Bright idea for dimmed lighting: To make the most of your lighting install the highest-wattage lightbulb possible then dim it down to accommodate the mood and lighting needs. Consider putting dimmers on both overhead lighting and lamp lighting.
The light fixture should not be your only consideration — the type of lightbulb is equally important. Halogen compact fluorescent and LED bulbs come in a range of warm or cool hues. Much like the color of your walls the type of glow you want is mostly a personal decision. If your walls are covered in cooler tones you might want to warm them up with a lightbulb that casts a warm glow. Conversely you may want a cooler glow to brighten up a darker space.
Adding lights to stair risers is beneficial since it can be hazardous negotiating stairs especially at night. Staircases are often enclosed so light them from the sides or embed lights in the risers as a design element.