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8 Tips for Impeccable Restaurant Lighting


“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.”

-Joe Sparano

Restaurant lighting is one of the most important aspects of creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for your guests. Better lighting and interior design solutions in London can set the mood, highlight your décor, and even influence how much your customers spend.

London Restaurant Interior Lighting

Tip 1 : Consider the Overall Ambience You Want to Create

What kind of atmosphere do you want your restaurant to have? Do you want it to be romantic and intimate or casual and upbeat? The type of lighting you choose will play a big role in setting the mood. For a romantic and intimate atmosphere, consider using dim lighting with warm undertones. This will create a cosy and inviting space where your guests can relax and enjoy each other’s company.

For a more casual and upbeat atmosphere, you can use brighter lighting with cooler undertones. This will create a more energetic and lively space, which is ideal for restaurants that serve fast food or have a casual dining atmosphere. Implementing restaurant lighting fixtures that offer adjustable settings can enhance flexibility in achieving the desired ambiance.

For a Cafe interior design often creates a cosy and welcoming atmosphere, incorporating comfortable seating, warm lighting, and artistic decor to enhance the dining experience. Whereas for a Dining interior design, on the other hand, can vary widely, from upscale fine dining establishments that emphasize elegance and sophistication to casual dining spaces that prioritize functionality and comfort, all while reflecting the restaurant’s unique identity and theme.

Tip 2 : Utilise Different Range of Lighting Options

Don’t just rely on one type of light source to illuminate your restaurant. Instead, use a variety of light sources to create a more layered and nuanced lighting scheme.

For example, you could use ambient lighting. It is the type of illumination that produces a basic amount of light in an area. Overhead lighting such as chandeliers, recessed lights and fluorescent bulbs are usually used for this purpose. The ambient lighting should be bright enough for people to see and move freely, but not so bright that it’s overwhelming or disproportionate. Areas where humans perform certain tasks, e.g. read menus, eat or cook, are illuminated by task lighting.

Usually, lighting is provided by under cabinets, pendant lights or tracks. The illumination of the task at hand shall be sufficient to produce an appropriate level of light for that task, but should not be so blinding as to cause visual distortions or distress. In the case of special features in a space, e.g. artwork, design details or displays, ambient lighting is used to highlight them. It’s usually supplied with spotlights, track lights or wall sconces. To avoid creating an unbalanced or cluttered look, accent lighting should be used as little as possible.

Elegant Restaurant Lights in London

Tip 3 : Use Right Light Fixtures

The type of light fixtures you choose will also have a big impact on the overall ambience of your restaurant. For a more traditional look, consider using chandeliers, sconces, or pendant lights. For a more modern look, consider using track lighting, recessed lighting, or LED strip lighting.

For restaurants that are to create a traditional and refined atmosphere, chandeliers are an essential choice. They’ve got a broad range of styles, from sophisticated and luxurious to simple and elegant. Chandeliers can be placed to give a focal point in the dining room or hung over any of the sitting areas so that an atmosphere becomes more personal. Sconces are fixtures that can be placed on a wall to provide indirect lighting in your restaurant. For the creation of a more intimate atmosphere in casual restaurants, they are an excellent option.

Pendant lights, which may be used in both casual and sophisticated restaurants, are a wide range of lighting devices. They’re capable of creating a focal point and making your area interesting by hanging on to tables, bars or anywhere else. To highlight specific features of your establishment such as paintings or architectural details, you may also use sconces.

For restaurants to adapt their lighting to the light direction and intensity, track lighting is a good option. In particular areas of your restaurant, such as food displays or artwork, track lights may be used to highlight these areas. They may also be installed for the establishment of various lighting zones, e.g. brighter dining rooms and dimly lighted bar areas.

Tip 4 : Pay Attention To Light Intensity

The intensity of the light in your building is essential, as it can create a general mood and atmosphere at your restaurant lighting. A more vigorous and energetic atmosphere can be created by better lighting, while a dimmer light will make for an environment that is calmer and more intimate. It is essential to take into account these factors when choosing a suitable light intensity for the restaurant:

The types of restaurants you have: There are some types of restaurants, such as fast food and informal dining establishments, that enjoy better lighting. Dimming lighting is also used for other types of restaurants, such as fine dining restaurants and romantic restaurants.

The times of day: During the day, and at night, you could consider using more bright restaurant lighting. It will help set the mood for a calmer and more intimate evening.

Different areas of your dining rooms: You may want to vary the light intensity in a specific area of your restaurant. For instance, more light would be useful in the entrance or dining room as well as quieter lighting at bar and lounge areas.

The type of activities carried out in the restaurant: You could use bright lighting to host special events, for example, music or dancing. You may want to use dimmer lighting if your restaurant is more of a quiet place to relax and enjoy a meal.

London Dining Ambiance Lighting

Tip 5 : Accent Lighting

In several ways, lighting may make an impact on specific features of restaurant décor. For instance, accent lighting might be used to highlight an artwork on a wall or you could use task lighting to light up the display of food. To create various moods for the different areas of your restaurant, you can also take advantage of lights. To create a more dynamic atmosphere, for instance, brighter lighting may be used in the reception and eating areas to make it feel more relaxed and intimate, while dimmer lights can be applied throughout the bar or lounge area.

Lighting selection interior design plays a pivotal role in creating the preferred atmosphere and functionality of a space. For instance, Houzz is a platform that serves as a bridge, connecting homeowners with design professionals. Interior designers often leverage it not for inspiration but alsi to showcase their work and engage with potential clients.


Tip 6 : Use Light to Create Different Zones

Lighting can also be used to create different zones in your restaurant. For example, you could use brighter lighting in the dining area to create a more energetic and lively space and dimmer lighting in the bar area to create a more relaxed and intimate space. The dining room can be lit by a pendant light, chandelier or track light. For the illumination of the bar area, wall sconces, undercabinet lights or pendant lamps may be used.

To create a comfortable and entertaining space, you need to light the lounge area with dim lighting. For illumination of the lounge area, floor lamps, table lamps or wall sconces may be used. Create an even more intimate atmosphere by using dim lighting in the quiet dining room. To illuminate the Private Dining Room, it is possible to take advantage of chandeliers, pendant lights or wall sconces.

London Restaurant Decor Lighting

Tip 7 : Consider Natural Lighting

If your restaurant has a lot of natural light, take advantage of it! Natural light is a great way to create a bright and airy space. Also, it’s free and has a lot of medical benefits such as improvement in mood or energy levels. You must use large windows and skylights if your restaurant is equipped with a lot of natural light. Restaurant lighting can also complement natural light sources.

To take advantage of natural light and give the space a more pleasant feeling, you can also position mirrors strategically. For example, you could use skylights or light tubes to bring more natural light into the space. If your restaurant doesn’t have a lot of natural light, you can use artificial lighting to create the same effect.

You can use light-coloured walls and ceilings. Light tones are reflected in the room, making it feel more bright and airy. You can make the space easier to access with big light bulbs. These will allow more light into the room and increase its openness. Use more than one light source for illumination. Do not use a single light source to illuminate the room. To create a more structured and interesting lighting environment, use a combination of overhead lights, task lights as well and accent lights.

Tip 8 : Use Dimmers

Dimmers are a great way to control the intensity of your restaurant lighting and create different moods throughout the day. For example, you could use dimmers to brighten the lights during the day and dim them down at night to create a more romantic and intimate atmosphere.

Not all dimmers will be compatible with every light bulb, so make sure you check the compatibility before purchasing. The lighting of the restaurant’s space is an excellent way to enhance depth and dimension. For example, you can adjust the brightness of your ceiling light using a dimmer and then add task lights as well as complementary lighting for highlighting special restaurant lighting areas or features.


Modern Lighting Design for London Eateries

In conclusion, impeccable restaurant lighting is paramount for setting the desired ambience and enhancing the dining experience. A well-thought-out lighting scheme, which considers the type of atmosphere, multiple light sources, suitable fixtures, and light intensity, can make or break a restaurant’s ambience. Highlighting decor elements, creating distinct zones, harnessing natural light, and using dimmers contribute to a successful lighting strategy. Whether aiming for an intimate or lively atmosphere, restaurant lighting plays a pivotal role in welcoming guests and influencing their perceptions. It is a powerful tool in any restaurant owner’s arsenal, impacting the establishment’s aesthetic and overall success.

Brighten your dining experience with Oraanj Interior Design! Let us create the perfect ambiance for your restaurant through innovative lighting solutions. Elevate your space today.

Author: Daniel Subasinghe & Tejaswini Patil (Interior Designer)