A hallway is the first sight that anyone gets when they enter your home. This is one occasion where those first impressions really make a difference. It’s the place you greet guests, find your shoes, and drop your keys after a long day.
Whilst the brightness and colour temperature of light is incredibly important, what about the decor style? Traditional Victorian hallways in the UK boast high ceilings and often narrow hallways that demand good lighting.
Let’s explore some of the best Victorian Hallway lighting ideas and how to maximise the space, and natural light you do have.
What Is Victorian Lighting?
Electricity was still expensive during this time, and Victorian lighting was characterised by candlelight and gas lighting.
Grand light fixtures during this time included chandeliers and wall sconces. Of course, things have come a long way since then, but if you have a Victorian property you may wish to add that period authenticity back into with exquisite light fixtures, and luckily, there are plenty of ways this can be achieved with both vintage, and stage lighting today.
Victorian Hallway Lighting Ideas To Leave A Lasting Impression
1.Choose Different Light Sources To Serve Different Purposes
Layering lighting is something that is key to creating flexibility and control over your lighting scheme. There will be times that you don’t want the full brightness of a ceiling light, but you still need to soft mood lighting during the evening, and the morning.
The Victorian’s loved a wall sconce, and they still look great today, less the candlelight!
Layer your lighting with a period style wall light and a set of wall sconces throughout the hallway. Install a dimmer switch with them to get ultimate control over the levels of light during the day.
Romilly Clear Glass Cone Wall Light featured below by The Soho Lighting Company.
2. Create A Focal Point With Victorian Hallway Ceiling Lights
For the wealthy, there was no lack when it came to Victorian homes, efforts to demonstrate their wealth did not stop at the height of their interiors.
Grand chandeliers, decorative cornices and ceiling roses were just a few of the things that boasted their wealth and gravitas in the class system.
Chandeliers are one of the top choices for lighting a Victorian hallway, they couldn’t be more authentic for the Victorian era.
Depending on the height and size of the hallway you need to source one that is proportionate to the size to ensure it fills, and illuminates the space. A chandelier too small for the space is one way of creating a focal point, but for the wrong reason!
In terms of sourcing the right Victorian style chandelier, I really would recommend going to vintage fairs, flea markets and looking on Facebook marketplace for originals, they are out there!
There are many replicas on the market too, this Sophy 5 Light Chandelier from Dunelm comes in at just over £100 and it looks fab. It would be perfect for a smaller, but just as grand Victorian hallway. Remember to team them with vintage LED candle bulbs for the right look.
3. Group Singular Lights To Create Height & Interest
One independent ceiling light can sometimes lack, and appear flat. Especially in a huge Victorian stairwell. One of the best ways to create height, and visual impact is by combining singular lights in a cluster.
Working in odds, such as 3 or 5 works best for this due to the natural symmetry and balance that is created among them.
You can group different styled lights, colours and sizes. What tends to work best is when you stick with at least a very similar light so they cluster cohesively, and don’t end up looking like an eyesore.
The below is a great example of a light fitting which has been created in a cluster effect. This showstopper pendant light is equally great for stairwells, double height ceilings, or hanging low above tables in the dining room or kitchen.
4. Choose A Nickel Finish For Vintage Hallway Lighting
There are many metals that can be used to emulate wealth in a Victorian home including brass and steel. However, during the Victorian era nickel was the most commonly used, and accessible finish during that time. This simplistic, and elegant finish should be featured throughout so as not to clash with differing metal finishes.
When choosing the right hallway lighting, look for pendants with a nickel cap and chain for authenticity. Don’t just stop at the lighting, consider the same finish for your sockets and switches too for a cohesive, Victorian finish throughout.
This Schoolhouse pendant below is the perfect example of a vintage style pendant light that would look perfect in a narrow Victorian hallway. It has a beautifully formed, milky body, whilst topped with a solid nickel brass cap and chain.
5. Review The Height of Your Ceiling Before You Buy
Victorian hallways are renown for their very high ceilings, due to the space that needs to be illuminated, a basic ceiling light just won’t cut it here. When choosing the right chandelier, or pendant light, opt for those that have a long drop that can either be shortened or extended.
You’re probably going to want to look for something that has a drop of at least 1.5m. But in some cases, some Victorian homes have even higher ceilings that need to be appropriately catered for.
It can be difficult to light a very large Victorian hallway which is why you will need to fall back on introducing other light sources too into a layered lighting scheme.
6. Add A Stunning Round Chandelier
Chandeliers take all shapes and different sizes, and whilst this spherical style has a nod to the 1920s era, it looks incredible in a cavernous Victorian hallway like this.
The spherical nature and detailing disperses swatches of beautiful light around the room, and when it’s switched off it will continue to reflect and retract light too.
7. Lean Into Natural Materials
I wanted to share a lighting idea in a super narrow hallway, some Victorian terrace hallways don’t share in the same enviable hallways with high ceilings, and options are slightly more limited in narrow spaces.
Leaning into natural materials and opting for a rattan pendant light is one of the best types of materials because it doesn’t inhibit light in any way, it allows light to disperse through the material, and when it’s not in use, natural daylight can pass through it too.
8. Maximise Light With A Glass Pendant
Glass is by far one of the best types of materials for pendant lights in a narrow hallway. Glass becomes your best friend as it continues to reflect, disperse and retract natural light, even when it’s not in use.
It delivers swathes of beautiful light and is perfect for any interior scheme, regardless of the period of the property.
9. Add Light With A Hurricane Glass Lantern Pendant
Hurricane lantern pendant lights are super for a Victorian hallway, the candle bulb fittings give a nod to the Victorian era and with a place for a few bulbs, it maximises the lighting in the area.
Opt for a nickel finish for a touch of period authenticity.
10. Opt For A Wider, Decorative Pendant
Victorian hallways typically have very high ceilings which can make them difficult to light, this is why layering your light sources is so important.
Another way to tackle those harder to reach areas is by opting for a wider, decorative pendant. I love this style of pendant which features a whole host of different arms with light, it delivers more light whilst also creating a stunning focal feature which draws the eye up as you enter the hallway.
11. Add A Defining Black Lantern Pendant Light
Lastly, a defining black lantern pendant light is a perfect choice for delivering a touch of modernity and definition to the space.
Team it with other black accents in the hallway to create a cohesive colour scheme, and tie the room together.
What Colour Light Is Best For The Hallway?
The best colour temperature of lights for a hallway is 3000k which is a warm white light. This creates an inviting glow that makes it perfect for greeting guests, and making people feel comfortable as they enter your hallway.
Getting the colour temperature right is key, a light too bright or harsh sets the tone for how people feel when they enter your home.
Victorian lighting would have tended to have been on the warmer or orangey side due to their heavy use of both candlelight and gaslighting during that time.
You can see below the different colour temperatures from warm, to daylight bright lighting.
When it comes to Victorian hallway ceiling lights, more is more. They were not an era that scrimped on things, and with such beautiful inner fabrications of a Victorian house you absolutely want to maximise the hallway features you have, whilst creating a warming and inviting ambience when guests step inside.
Which of these Victorian hallway lighting ideas is your favourite?
Before You Go…
Looking for more inspiration on Victorian hallways? I share my own dark narrow hallway transformation and how we were able to brighten the space, whilst leaving some period authenticity in the property.