Interior Decor

18 Smart Ideas On How To Brighten A Dark Hallway

How to brighten a dark hallway

Hallways are annoyingly tricky spaces that are frequently lacking in natural light. More often than not they are long, narrow corridors, with little personality. So, it is no surprise that we often ignore these small, uninviting spots and focus solely on decorating the core areas of our homes like our living rooms.

But hallways are important spaces that shouldn’t be forgotten. Not only are they an important high-traffic area, but they are also the first and last impression of our homes for both guests and ourselves.

The good news is that brightening up a dark hallway to create a welcoming passageway doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Here are some small and big ways to answer the important question of how to brighten a dark hallway.

How to brighten a dark hallway with natural lighting

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How to brighten a dark hallway with natural lighting
Photo by Alesia Kazantceva on Unsplash

Glazed front door

The most obvious solution to brighten a dark hallway is to allow more natural light into the space. A great way to do this is by introducing more windows. Changing your front door to a door with glass panels is a quick way of doing this.

Internal glass doors

Changing your solid internal doors to doors with glass panels is a great solution if you have rooms surrounding your hallway that are flooded with natural light. Alternatively, you could ditch the doors altogether and create a more fluid passageway.


And if money is no issue a skylight could be the answer to your dark hallway prays. A skylight will allow a huge amount of light to pass down into your hallway creating a modern, bright and airy space.


Adding strategically positioned mirrors to your entranceway is one of the cheapest and easiest solutions to brighten a dark hallway with natural light. Position your mirror opposite a natural light source to reflect and bounce the light around your space. If you don’t have any natural light, reflecting artificial light will have a similar effect.

How to brighten up a hallway with no windows

How to brighten a dark hallway with lighting

Recessed spotlights

Spotlights are a great way of introducing more light to a hallway with no windows. A simple, recessed spotlight will disappear into your ceiling and you will hardly notice it, meaning you can add multiple of them to a small space.

Track lighting

A simple track spotlight is a great alternative if you don’t have the time, money or permission from a landlord to install recessed spotlights. A track light will introduce more light to your space and give you the flexibility to direct the light where it is needed the most. This could be a dark corner or directed over some hooks to make it easier to find what you need.

Pendant lights & lightbulbs

If you are looking for something easier than changing a light fitting consider just changing the bulb. Choose a bulb that produces white light instead of a warm hue as this will give the illusion of natural light. Choose an opal light bulb to give an even distribution of light.

Pair this with a lampshade that diffuses the light rather than directing it to one spot.

Looking for more hallway ideas

41 Unique Hallway Wallpaper Ideas

Floor lamps & table lamps

If you are lucky enough to have a socket in your hallway (why do rental apartments in the UK never have sockets in hallways) add some mood lighting to your space.

A hallway isn’t the usual location we think of for accent lighting but it shouldn’t be overlooked. A floor lamp or table lamp will help create a welcoming atmosphere in your entranceway.

Wall lights

Wall lights are another ideal way of adding more lighting to your hallway. And if you don’t want to hardwire your wall lights don’t worry, there are plenty of options available that simply plug into a socket.

Dark hallway lighting ideas

An ambient wall light will help create a welcoming environment in your hallway.

Small hallway lighting ideas
John Lewis Nordlux Alexander Plug-In Wall Light

Position a functional wall light where it is most needed such as by a mirror. This will create a good lighting level for checking your reflection.

Small hallway lighting ideas
Amazon Arezzo Track Lighting

A track light is an ideal solution for gaining more light in a dark hallway. Angle the lights to face darker corners to help brighten your space.

Why not choose a super stylish mood light that doubles as a handy little shelf for storing your keys on?

Small hallway lighting ideas
Oliver Bonas Green Glass Table Lamp

A statement table lamp will create a focal point in your hallway and look great on a console table.

Colours & wall finishes to brighten a dark hallway

Colours & wall finishes to brighten a hallway

Light walls

Opting for a light colour palette is an ideal choice if you want to brighten a dark entranceway. Crisp white walls will help generate an airy and fresh feeling, whereas a light grey will create a warmer, more sophisticated feel. If you are stuck on what shade of paint to go for, the post 21 Colours to Paint Walls with a Grey Couch has some great shades of paint to choose from.

White woodwork

Although time-consuming, painting your woodwork white, such as balustrades and internal doors, will help brighten up a dark hallway. It does this by helping bounce light around the space rather than absorbing it. Alternatively, a glass balustrade will create an illusion of more space whilst allowing light to flow through.

Don’t be afraid to go dark

Don’t be nervous to embrace your dark hallway and go dark with your decor. You’ll often be told that the only solution for a gloomy space is to go light with your colour choice, but sometimes embracing your dark, moody space is best. The right colour and styling will give it a dramatic yet intimate atmosphere.

Bright colours

Be adventurous with your colour choice and go bold. The great perk of exploring your creativity in your hallway is that hallways tend to be small spaces, therefore making it easy to change it when you fancy something new.

Play around with stripes running the length of your hallway walls to help lengthen the space. Alternatively, paint a dark corner in a brighter shade to help give the feeling of more space. Or for extra impact and to draw attention up, make your ceiling the focal point of your space and paint it a vibrant colour.


Wallpaper can work just as well in an entranceway as it does in any other room. Create an accent wall for your hallway with bold wallpaper (or paint) to help create the illusion of a wider space. Or add wallpaper above panelled walls. Painting the panelling a light colour will help reflect light around the space giving you the freedom to use any wallpaper you like on the top half of your walls.

How to brighten a dark hallway with furniture

How to brighten a dark hallway with furniture


An easy way of brightening up a dark hallway is to give the illusion of more space. Decluttering will help you achieve this, along with storage that is hidden behind closed doors.

Narrow furniture

Narrow furniture is best for dark hallways as it will help keep your entranceway feeling spacious. Furniture that is elevated off the floor or on legs will help give the illusion of more space because it exposes the floor.

Opt for glass

Glass furniture is a great way of giving the impression of more space because it tends to disappear into its surroundings. It also allows light to pass through, which is ideal for hallways lacking in light.

A statement pendant light

A great way of making a dark, boring hallway interesting is to create a focal point. This is especially important if you have a long, narrow hallway. Creating an area of interest and somewhere for the eye to rest halfway down your hall will draw attention away from the length of the space.

If you have high ceilings a statement pendant light is an ideal way of drawing the eye up. Drawing attention to the height of the space will help give the illusion of more space.

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How to Brighten a Dark Hallway

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how to brighten dark hallways
Background photo by Josh Hemsley on Unsplash

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