Of all the places in a home or office building, stairwells seem to be the place that gets skimped on when it comes to style.  All the flash and fashion statements tend to go into rooms that are being used all the time and the stairs are just an afterthought.  However, many people make their stairwell a feature of the home and bring in some cool lighting features to add to the decorative aspect.  Some are good but some can also be troublesome.

For example, architects these days are putting recessed lighting in stairways but these are sometimes hard to maintain once the bulb has burned out.  Although there are some instruments designed to aid this problem, some bulbs will break off in the light fitting and then the householder has a major task ahead trying to get to the fitting to sort it out.  The only good place to use cans on a stairway is on a landing area so that ladders can be used safely to get to the fitting. 

On the rest of the stairway, lights that sit at the side of the stairs, or under each step on an open stairway, is probably the ideal solution to bringing in decorative lights that are easy to maintain. 

Another great idea for stairwells is to use the wall for displaying family photographs and mixing in lighting features at the same time.  Start at the bottom with baby photos and then proceed up the stairs with photos showing the progression through life.  This is a cool way to show family history, light the stairs and have a cool decorative feature all in one place.  Intersperse the photos with a few mirrors along the way and double the light thrown back into what is normally a dull area.