Restaurant lighting is about more than flooding the space with maximum wattage. The new energy regulations, and a new trend towards direct lighting and flexible LEDs, restaurateurs across the country are turning to smart lighting design.
A smart lighting design reduced energy usage, lowers operating costs, and enhances the atmosphere of your space. It gives you more control over your costs and your environment simply be redesigning the space you already have.
Designing with Light
What type of restaurant do you run? A neighborhood coffee shop? An exclusive steakhouse? A popular lunch shop? Whether your style is trendy and modern, or classically rustic, your lighting should match the mood.
In any space or style, restaurant lighting should always include basic elements:
- Working: A missing or burnt out light tells customers you either don’t care, or can’t afford to keep the lights on. That’s never a good sign.
- Controllable: Chances are, you don’t need the same lighting at 1PM as you do at 11PM, lights should be easily dimmable and able to control throughout the day so you’re not using more energy than you need at the time.
- Conducive: Your lights should work with your décor, not against them. This means eliminating glare against fixtures, walls, or accents.
- Accentuating: lights should be used to accent your best areas and draw the eye to those special areas of your restaurant that will draw customers in. This is usually the places where food is presented. Don’t waste time lighting up corners, ceilings, and floors when that is not the focal point of the space.
Once you have the basic lighting elements you can consider upgrading your lighting to enhance your space with special features your customers may not find anywhere else such as:
- Branded color lighting with LEDs
- Color changing lighting
- Occupancy sensors, daylight controls and automated lighting shift regulators
Types of Restaurant Lighting
There are three main type of restaurant lighting. Of course, each restaurant will have its own variation, but including each of these three elements gives you a good start to be sure your space is beautifully layered in light.
Overall Ambient Lighting
This is your foundation lighting. It is the lighting that fills the space. It’s usually nothing special. Typical ceiling lights, wall lighting, or rail lighting that is simply there to light up the space. It’s not meant to be particularly unique or beautiful, ambient lighting is purely functional so your customers and employees aren’t walking around in the dark.
Accent light is added next to call attention to the special touches that make your space unique. Accent lighting draws the eye to design elements, beautiful architectural features, art pieces on the wall, or other interesting elements that make your restaurant unique. Accent lights are usually brighter, and more direct lighting on a particular area, like a spotlight.
Themed lighting has less to do with actually lighting up the space and more to do with creating a brand or theme. This type of lighting adds interest to the space and add layers of design. Themed lighting may include wall lights, pendants, chandeliers, sconces, etc. This is the last layer of lighting, but is also the most important because it’s often when guests will remember once they leave and should be carefully chosen.
Designing with RCLED
If you’re ready to transform your space, our team can help you get there. RLCLED works with you to understand your vision and your strategy and then we make it come to light. As a partner in brand lighting, we understand how to create a system that saves you money without sacrificing quality.
Transitioning to LED lighting doesn’t mean you have to completely transform your current lighting design. In many cases, your existing light can be retrofitted with low-voltage LED alternative.
Give us a call to see how you could be seeing your space in a whole new light.
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