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I've seen some that would easily qualify and I've seen some that wouldn't come close. Do they illuminate every tread to a reasonable degree? 

Whatever the light is, it's got to be controlled from both the top and the bottom. You shouldn't have one light controlled from the bottom and another from the top. 

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Well, if it's newer and you want specificity, the IRC requirements are pretty clearly spelled out. 

R303.6 Stairway illumination. All interior and exterior stairways shall be provided with a means to illuminate the stairs, including the landings and treads. Interior stairways shall be provided with an artificial light source located in the immediate vicinity of each landing of the stairway. For interior stairs the artificial light sources shall be capable of illuminating treads and landings to levels not less than 1 foot-candle (11 lux) measured at the center of treads and landings. Exterior stairways shall be provided with an artificial light source located in the immediate vicinity of the top landing of the stairway. Exterior stairways providing access to a basement from the outside grade level shall be provided with an artificial light source located in the immediate vicinity of the bottom landing of the stairway.

Exception: An artificial light source is not required at the top and bottom landing, provided an artificial light source is located directly over each stairway section.

R303.6.1 Light activation. Where lighting outlets are installed in interior stairways, there shall be a wall switch at each floor level to control the lighting outlet where the stairway has six or more risers. The illumination of exterior stairways shall be controlled from inside the dwelling unit.

Exception: Lights that are continuously illuminated or automatically controlled.

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