LED lights recessed into stair risers

LED strip lights set into stair risers.

Recently completed project envolved lighting up a staircase with LED striplights.

Staircase with handrail and lights recessed into stair risers

LED strip lights set into stair risers.

In addition to using overhead lights such as hanging pendant light or recessed downlights, our client wanted the stairs to illuminate themselves. We specified and supplied LED strip lighting plus all components to complete the installation.

This project envolved:

  • 16 metres (with some offcuts) of LED 3528 9.6 watt per metre, 120 LEDs per metre ribbon.
  • 22 metres of aluminium channel
  • two 12 volt 80watt dimmable LED power supplies
  • 25 metres of low voltage cable.

LED Ribbon for strip lights.

We have covered this amazingly versatile product in our previous post. This time we specified and supplied 12 Volt ribbon LED ribbon for the following reasons: We specified and supplied flexible 12 Volt 9.6 Watt per metre LED strip. 3528 LED strip is easy to work with, which cuts down installation time reducing overall cost. If you would like to find out more about LED strip lighting,

  • Distance from the LED power supply to the LED striplight is fairly short.
  • Commonality: We wanted to ensure that the ribbon was easily replaceable, meaning that homeowner would have no trouble finding replacement LED striplights or power supplies years down the track. 12 Volt led striplighting is truly universal and widely accepted industry standard for low voltage and LED lighting.
Cutting LED ribbon with scissors at pre-set soldering points

LED strip lighting can be made to almost any size as LED ribbon is flexible in application and not difficult to work with.

LED Drivers

We selected dimmable 12 Volt 80 Watt LED drivers  PSHLA-12V-80W from Task Lighting for their ruggedness, good size terminals to satisfy the electrician and overall good performance.

  • Due to the location of the LED power supplies (inside) IP rating was not a concern.  Ingress Protection IP20 was sufficient for this installation.
  • The client required dimming so selecting a good dimmable driver was a must.
12 Volt 80 Watt LED Driver from Task Lighting

PSHLA_12V_80W LED driver from Task Lighting

Input:180-240VAC 50-60Hz, 0.45Amps, PF>0.95
Load: 79Watts Max
Output Current :6.67Amp
Efficiency :>0.80%
IP Rating: IP20
Dimming Range :5%-100% with min 70% load
Dimensions: L190 x W65 x H29

LED Profile

Aluminium profiles for led striplights:
Left Angled LED channel.
Middle: Recessed LED channel.
Right: Surface-mount LED channel.

LED strip light housing cross-section drawing

Special aluminium extrusion was installed into stair risers. Flooring contractors did a great job recessing the extrusion into flooring material covering stairs. Just take a look at the dimensions of the flanged aluminium profile. Metal channel acts as a heat sink drawing heat away from LED ribbon while the diffuser protects the flexible LED ribbon and diffuses the light, making the strip light pleasant to look at directly.

The channel can either be screwed onto the stairs with screw heads countersunk or simple glued into place using  Flexiset flooring adhesive used by flooring installers.


Final Result:

LED strip lights are sitting securely in stair risers, LED drivers hidden out of sight, correct dimmer installed. The lights switch on and off at the same time, dim properly and everything works as it should.

View from top of the stair case looking down. The stairs are illuminated from underneath using LED striplights recessed into stair risers.

LED strip lights illuminating stair case.


If you would like to find out more about LED strip lighting, read our 11 December 2018 article about LED striplights. 

We will aim to give more updates about LED lighting plus drivers and controls in the near future.  If you would like to ask questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available to share our knowledge from our lighting showroom in Albany, Auckland.

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