look out of place or simply be too large. This is where LED spotlights come in. These can be recessed into the ceiling and thus take up little space. If you decide on this idea, make sure you install several spotlights at regular intervals. Unlike wall lights or battens, these do not emit their light diffusely but in a targeted manner.

Tip: With a beam angle of 40 degrees and a ceiling height of 2.5 metres, the result is a cone of light about 2 metres in diameter. So if you have a room 6 metres long and 2 metres wide (12 m²), you need at least three spotlights. However, as described above, make sure that you create a sufficient lux value (lm/m²).


Staircase with LED spots
Unsplash/Muzammil Soorma


Another idea is to install spotlights at the sides of the steps. In this way, the light is shone directly onto the relevant surfaces and helps to ensure that everyone perceives the steps accurately and that no accidents occur. In addition, illuminated stair treads are a real eye-catcher in any environment. This type of lighting is particularly suitable for hotels and in the catering industry, where many people use the hallway and stairs every day. But it can also be easily applied to an office environment or your own home. 


LED panels as an allrounder


Do you want a general solution for high-quality basic lighting, but LED battens are too big for you? Then you can fall back on flat LED panels. These are particularly suitable if there is a grid ceiling in the hallway. You can simply replace one of the panels with an LED panel and thus bring enough brightness into the area. But the panels are also a good solution for living areas because they are very flat and thus fit well to the ceiling. They therefore take up less space than, for example, an LED battens.




Indirect lighting or direct lighting in the hallway?


Whether you choose a wall light, a battens or spotlights also depends on whether you prefer indirect or direct lighting. The situation is as follows: Basic lighting can be created very well by indirect light. For accents, on the other hand, you should choose direct lighting.

So if you have a hallway that is quite large, you can create indirect lighting using battens or wall lights. You can also install LED spotlights so that their light does not shine directly into the room but onto a wall. This in turn reflects the light diffusely and indirectly. You only have to make sure that the wall colour is as white as possible: the whiter it is, the better the light is reflected. Another idea is to hide LED strips behind a skirting board or panel. This looks particularly good directly under the ceiling.

Direct lighting, in turn, can be perfectly used to bring certain areas of the hallway into focus, or to put certain objects in the spotlight. This can be interesting not only in one's own home: companies can also realise practical concepts here: For example, if you directly illuminate room signs, plants or certain other objects, you can immediately make it clear to your employees how the hallway is structured and which objects are of importance.


Of sensor lights and dimmers


Another question you should ask about hallway lighting is whether you can benefit from a motion sensor. Such ligths only switch on when something moves around them. This way, you can use your lighting all the more efficiently because the room is only illuminated when you really need the light.

For this purpose, you can use LED bulkheads, for example. These work similarly to battens, but come with a motion sensor. It is important to choose high-quality LEDs for sensor lights: These are very durable and can withstand up to more than 100,000 switching cycles. Moreover, they are immediately bright and do not need a "start-up time" like CFL bulbs, for example.

LED Bulkhead for hallway lighting


Many LED fixtures are also dimmable. You can also take advantage of this in the hallway and adjust the lighting even more individually. Dimmed light is perfect as mood or background lighting, for example, if there are no people in the hallway at the moment. Another plus point: if the light intensity is lower, you also consume less electricity. You can read everything else you need to know on the subject in our blog entry: Which LED lights are dimmable?


Which light colour is suitable for hallway lighting?


The right light colour also plays an important role. Here you can remember: If you install your fixtures at home, you can resort to a warm white or extra warm white colour temperature: 1,700 K - 3,000 K. This light creates a cosy atmosphere and makes you feel at home already in the hallway.

If you want to equip your office hallway with powerful luminaires, you should bear in mind: While warm/red light makes the human organism feel relaxed, cold/blue light has a positive effect on concentration. Therefore, in professional environments, you should always opt for cool white or daylight lighting: 4,000 K - 6,500 K.

If you don't want to decide, you have the option of using Osram GlowDim or Philips GlowDim bulbs. These have a dimming function that allows you to adjust not only the light intensity but also the colour temperature: If you dim these products, the light colour is automatically adjusted from warm white to extra warm white.



Which LED lighting for office hallways?


LED-Panels in a hallway


The previous chapters have shown you what you need to consider when planning hallway lighting. In this chapter we would like to give you a case study: the office.

In the working environment, it is important that employees get enough light so that they can do their work. In the hallway, of course, this is not quite as important as in the other rooms, but they should still be able to find their way around easily. A lux value of 100 should therefore never be fallen short of.

However, if you frequently transport objects through the room or carry out other activities in it, you should allow for around 300 lm per square metre - this is based on the appropriate lumen value for a kitchen. For a workshop, for example, this value would be 500 lm/m².

In terms of light colour, cool white (4,000 K) is a good choice. This colour temperature supports attention by stimulating the human body to release more serotonin. This has a positive effect on mood and makes people alert.

Another important aspect of office lighting is the so-called "Unified Glare Rating" (UGR for short). This describes the "unified glare rating" and indicates how likely it is that people will feel dazzled by the light from a bulb or fixture. EU regulations state that this value must not exceed 19 in offices. To meet these regulations, you can use LED panels. Read more about UGR in the blog entry: What ist the value UGR?


Conclusion: One hallway many possibilities


How you design the lighting in the entrance area of your home or in the hallway of your business can be influenced by various ideas. There are not many rules you have to follow, but in any case make sure you have sufficient basic lighting of at least 100lm/m². This assures that no one in the room will get hurt - this is especially helpful if it also illuminates a staircase.

In terms of light colour, 2,300-3,000 K, i.e. extra warm white and warm white, are suitable for residential hallways. This makes the entrance area of your own home look immediately inviting and cosy. In a professional environment, on the other hand, you should opt for a colour temperature of 4,000-6,500 K, i.e. cool white to daylight, as this enhances concentration and attention.