Floor Lighting Ideas: Taking Your Interior Design to the Next Level

Floor lights are used for guiding people or as accent lighting to illuminate walls as a backdrop. Adding floor lighting to a home adds a luxurious touch. You want to add a number of different light fixtures to a space to create different lighting effects – floor lighting ideas can help in achieving this. This range of light effects is what creates a visually beautiful setting. Here we will go over ideas on lighting floors inside and outside of the home.

Floor lighting ideas

Recessed Floor Lighting

Recessed lights installed up against a wall

Recessed floor lighting is probably the top choice when it comes to adding floor lighting. This will require some constructional work to create holes for the lights to sit in and the wires to route to them. Or if you are looking for landscape lighting ideas, solar powered recessed lights only require the base hole and no additional wiring. When it comes to in floor lighting, they are usually installed up near against a wall – this is so that the light washes onto the wall. While outdoors, recessed lights are also used to light pathways and stairs.

When it comes to in home recessed floor lighting, you’ll need to choose the right light fixtures. As people will be walking over the lights, possibly barefooted, you don’t want them burning their feet. You will want to look for lights that are rated “cool to touch” such as florescent or LED floor lighting fixtures – while tungsten or halogen lights could burn.

Recessed floor lighting

There are also other areas where recessed lights can be fitted:

-To the base of kitchen cabinets

-To the vertical parts of steps in a staircase

-Into walls, close down to the floor (in stairways or hallways)

Hidden Lights

It is a lot more elegant when you can hide the light fixtures. The light will gently diffuse off of walls and the floor providing a soft glow of light. This also helps in preventing glare which is easily caused from floor lighting as they are usually in a person’s eye line.

Cove lighting

Adding cove floor lighting will be a major undertaking. You will need to dig up a shallow trench, and then a cut away where the lights can be laid hidden. You can see an example of floor cove lighting from a scene from the movie Inception, when the characters are in the Japanese castle.

A scene from Inception showing cove floor lighting

Using Rope Lights to Create Modern Floor Lighting

Rope lights can be simply laid out on the floor along a wall. Or they can hidden and fitted under couches, or under kitchen, TV or book cabinets for a much more sophisticated and softer look.

Rope lights can be used for a range of floor lighting ideas


A small can light, like this one from lampsplus.com ($14.99) can be used for floor lighting

Small can lights can be placed on the floor and along the walls. They can also be hidden behind plant pots and couches out of site.

You will want to avoid downlights in most areas of the homes. They can create a tunnel like effect if a number of them are used side by side. One placed here and there around the home can still work.

Specific Outdoor Floor lighting Ideas:

Some outdoor floor lighting ideas include post lights that you can plant into the ground. These can be either electrical or solar powered. Another option are downlights that are fitted into walls, stairs, or posts.

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