3 Keys to Lighting your Restaurant
1. Mapping Hotspots
Restaurants just like any other commercial space have their hotspots, a space wherein most customer facing activities take place. From the main dining room, the bar, waiting area, and even pathways to the bathroom, each of these would be considered a hotspot that not only needs to be properly illuminated, but also adds to the ambience in a way that adequately represents your brand.
Once these hotspots have been outlined, it is important to define each one’s purpose. This will enable you to fully understand which type of lighting needs to be utilized for each specific hotspot. Additionally this will also help you in terms of constructing seamless transitions between spaces so your customer’s don’t get distracted.
2. Layer your Lighting
After you’ve successfully been able to map your hotspots, it's time to choose whether task, ambient or accent lighting is suitable for a specific section. The bar area for example uses a combination of accent and task lighting, accent lighting to highlight the backdrop, usually where the bottles are kept on display. This is then followed by beam-focused task lights in the area immediately behind the bar.
The task lighting is important here as it allows the bar-staff to adequately see what they’re doing, thus ensuring that restaurants quality standards have been met. It also mitigates any potential errors made when it comes to taking payment from the customer.
On and around the tables would require a combination of ambient and task lighting. The ambience of a restaurant is always important, and is usually a part of the criteria used by diners when it comes to evaluating their overall dining experience. Ambient lighting allows for the most creativity as the only main no-no would be to not make it too overpowering.
The task lighting here is typically very similar to that found in the bar lighting, however it's usually slightly dimmer with a higher CRI. Dimness is meant to keep the diner’s focused on their table and immediate surroundings. The higher CRI allows for the customer’s to see what's on their plate more vividly. We know that for a restaurant, their food is their art, and it's important to create an environment most conducive for that art to shine.
3. Pay Attention to Transitional Spaces
The spaces between the layers of your lights can oftentimes be just as important as the spaces themselves. It is important to establish these spaces correctly to ensure one space’s purpose does not interfere with the other. And lastly the transition spaces as a whole will contribute to the overall ambience of the restaurant, so it is important to spend enough time making sure these are clean and tidy.