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 Victorian Hallway ceiling lights and how to maximise the space, and natural light you do have.
- 1 What Is Victorian Lighting
- 2 Choose Different Light Sources To Serve Different Purposes
- 3 Create A Focal Point With Victorian Hallway Ceiling Lights
- 4 Group Singular Lights To Create Height & Interest
- 5 What Colour Light Is Best For The Hallway?
- 6 Choose A Nickel Finish For Vintage Hallway Lighting
- 7 Review The Height of Your Ceiling Before You Buy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.