I have never tried, but the thought of using pipe cleaners spray painted silver (or color you want for hand rail). They can be curved into the spiral for the staircase rather easily and evenly. You may need to look and see if there are different thicknesses and/or clean off the fuzz.
Would love to see your lighthouse - what waters does it protect?
I assume you want a rolled pipe handrail to go around the light house. If that is the case,I have used styrene rounds from evergreen in diameters of .020 t0o 060 inches thick. You can roll them with your fingers and use the material in straight lengths for the posts.
Many thanks to all. Out of all those suggestions will get something to work. I forgot about plastruct (Duh!)
Anyway onward and upward. Someone asked about what I am modelling. The Charleston Light aka Sullivan's Island lighthouse. Marks the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Don't know how to enclose pictures but here is a link to the prototype. https://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=334
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