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Key tips to light up a restaurant

14 Sep 2022 // by Iván Meana

When choosing a restaurant, customers look at issues such as the menu, the service or the location, but, in addition, the lighting in a restaurant is a determining factor in the comfort of users and the quality of their visit experience...

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The lighting in a restaurant has a direct influence on the atmosphere that is created, and above all on the sensation that the clients have when they spend their time there. Being, moreover, a place of leisure where people go to relax, relax and disconnect, having adequate lighting that conveys calm can be decisive in getting users to choose and recommend this restaurant and not another.


Do you want to know how to use lighting in a restaurant to achieve an attractive, comfortable, and welcoming space? Here are some tips to achieve it.



What type of lighting to use in a restaurant?

When we talk about the general lighting of a restaurant, the best is to use indirect lighting with LED strips that can create a cozy and discreet atmosphere. However, the lighting in a restaurant can vary depending on the type of restaurant it is (family, elegant, etc.) and the areas it has, and there is a basic principle that must be respected in all of them to avoid overloaded environments: use lighting only and exclusively where it is needed.


Sometimes, we tend to think that the more lighting, the nicer and more attractive space is, but this is far from the truth. Lighting has to fulfill a decorative function, yes, but its main purpose is to illuminate, and using lights in areas where they are not necessary can create confusing sensations.


How to illuminate each area of a restaurant?

A restaurant has different spaces, and although all of them will be perceived by customers, they do not have the same relevance in the experience they have.


In this sense, the illumination of a restaurant has to take into account mainly the following zones:


the tables 
the bar 
The passage areas 
The entrance and waiting area
the bathroom
the exteriors


Illumination of the area of tables in a restaurant

The tables must be beautiful and attractive at all times, whether there are diners or not, because it is not only about the experience that customers have, but also about the attractiveness of the place, inviting them to stay. In this area, the most important thing is to avoid over-lit spots and others where shadows are created.


In this sense, the most recommendable is to use recessed lights, such as FARO Barcelona's Deep model, perfect for illuminating a restaurant in the table area. It is a light that is completely integrated into the support and has three different degrees of opening, greatly increasing the lighting comfort of the place and adapting to each type of table.


Another equally valid option is to use surface luminaires such as the Stan model, always with the possibility of orienting them towards different points, since the tables in a restaurant tend to move from place to place with a certain frequency. Precisely for this reason, in the Lighting of a restaurant, the pendant lights are recommended only for those places where the tables are fixed in one place.


Lighting in the bar area

As for the bar, this is another area that must also be pleasant and attractive to customers. If there is a bar top, it is advisable to use recessed lights as well, although in this case smaller models, since the lights will be closer to the users. The Fox recessed model is undoubtedly a perfect angle light to illuminate this area and go unnoticed.


If, on the other hand, you do not have a bar top, one option is to use suspension lights with general lighting or direct lighting, depending on the type of lighting you want for this area.


If you also want to highlight the lower part of the bar, it is possible to install a profile with a strip of LEDs recessed underneath the ceiling with which you will achieve an original and striking effect.



Illumination of passageways and entrance areas

The lighting of a restaurant has to be coherent in all the zones so that in the passage areas the best thing is to follow the same style and philosophy as in the rest of the restaurant, but with wider opening angles and lower wattages.


As for the entrance and waiting area, together with the façade, it is the first that customers will see, so the lighting has to be carefully planned to invite them to come in and stay and to make the first sensations they perceive of the restaurant pleasant. In this area is where the light has to be more bright than in the rest of the restaurant since it has to indicate to the clients that it is here where they have to go to be attended.


Equally, to signalize correctly the restaurant with illumination in its façade is of vital importance not only because it invites them to enter, but also so that they can find it easily.


Bathroom lighting

In addition, there are other areas such as the bathrooms that are often undervalued, but having nice and elegant bathrooms is also the key to relate the restaurant as a clean, modern, and cared for place. For this reason, the lighting has to be arranged in such a way that it is functional but also accompanies the design and makes it pleasant and attractive.


The lighting of outdoor areas

The exteriors, on the other hand, are places in which to relax and spend time, and where the lighting can change a lot. In spaces of this type, such as terraces, the lighting will vary at each point such as passage areas, lighting on the walls, or in vegetation, and it is also advisable to use discreet ornamental lights that create a proper and welcoming atmosphere and recessed in the floor that emphasizes the path.



Issues to take into account in the lighting of a restaurant.


In a restaurant, there must be different levels of lighting adapted to each specific zone. While one area is intended for seating and enjoyment, another has the function of welcoming people and so it changes at each point of the restaurant. The important thing is to use different intensities according to each space to guide customers and make them feel comfortable at every moment of the whole experience.


In this sense, an important issue in the lighting of a restaurant is also to have the possibility of creating different scenes for each moment. The lighting should not be the same at lunch as at dinner, so it is necessary to have different scenes for each part of the day and especially bearing in mind the atmosphere that you want to create.


Finally, one of the most important factors in the lighting of a restaurant is the CRI of the lights. It is important to use lights with a CRI above 80 to ensure not only that the colors of the interior design stand out as planned, but also to make sure that the dishes remain desirable and show their natural colors and textures.

Adjusting the lighting in a restaurant.

As in any other space, the lighting in a restaurant changes throughout the day, so it is necessary to combine and regulate the lights to adapt to each moment.


To achieve this adaptation to each zone and at each specific time of the day, it is no longer necessary to use complicated dimming systems with special wiring. With the Casambi home automation system all this is much easier for several reasons: 

  • It does not need an additional electrical installation.
  • The lights can be regulated from a smartphone or tablet.
  • You can create scenes and groups of lights for each moment.
  • You can change the configuration without the need to go to a technician.
  • You can add new lights at any time.

Using a lighting dimming system can also mean an important energy-saving so that you are not only betting for better comfort and convenience in the restaurant, but also for sustainability.


Why is lighting important in a restaurant?

When customers go to a restaurant, they are choosing this place to spend their free time, and this only happens if they feel comfortable, relaxed, and in an atmosphere that invites them to spend time with friends or family.


For this reason, the lighting in a restaurant is essential.

Although it is something that people do not usually notice at first, it is something that totally conditions the sensations that this space can transmit through the lighting comfort and an attractive design.


In the same way that the lighting of a hospital does not invite to spend time resting in it, the lighting of a restaurant has to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where the comfort and well-being of the clients is the first priority.


At FARO Barcelona, we know that the lighting of a restaurant not only influences its architecture and interior design but also directly influences its success. Therefore, we put at your service our experience and knowledge, so that your architectural or interior design project in a restaurant has the best aesthetic and functional results. Do not hesitate to contact us!