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Corridor lighting – fabulous but forgotten

Author: Glenn Harper
Published: March 10, 2016

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In many buildings, corridor lighting is outdated, inefficient and ripe for an overhaul. Modern LED and fluorescent fittings use much less energy than older lights and are often paired with movement sensors or dimmer switches for even greater savings.

The way you choose to light a corridor will depend on the type of building. Chaotic settings such as schools need practical fittings, but a hotel can afford to be more aesthetic.

Schools, hospitals, care homes, sports centres

In busy buildings, corridor lighting has to be tough. Lyco sell a wide range of LED panels, which usually slot into existing ceiling voids to replace fluorescent lights. Many panels can also be surface mounted using available kits. Special diffusers are included in these fittings to achieve an even, wide spread of light. You’ll normally want to select a cool white light for work or study locations.

Hotels, restaurants, spas

Hospitality premises don’t need the same robust corridor lighting that’s used elsewhere. However, low-profile or recessed fittings maximise space and do reduce the chance of damage. For discreet, modern lighting.

In corridors that are rarely occupied, movement sensors save money. The sensor (also called an occupancy sensor) triggers light when it detects movement. A microwave movement sensor sees through doors and thin walls, so it can switch on light as the corridor is approached.

Hotel corridors often include floor lamps, table lamps, picture lights and wall lights. Niches or corners are good places to put floor or table lamps, along with suitable furniture or furnishings.

Emergency lighting

In most buildings, corridors form part of an emergency escape route. That being the case, by law they have to include emergency light fittings. There are two main types:

  • A maintained emergency fitting is used as a regular light, but stays switched on in the event of a power cut.
  • A non-maintained fitting is kept switched off and only activates during a power cut.

For expert advice about emergency lighting, we recommend a visit to the ICEL website.

Colour, light & space

Light and colour affects the way a corridor is seen. Pale walls and bright light give a greater feeling of space.

Corridors are in-between areas, but the journey from A to B never has to be dull or unpleasant. In fact, it offers the chance to show off attention to detail.

For more advice, inspiration and news take a look at our Lighting Advice section.