As your tables are styled and the menu is ready, we guide you through five tips to get your restaurant lighting scheme right.

1. Layer Lighting

In all lighting projects, layering the lights is a useful place to start.

First, ambient lighting must be installed, with task lighting in areas including the tables, reception areas and bar.

Add accent lighting to highlight interesting features and artwork.

2. Different Lighting in Specific Areas

Different spaces in your restaurant will need different lighting levels depending on their function.

– Tables: Tables must have bright enough light to enable diners to read menus, but it should be subdued to create a private and cosy atmosphere. Diffused, soft light is a popular choice.

– Seating and Reception Areas: These areas should be ideally slightly brighter lit than the restaurant. This enables staff to communicate properly with customers and create a welcoming feel. Decorative lighting, such as pendants, works well as it provides a feature for customers to look at whilst waiting.

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– Buffet or Salad Bars: Lighting in these areas must combine practicality and aesthetics. Dimmable spotlights and food-safe lighting is a practical option that ensures there is sufficient lighting for your food.

– Kitchen: Kitchens must have bright lighting, with task lights for specific areas. For a catering fridge, enquire with a company such as

– Focal Points: Art pieces or your menu board can be lit by a single spotlight or track light, but proper placement is essential.

3. Avoid Glare

Mismatched lamps, shade sizes and unshielded lamps often cause glare.

Glare becomes problematic for staff as they serve and carry food, and it upsets customers as the light shines in their eyes.

4. Light for Customers

Rather than installing lighting to complement the architecture of your restaurant, light for the people in your restaurant to ensure they are comfortable and able to relax and enjoy their experience.

Consider various lighting options around the tables as it provides your customers with choice. Staff must also have sufficient light for navigating through the restaurant, reading bookings and taking orders.

5. Enhance the Food

To make your restaurant’s food look appealing and appetising, adequate colour rendering is crucial.

This avoids food appearing washed-out and bland and allows colours to appear brighter, adding nuance to your dishes.


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