Top Tips for Lighting a Restaurant
Great design and subtle, imaginative lighting differentiates a successful Restaurant.
Creating the right ambience as people enter a restaurant is as important as the quality of the food! First impressions count. Creating an environment that is warm and inviting inspires confidence.
The role of lighting in a restaurant or hospitality venue is vital to the design ethos, a bright restaurant often reflects the speed at which food is consumed whereas something gentler inspires a more relaxed contemplative mood, where the food is considered not rushed.
Blinds can play a vital role in controlling glare, however, your window to the street is often your calling card to passing traffic particularly if the lighting is inspired and eye catching. An innovative interior lighting scheme can act as a lighthouse to the outside world. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Lighting that is dynamic and varied will create different moods for different times of the day. Utilising smart controls will ensure that your lighting scheme is not left to the staff to control but will automatically respond to varying natural light levels and different times of the day.
Great lighting need not cost the earth, however, it is often overlooked when considering initial budgets. The right choice of statement lamp or lumiere will often define a space and the experience creating a more memorable dining experience.
Each area of the restaurant will require differing volumes of light to suit the tasks at hand. The ambience you create in a meet, greet and waiting area can be low key so that you look upon the theatre of the dining experience. An open kitchen will need care and consideration, bright glare free lighting that is flattering to both the chefs and the food.
A variety of lighting techniques are used for restaurants, from soft coffer ceilings and shadow gaps to more dramatic theatrical and decorative elements . Spotlights, if any, for task lighting onto tables is popular but should be kept as discrete as possible.
Think about the context and views. If you want to embrace a softer coastal aesthetic to inspire the lighting concept, as we did for the award winning Rocksalt Restaurant in Folkestone, then use natural materials for the pendants and leave the ceiling almost untouched in an effort to keep to a clean and minimal look.
Keep exterior lighting subtle with gentle accentuation of landmarks so that the eye can be drawn through the glazing at night and focus on the view beyond.