Contemporary lighting ideas are an important tool for a modern restaurant. Appropriate lighting design completes the thought that starts with the design of the physical space and the furniture and objects within that space.
Understand the concept
Along with the design brief provided by the client, the concept will initially set the direction of lighting design. Is the restaurant quick-service, casual, fast-casual or fine dining? Each segment falls into a general guideline for the lighting levels, style, and design concept most likely to appeal to the target demographic.
As with any lighting design project, you should first address the aesthetic approach that will best suit your target demographic. Be it kitschy or classy, the lighting should suit the mood and add to the ambiance.
Types of Lighting for Restaurants
You can think of lighting in a restaurant as essentially three varieties. Call it, ambient light, accent lighting, and featured décor. There are variations, of course, but thinking about them in this fashion gives is a good start. Think of your space being ‘layered’ with light. Ambient sets the baseline, accents provide the contrast, and featured lights are focal points.
Determine the Mood
When considering how to light your restaurant, it’s important to think about the mood you want to create and communicate. Not sure about your preferred mood? Consider the types of food you serve, the outfits your servers wear, the colors of your restaurant’s interior, and the formality of your establishment; all of these factors should point you in the right direction.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
What are your restaurant’s hours of operation? Keep in mind what type of mood you want your lighting to create throughout the day. The early morning hours need lots of light in order for guests to wake up, and for customers to read menus and newspapers easily.
The outside of your restaurant should act as an extension of your dining experience by serving as an advertisement and attraction. Pay as much attention to outdoor lighting as you do indoors by highlighting the architecture of the building, illuminating signage, and brightening eating areas for when natural light is low.