Proper lighting can add ambiance to the restaurant’s dining area, but if ignored can ruin customers’ dining experience. Restaurant lighting falls under three main categories.
- Ambient lighting – Overhead fixtures allowing people to move and see around with ease.
- Task lighting – Staff and customers can perform functions that need intense brightness like food preparation or reading a menu.
- Accent lighting – It is a category that adds drama to space. For example, lanterns on the outdoor patio are accent lighting during daytime but ambient lighting during nighttime, when the sunlight is not available.
How restaurant lighting can impact the establishment’s ambiance?
It creates a candid dinner environment, where the guests feel relaxed and romantic. These are overhead fixtures including dimmers and plenty of accent lighting. Low lighting creates intimacy making the customers feel more isolated from other diners in the room.
Bright lighting offers more stimulation than low lighting fixtures. Your guests stay awake and alert. They are great for high-energy establishments like cafes, smoothie shops, etc. It can be attained with huge windows, which allow natural light or use bright overhead light fixtures.
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How to light a restaurant?
Lighting your establishment will need you to determine the mood you desire to create across the day. If you operate a diner and the majority of your sales is covered with the morning rush then the lighting type will differ from that of a romantic dining restaurant. If multiple meals are offered then consider adjustable lighting to cover lunch, brunch, and dinner.
- Breakfast – Install bright lights for breakfast because in the morning guests need stimulation to stay alert and enjoy a cup of coffee.
- Lunch – Moderate lighting is good for lunchtime but in fast food restaurant high lighting is appropriate as customers will not sit down to eat but order something quick.
- Dinner – For diner, the establishment has to have a relaxing ambiance. It is a time when customers determine to eat out in a relaxed environment after a hectic day. In a relaxed setting, the guests linger more, so spend more on their food, desserts, or beverages.
Popular restaurant light fixtures
- Pendant lights – Hangs down over tables, countertops, islands, bars, and host areas. Great as task lighting for customers to read the menu.
- Chandeliers – Hangs down and grabs attention in the dining room or entranceway. It offers practicality and elegance.
- Wall lamps – Accent lighting attached to the walls. Used to flank the mirrors or artwork.
- LED lighting – Energy-efficient options for bars and restaurants not looking for decorative or accent lightings. They are directional and concentrate on illuminating a single specific space.
- Recessed lighting – These are great for task or ambient lighting as they send narrow bands of brightness downwards. Recessed lighting fixtures are flushed to the ceiling.
Utility lighting, track lighting, ceiling fan lights, etc. are also used in restaurants. Lighting can make a difference, so choose proper light fixtures!