As you probably know, restaurants are usually a place for socialising with friends and family as you enjoy a nice meal prepared by a chef while you sit back and relax.
So lighting in a restaurant can be very important as when customers walk in they want to be greeted by a feeling of warmth and welcoming.
This can be done by staff with the help of experienced lighting designers.
The height of the ceiling and walls can be important as if the lights are too high up the Watts required to power the lamp must be high so the light can have the right intensity of light on the floor. However if a lamp is higher, the area on the floor that the light covers will be larger as the spread of the light will be greater.
The height of a ceiling lamp cannot be too high as it will create ‘hotspots’ on the ceiling, high intensity’s of light above the light that stand out to the eye.
Similarly to ceiling lights, wall lights can also create ‘hotspots’ up the wall and on the ceiling above so it’s not just the height of the ceiling lights that lighting designed need to worry about. As well as ceiling lamps, the higher up a wall lamp is the higher the Wattage needed to power to bulb and the bigger the area of floor the lamp will cover.
Unwanted light can be a big problem when designing a restaurant as light from the kitchen can flood into the dining area where it can ruin the whole feel of the restaurant.
A way to combat this is to dim the lights in the kitchen whenever lighting in the dining area is also dimmed. This can keep the light from the kitchen, in the kitchen. Good architecture can also solve this problem, if a short corridor is between the kitchen and the dining area and lighting that escapes from the kitchen will not pass through the second set of doors at the end of the corridor.
Lighting should also be directed to the main room features almost like a spotlight to make the features stand out, something like a piano stand that may not always be in constant use can use directed lighting so when in use it stands out more as it’s under more intense lighting but when not in use it have the same intensity to the rest of the room.
Pictures can also be under more intense light by a wall lamp so they are more visible opposed to the rest of the room. However something to consider when using more intense light to highlight a room feature is if the object is reflective from the light. Glare can ruin a feel of a room, glare stands out so if/when a customer notices it they won’t forget it for the whole visit potentially ruining their experience at the restaurant.
The layout of a restaurant can regularly change so having lighting that can be adjusted in the future if a feature changes it’s placement can be great as if the lighting is fixed and a feature changes place you would have to hire someone to move the lighting and consult the lighting designed to fix problems caused by moving the lighting.
The first thing most people see about a restaurant is the outside appearance, so if the outside looks a little outdated, no matter what the inside looks like, a customer can be put off completely as they may think that this restaurant does not have the services they require when in fact it may.
Like inside of the restaurant, lights outside can be used to highlight parts of the building that that you want your customers to see. The name and signs of the restaurant may want to really stand out so customers can see the name of the restaurant and talk about it with family and friends spreading the word about your restaurant so that the reputation will increase.
Signage such as directions to the entrance and car parks will be great to highlight as getting around a restaurant quicker can save time so that the customer may spend more time inside your restaurant buying food and drinks.
Lastly for lighting outside the restaurant, the lights can be used to feature unique architectural designs that make the building unique and recognisable.
Another kind of outdoor lighting is the beer garden outside of some restaurants. This area is not visited by everyone in the restaurant but the select few that do visit this area want to feel still feel welcome that this is still part of the restaurant and they are welcome here. Decorative lighting outside can be a good way to show that this part of the restaurant is still open to the public and is planned to be used by customers.
Decorative lighting can also be used indoors as a filler for areas of the restaurant that is not occupied by anything. Like a plant they fill in the area with something that doesn’t look too unusual but fills in the space with something that doesn’t stand out compared to the rest of the restaurant.
With all of these lighting features customers can feel welcome at this restaurant and want to come back again as they enjoy the whole atmosphere of socialising and eating here.