Which is why restaurant lighting is arguably the most vital feature in restaurant design. It has the power to alter the mood and the feel of the entire area. The lighting dictates how your customers feel, how long they stay and ultimately the amount of money they will spend in your bar or restaurant.  

  1. Adjustable and Functional Bar Lighting 
  2. The Bigger Picture
  3. Layer Up
  4. Time of Day andRestaurant Lighting 


 1. Adjustable & Functional Bar Lighting 

By assuring your bar lightning is adjustable, you are covering yourself for any time of the day. Adjustable lighting becomes extremely beneficial if you are running a multi-purpose establishment. For example, a coffee shop or a restaurant that turns into a bar in the evening. A part of the transformation magic lies in lighting and how it complements the overall objective.  

Which leads us to our second tip… 


 2. The Bigger Picture 

What is it that your bar, restaurant or a hotel wants to achieve? Is it to cater for quick turnaround food and drinks or is it to achieve a premium – priced, evening – long experience to remember? Either way, the lighting should complement and aid you in achieving this final goal. For example, If your restaurant aims to attract the high end clientele that are coming over for a romantic evening, it is important to keep the lighting soft, neutral and not too bright. In addition to minding the brightness, colour is key! Depending on the colour scheme of your bar or restaurant the lighting will always be unique. Of course, bar lighting and colours tend to be a bit more experimental due to the entertainment purpose they tend to serve – the colour should still be used carefully to assure it aligns with the existing bar lighting as well as the overarching goal and objective of the business. 


 3. Layer Up 

Your main source of light in a bar or a restaurant has the potential to positively (or negatively) alter the look and feel of your venue – for example slightly altering the appearance of the length and depth of your walls which in turn changes the overall look and feel of the restaurant. This is the base lighting of your bar or restaurant and therefore has the most impact. The other lighting you should consider to layer up is accent lighting - the main purpose of this light is to specifically brighten up a specific area of the bar or a restaurant, for example a painting. The final layer you should add to the bar lighting is an accent bar or restaurant lights. Their pure purpose is to add to the design and character of the restaurant, bar or even a hotel.


4. Time of Day and Restaurant Lighting 

Daylight is naturally the most comfortable for people and the benefits of sunlight are well-known – it boosts vitamin D, deters SAD, improves sleep and alleviates stress. 

Which is why you should complement the level of sunlight associated with the meal. Although broadly speaking very warm lights have the tendency to make people feel at ease and cozy. However, different lightning intensity and feel should apply to different meals. 

Breakfast lighting should always be bright and clean. If possible, the lighting source for breakfast should be natural lighting. It has to power to subliminally and physiologically mark the start of your day - along with your coffee, of course! 

During lunch time is when the sun is at its highest and therefore requires minimal artificial lighting. This is the perfect time to use the sun’s vital lighting and benefit from it. 

As dinner time takes place at night time your job becomes to make your customers wind down and enjoy their evenings. The best way to achieve a relaxed atmosphere  is to use softer and intimate restaurant lighting. It’s important to not under do it with the artificial bar light, there is nothing worse than having to use your phones flashlight to read the menu.