Tips for Low Light Hallways

5 simple tips for low light halways, click through to see pairings, suggestions and more tips!

Hey guys! Today was supposed to be the official reveal of the vintage bohemian hallway I’ve been working on designing but a few of the gals experienced setbacks and my camera is just useless. So, I thought I’d take a moment to chat about a design challenge I had for the space, what I did to combat it and general tips you can apply for your low light hallways.

If you need a reminder of what my hallway looked like before, here it is:

long hallway decorating makeover low light hallway before

That’s a really scary picture. I had started painting the hallway towards the end of the summer and progress halted for the bathroom remodel. The first day our contractor tore everything out, the air was running and it left a thin film of dust everywhere. I’ve been slow to cleaning it up which is partly why the hallway looks as gross as it does.

But talking about my previously gross hallway is not why I checked in today. Rather, I want to chat about ways to make a dark and narrow hallway appear brighter and bigger. It may not be your particular goal, but I know a lot of us want airy feeling spaces so I wanted to share my tips.

1. Paint the space a light color.

You can go with white, or a light grey or any color that is muted really. White gives the biggest impact in my experience and I’ve been working on painting all my walls white so it just ties into the rest of the home. I just grab the untinted ultra white can right off the shelf. I’ve happily been using Olympic Icon Interior in Flat but you should use whatever your favorite is.

2. Choose A Light Fixture With Multiple Bulbs.

More light is more light. I’d say choose a light fixture with multiple light bulbs and better if they point in multiple different directions to really get the light bouncing around.

top picks for low light hallways- multiple light bulbs is key!

Possini Euro Hemingson Edison Bronze

Cloverly 5-Light Bronze | Industrial Cage Dark Rust

Bendlin Industrial Oil-Rubbed Bronze | Feiss Urban Renewal Antique Brass

Quoizel Trilogy Old BronzeCrystorama Cameron Bronze

Lacey Round BlackQuoizel Tavern Darkest Bronze

Quoizel Dury Silver LeafLattice Vintage Style Bronze

3. Use Multiple Sources Of Light.

You’ve got your light with multiple bulbs but there’s likely still a darker pocket or two. Especially in long hallways, it can be hard for the light to fully illuminate the whole length of the space. At the end of the hallway, try a wall mounted light fixture that can dim to double as a nightlight. At the beginning or entrance of the hallway, try a plugin light with a switch that attaches to the wall for ease of use. It can hang from the ceiling or mount to the wall, really. It goes a long way in ensuring your whole house is illuminated for safety and enjoyability.

Mix and Match lighting, to maximize the illumination in a space and for better design. here are some sample combinations

Plug-In Style Swing Arm Wall LampCrystorama Cameron Bronze | Adjustable Pole Pharmacy

Pharmacy Nickel Swing ArmCloverly 5-Light Bronze | Cognac Glass Industrial Bronze

Wood and Antique Brass FactoryHemingson Edison Bronze | Cherry Finish Wood Surveyor Tripod

4. Utilize Mirrors.

Now that we have multiple sources of light, let’s bump them up a notch and add a mirror or two to the space. You’ll get multiple views of the space you’ve worked so hard on, it’ll visually lengthen the space and it’ll bounce light around the space. Win-win-win.

2W014 5V537 P7917







Sepik RectangularCooper Classics Maya Mahogany | Rustic Getaway Rectangular

5. Coordinate With Lighting In The Adjoining Spaces.

If you’ve been in the decorating game for any amount of time, so far things have been obvious. But this is one you may not have thought of. Cohesive space flow. They don’t feel like individual pockets but rather extensions of one another. If you coordinate your lighting and decor in your hallway with those in the connecting spaces, it’ll be an extension of those spaces instead of it’s own small standalone space.

So these are the things I did to visually open up our hallway. The full reveal for the space is next Tuesday so I hope you’ll come back next week for that (you can get an email reminder by signing up here).

Please make sure to visit the other gals participating in the challenge. Youll find fab room refreshes and lots of great tip!

New Year, New Room Refresh Challenge Participants:


  1. says

    Great tips! When I lived in my last rental it was like living in a dungeon…something I did a couple months before we moved was I switched out all the downstairs lighting from to the bulbs that reflect more of white natural light. The yellow lighting that was there prior to the switch out was horrible and made the walls look more yellow. Yes, mirrors…that is my secret weapon. lol!

  2. says

    Beautiful lighting options! And I might have said this before, but I LOVE that you are refreshing your hallway. I know there are several in our home that have been COMPLETELY neglected! It only makes sense to have a nice space leading into another nice space! Can’t wait to see it all come together next week. -Rachael

    • says

      It does make sense, right? Pretty space, yucky hallway, pretty space. No! It seems silly just thinking about how long I waited 😉

  3. says

    Fantastic tips! It’s easy to see you’ve thought about this from every angle. It’s kind of funny because I’ve never really thought about this too much at all. I guess bungalow layouts don’t typically have as many hallways as other styles of home. Our current house has kind of a railroad-style layout on the main floor, so there is no hallways at all there. Upstairs has one very short hall, but even though it has a large window, it is quite narrow, so I’m still gonna keep these tips in mind. No such thing as too big/bright when it comes to hallways.

  4. says

    Awesome post, but I think you overlooked the incredible potential of wireless/battery-operated sconces and lighting that are so well-suited to hallways ( esp for renters!). There’s a huge variety of options in every conceivable design style and you can just pop in your batteries and hang them, no installation drama-mess or cost of an electrician. Google “battery-operated light” or scones to get an idea of what’s out there. :)