The back entrance to my new apartment has a single light switch at the top of a very long staircase.
Above is a photo of the staircase with the light on. Below is what the staircase looks like from the same point when the light is off.
This arrangement would typically have a 3-way electric switch so you don't need to walk up or down the stairs in the dark.
I built a mechanical 3-way switch which allows you to turn the light on and off from the bottom of the stairs by pulling on some wires. I eventually plan to replace the cereal-box cardboard gears with something sturdier and make an actual switch at the bottom end.