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.
I’ll let you in on a little secret that designers use to get that photo-ready finish in a home: layers of light. Just like with clothing and accessories in fashion when creating your interior lighting scheme layering your light sources helps create a rich look that highlights great features and eliminates harsh shadowing. To do that you’ll need an approach that combines many different styles of fixtures and sources.
The most common use of up lighting is in a recessed cove around the top perimeter of a room. To maximize light output use a T5 fluorescent or LED light source that will wash the ceiling with light. This helps to create a brighter ceiling that bounces and reflects light throughout the space without glare. Combine this with lots of natural daylight to increase the overall light levels in a room.