LED Step Lights

Indoors or outdoors, lighting a stairway improves safety and adds an inviting glow to your space. LED step lights can be used to enhance your landscape, to amplify your deck lighting when entertaining, for commercial exterior lighting, or simply to feel more secure knowing your staircase is brightly lit. We’ll help you out with valuable installation tips, knowing when to choose hardwired vs. solar or battery powered, and even some creative uses for step lights that you may not have considered. (Hint: not steps!)

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LED Step Lighting Guide and Basics


Okay, to state the obvious, you can use step lights on…steps. Deck steps, patio steps, basement steps, staircases…you get the idea. Whether your purpose is to make your stairs safer or just add some charm to your patio, LED stairway lighting is an attractive solution. But we challenge you to think outside of the box. Our customers have found some really creative uses for step lights that never even touched a step: How about installing them in the floor as directional guides in your home theater or driveway, or sticking wireless mini step lights along the walls next to a dark stairwell? Rope lights twisted around a stair rail are a great way to provide light when you are coming in from the garage at night (and it looks pretty cool too). We have even installed them ourselves as a nightlight in a kid’s bedroom!

Installation Options & Layout Tips

There are two basic types of installation options: Recessed, where the gang box is concealed and the faceplate is flush against the stair, or surface mounted, where the light fixture sits on top of the surface. We recommend recessed LED stair lights for treads and walkways where a raised surface could be a tripping hazard.

Picture showing difference between surface mounted and recessed step lighting.

Generally we recommend one light every three steps or so, but there’s no right or wrong way to install step lighting. It’s mostly a personal preference, how much light you require, and how much you want to spend. For even illumination, position your light on the center of the step.

Comparing Power Options

Most staircase lighting is hardwired, but what if you don’t have access to an electrical outlet? That’s where battery operated and outdoor solar LED stair lights shine. Although they don’t emit as much light as a low voltage step light that is hooked up to power, they are affordable and easy to install virtually anywhere. Smart features like dusk-to-dawn photocells and motion sensors conserve energy when not in use.

Install LED step lights in 6 easy steps.

Outdoor vs. Indoor Step Light Considerations

Steps are not limited to the outdoors, so step lights shouldn’t be either, right? As with any outdoor lighting, you need to pay special attention to the IP rating, which is a way of measuring a light’s ability to resist moisture and dirt. An outdoor step light should be weatherproof and water resistant. Indoors, you do not need to worry about this as much, unless you are installing it in a shower, or somewhere that the light is exposed to moisture. Head over to our Learn section to learn more about how to use step lights in indoor spaces.