Restaurant owners have a lot on their minds, and thinking about lighting is probably not very high on their priority list. Even so, that’s an oversight, as lighting designs in a restaurant can make or break the business, and you should pay special attention to it. Lighting should not only be functional, but it should also make the ambiance more inviting. If you’re looking for inspiration for lighting design that will make your restaurant more appealing, you’ve come to the right place.
Create different zones
There’s one thing you should always keep in mind: there should be different “zones” in your restaurant and you shouldn’t have the same lighting throughout the space. People should be able to read their menus without having to turn on flashlights on their phones, but they shouldn’t feel like they’re eating in an airport. By creating different zones in your restaurant, you will give your interior a boutique-like feeling, so feel free to mix different types and styles of fixtures.
Light pollution under control
There are always going to be some sources of light that could undo all of your careful planning and hard work. Light pollution comes from the outside, so all of your windows should have shades to keep the harsh Australian sun out during warm seasons. It’s not just the outside world – overly bright light seeping from the kitchen or the hallway can ruin the mood for people trying to have a romantic dinner. Make sure there are shades on your windows, kitchen walls should be painted with non-glossy paint, and shade any light bulbs that can be seen from the tables.
Tread carefully with LED
LED lights in restaurants are a great business move, as you will be able to save a lot of money in the long run. Still, you should be careful when replacing your current lighting with LED, and you should never do it on your own, especially if you don’t want to run afoul of harsh Australian laws that prohibit unlicensed people from tampering with electrical installations. If you’re planning on replacing your lighting fixtures, you should contact a licensed electrician in Inner West to handle all the wiring work. You don’t want to put anyone in danger by doing the work on your own or having someone inexperienced do it for you.
Mind the décor of the place
You should be mindful of the décor in your restaurant, as light can be reflected on different surfaces too. You can use this to your advantage and manipulate reflected and diffused light to give your restaurant illumination that’s inviting and comforting. Walls, tabletops, countertops, as well as floors will reflect the light, so keep them light-colored to create a calming and enjoyable environment for your guests. Dark wood and paper will absorb light so you might need stronger light if you have darker décor in mind. You don’t need more light – more surfaces to diffuse the light will do the trick.
Focus on contrast
Functional lighting means being able to provide brightly lit areas as well as areas with softer light in the same space. Balancing the amount of light in an area will help avoid eye strain and glare, and you can do this by playing with surfaces and colors. You want to avoid the fast-food restaurant feel – their spaces are always brightly and evenly lit, which might be functional but it’s no enjoyable. Create contrast in your restaurant between lighter and darker spaces without causing eye strain – the light should be soft and there should be plenty of light-color surfaces to reflect the light.
Keep it functional
We already mentioned that your guests should be able to read the menu without the help of their phones and that they should see the food on their plates clearly. Even though the atmosphere is important, you should never lose sight of functionality either. You should test the lighting in your restaurant several times throughout the day to make sure everything is ok in the morning, evening, and night. Remember that “atmospheric” can also be taken too far if you’re not careful.
People’s dining experience in your restaurant is not just about the food and the service, but the atmosphere of the place as well. You can create a wonderful ambiance in your restaurant by picking the right lighting, and remembering that, while visibility is important, you should never sacrifice comfort. Making the place comfortable and inviting should be high on your priority list, and you can do that by experimenting with the lighting.