Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Restaurant Lighting: Tips and Recommendations

Right illumination can create any mood anywhere. A properly placed light in a restaurant can add warmth and hospitality, letting your guests feel well and comfortable. At the same time, light can add solemnity and even officiality - depending on how you position your restaurant in general or in a certain situation.

General Concept of Restaurant Lighting

What is the goal of the proper lighting in general, and the restaurant lighting in particular? Speaking of high-quality lighting, we usually mean the following:

1. Visibility, safety, and convenience for staff and guests;

2. Perception of space and forms. With the help of light, you can make a large cold room cozy, and a small one - more spacious, objects can be visually zoomed in and distanced with the help of a backlight;

3. Color transfer. It is very important! Not to mention the decor of restaurants, but the color of dishes, the right color, which the cook so diligently seeks to achieve, the color that should arouse the appetite must be conveyed without distortion;

4. Atmosphere. This is an elusive feature that makes some restaurants successful, and others - boring.

The atmosphere at least on 50% depends on the lighting of the restaurant.
It should be considered that light plays an important role for sense organs, acting not only in direct way. For example, lack of light exacerbates the sense of touch; the brain strengthens this feeling due to lack of incoming information - that's why we like to eat delicious dishes in a soft, muted light. However, it is important not to overdo it with mystery, because a person should not guess what he picked up with a fork, and therefore do not use dim light instead of soft light.

Lamps for Restaurant Lighting

Lamps for lighting restaurant do different functions: general lighting, lighting of decorative elements, and the creation of special effects.

General lighting creates a basic level of illumination of the whole space. It is achieved in various ways: built-in lamps, indirect (masked) lighting, where the lamp itself is hidden, and the surface of the wall or ceiling becomes a source of light or a combination of these methods. The basic lighting for a restaurant should be uniform. Large shaded areas are inadmissible, in principle, there should not be any shadows at all – shaded areas should be perceived as dimly highlighted areas.

Additional lighting is directed streams of light, illumination of architectural elements, sculptures, and art objects. The backlight should be brighter than the general, basic lighting.

Decorative lamps, such as chandeliers, are used to designate a spatial and visual hierarchy. It is desirable that they are of the same type, and, of course, in harmony with the general style. Decorative lamps can create iridescent streams of light, or cozy light spots, indicating individual spaces in a common room.

An interesting solution will be elegant table lamps. Sometimes electric lighting is supplemented with candles for this purpose - they create the impression of a personal, intimate space between two people. But a table lamp or a small wall lamp can cope with this task even better, and with give additional calmness for the staff. In addition, all the same, the candlelight is not enough for the normal lighting of dishes, lamps will deal with it much better, after all, the main thing that people come to your restaurant is to eat, and not just look at each other's eyes, is not it true. Not to mention the fact that in a cozy company of people might be more than two persons.

It is strongly not recommended to use ceiling neon and fluorescent lighting, no matter how beautiful they are, their cold ultra bright light suits bathrooms, bus stations, operating rooms, banks, but not restaurants or any premises. The cold light changes the color of dishes; they acquire deadly pale or dark blue shades and kill appetite.

Level of Lighting for Restaurants

The level of lighting should vary from area to area, depending on the purpose of the room. Hall, saloons, bars, and kitchens - each of the areas has its own requirements for lighting. The light should help to use the space, whether it is a convenient menu browsing or enjoying a night cocktail at the bar. The correct change in the level of illumination can imperceptibly change the mood and even the level of energy when moving through the various zones of the restaurant.

Lighting Control

Lighting control is a key factor in the rational use of light, in addition, shadows and lightning variations create the unique atmosphere.

For lighting to be relevant at any time of the day and year, it is recommended to use dimmers (light regulators), they control the intensity of lighting depending on the level of natural light, and in addition, they can create a different mood. Unfortunately, dimmers reduce the lifespan of lamps, so use them is desirable only in main areas, for example, in basic lighting.

The automated control system allows you to gently flow around the times of day, and programming coverage of the "scene" lighting, central, guest space of the restaurant. The time between lunch, dinner, and late at night is gently and imperceptibly washed away, contributing to the relaxation of people, the desire to stay in a pleasant environment for longer. In addition, such management is great to save electricity.

Energy Saving and Lighting Standards

There are certain energy saving and lighting standards for public premises, which must be taken into account at the stage of designing a restaurant lighting project. Here one cannot do without awareness and technical knowledge regarding modern light sources. When developing the concept of lighting, these and other points are taken into account.

Designer can try several different types of illumination, choosing a compatibility between their color, color rendering capabilities, and brightness to create a single and understandable visual environment that will ideally perform its functions in accordance with the restaurant concept. It is important to see and compare the real patterns of lamps and their combination in the design. Decisions about where and how to spend each watt can be a difficult task, but an important step in the design process.


The ultimate goal of a well-thought-out atmosphere of any restaurant, either an elite one or quiet family establishment is to provide a cozy environment in which guests can enjoy food and be satisfied in every way. Lighting is an important component of the overall aesthetic design of any restaurant and an important tool in achieving this goal.