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Restaurant Lighting Design Across The UK

Lighting sets the mood of your restaurant

Restaurant Lighting Design

Restaurant lighting has a huge impact on the experience of each and every person who dine there. Lighting in restaurants serves a number of purposes. Firstly, it must enhance the mood within your restaurant whilst being functional enough for your staff to work in, without interfering with the ambience. Effective illumination in a restaurant will embody the design theme and help to convey a positive impression of the space.

A truly great restaurant should have it’s own personality and lighting is a huge part of that. To create the correct lighting design certain considerations must be taken into account. Factors such as light levels and how the layout of a restaurant can affect this, lighting temperature for creating the correct aesthetic and feel, correct use of accent lighting and outdoor lighting to portray your restaurant to every potentially passing customer.

Light Levels & Restaurant Layout

The layout of a restaurant is crucial to creating the perfect light design. Does your restaurant emphasise the bar? Do you have an open kitchen for diners to see into? Each different areas will have different lighting requirements at different times of the day. Lighting around the bar area will differ to that of the kitchen or over the diners’ tables. The varied range of light levels must be considered to keep the desired ambience of your restaurant so diners have the best experience possible. Often in restaurants it is common for layout to change. With changes in layout consider incorporating some flexible lighting solutions in your restaurant. Track lighting, lights with extendable arms and adjustable pendants will help cater for these changes.

Restaurant Lighting Temperature & Controls

Most restaurants seek to create an intimate feel. We all know how romantic dining by candlelight is – part of the reason why you can nearly guarantee candlelight in most restaurants for evening service. The warmth of a candle is impossible to replicate. With this in mind, any artificial light should be very warm. A recommendation for light temperature would be between 2200k – 2400k to compliment any natural light source whilst maintaining a sense of ambience. Lighting control systems are also a crucial aspect for safety and for ensuring that different moods are created. Creating a light, bright work environment within the kitchen, sufficient lighting for employees to work in a safe environment without ruining the dining experience for customers is all required from the light design of the restaurant. This can be achieved by Installing lights that are dimmable and direct light up towards the ceiling will ensure a safe work environment without damaging the feel of the restaurant experience. It’s also important to consider the change of natural light from daytime service to evening service. As day turns to night, dimming light helps to soften the focus within a room increasing the sense of atmosphere. The transition time between light scenes is also important. With good control systems it is possible to lengthen the transition between lighting scenes to around 30 seconds, so the change is unnoticeable to diners, enhancing their experience further.

Using Accent Lighting to Highlight Features

The use of accent lighting to highlight your restaurants special features is a powerful and effective tool. Examples would include the use of directional lighting and up-lighters to highlight points of interest like coving, architectural features, artwork and so on. This can also make a smaller space appear bigger by illuminating dark corners and crevices. However, be cautious of glare when choosing feature lighting for objects like glass picture frames. Alongside other lighting principals such as task and ambient lighting you will want to evenly distribute light to reduce glare.

Outdoor Restaurant Lighting

Proper lighting outside definitely does add beauty, charm to the building and alerts potential customers that you are open for business. Outdoor area will act as an advertisement for your restaurant. Outdoor lights can highlight signs, menus and interesting architectural details, and create an overall welcoming ambience. Not to mention the importance for outdoor lighting as a source of ambient lighting. You need your entranceways, signs and parking areas to be well lit for the purpose of highlighting, providing illumination to avoid accidents and generating a sense of security. What you need to consider is the placement, and the degree of intensity and the style of your fixtures remain in harmony with the atmosphere.

Lighting for Different Times of Day

When deciding how to light your establishment, keep in mind what type of mood you want your lighting to create throughout the day. What are your restaurant’s hours of operation? If you run a diner or run breakfast service and generate most of your sales during the morning rush, you won’t be using the same type of lighting that a romantic fine dining restaurant would. And if you run a business that’s open for multiple meals, it could be worth it to adjust your lighting for your brunch, lunch, dinner, or other meal services. For breakfast bright lighting should be used for meal services earlier in the day. In the morning, customers need bright light to wake up and read their newspapers as they enjoy their coffee.

The best lighting level would be in the region of 5000k as it will help to stimulate waking customers but is still not too much to strain the eyes. Lunchtime services should have moderate lighting. Higher lighting levels are especially good for fast food restaurants, where people won’t be sitting down to eat, but they are grabbing something quickly instead. Lighting can even help create faster turnover rates and flow customers in and out more quickly, so keep this in mind if you’d like your busiest meal service to move faster. However if your restaurant is looking to have a more traditional lunch service – maybe afternoon tea – then we would suggest more moderate lighting.

Establishments that do most of their sales during dinner services typically try to have a more relaxing atmosphere, regardless of whether it’s a casual or upscale restaurant. Dinnertime is the most popular time to go out to eat, since customers can sit back and relax after their day. For the lighting during this service you will want to consider previously mentioned points using layers of light to create a relaxed ambience.

At Asco Lights we specialise in restaurant lighting design, with multiple successful projects that you can take a look at through our portfolio page. Please do feel free to get in touch if you want help with any commercial or residential lighting projects.

What kind of projects we get involved in.

With our really flexible approach, we work on a wide range of projects from small one-room residential designs to multi million pound home designs. Other projects include large commercial developments to small religious buildings, restaurants and hotels.

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What makes us different?

Technical Knowledge and Expertise

Our technical knowledge and expertise is crucial to the success of our projects. With loading schedules, product specifications, wiring runs and all required technical information. We also offer bespoke training packages for architects, interior designers, specifiers electricians and many others in the industry allowing us to be at the forefront of lighting. We work with partners for example lighting control and home automation companies allowing you the options to implement digital signage and control within your spaces. We have a fully interactive demonstrative showroom allowing you to fully understand our products and what we do as a company.

We work both nationally and internationally. Contact us and start your project

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