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Restaurant Lighting Design

Everyone who has ever been to a restaurant knows that food and service are only two-thirds of the appeal. The third, and perhaps most crucial factor, is the ambience. Our beautiful collection of lights can brighten the atmosphere in more ways than one. Take a look below. 

Why is restaurant lighting important

Everyone who has ever been to a restaurant knows that food and service are only two-thirds of the appeal. The third, and perhaps most crucial factor, is the ambience. What restaurant lighting you choose, for instance, can really switch up the look and feel of the space from a casual meal spot to an upscale dining destination. Whatever atmosphere you’re going after, your restaurant lighting fixtures can affect multiple elements across the restaurant, including mood, food presentation and overall customer satisfaction. 

There are a number of studies supporting what you probably already know from personal experience – eating in brighter spaces with loud music playing in the background is less enjoyable and leads to more overeating than having a relaxed meal amidst dim lights and soft music. The real challenge of restaurant lighting is finding the balance between providing enough light for your guests to eat by and creating gentle ambience.

Restaurant lighting design ideas

Despite the fact that people often view design aspects such as the floor plan and colour scheme as essential to defining the atmosphere in your restaurant, restaurant lighting actually plays a key part in giving the space character.

On par with your choice of furniture and crockery, your restaurant lighting design can have a huge positive (or negative) impact on the overall look and feel of the place. Much more sophisticated than just picking out a couple of restaurant lighting fixtures at random, the art of creating ambiance through lights requires relying on tried and tested restaurant lighting tips from experts.

Below we’ve compiled some restaurant lighting ideas which can help you take the dining experience you offer to the next level and create a stand-out space which has customers coming back for more.

The trick to functional restaurant lighting is not getting the room as bright as possible, but rather to balance the amount of light in an area with surfaces and colors that avoid glare and eye strain.

Restaurant Lighting Fixtures

One key thing to remember is balance. Consider how the light in each room works with different surfaces and colours, so you can avoid creating glare and causing your guests (and staff!) eye strain. Here’s a list of restaurant lighting fixtures types and how to best use them in your establishment:

Restaurant lighting pendants

Pendants make great restaurant task lighting – hanging from the ceiling, they can be placed over tables and bars to provide extra illumination while your guests read the menu. They can also be placed over countertops and islands to create a floating feeling, or added to the host area for an extra touch of focused lighting.

Chandeliers for restaurants

Chandeliers are a perfect way to create a focal point in the dining area of a restaurant (or even the entrance hall, if you are feeling extra fabulous!). They provide plenty of ambient light and add a touch of elegance to any space.

Restaurant wall light fixtures

Wall lights are a great source of accent lighting for restaurants. They are most commonly seen in restrooms, flanking the mirrors and acting as vanity lights. That said, any artwork on your restaurant walls will also pair nicely with a wall light that turns it into an interior décor accent.

Restaurant bathroom wall lights

Even though the actual dining area is central to the restaurant experience, it is important to continue that journey throughout the entire vicinity. Your restaurant bathroom lights are also an important consideration when it comes to having the complete finish. Nobody wants to go from a beautifully lit area to the stark bright lighting of a public bathroom. Soft lit restaurant  bathroom wall lights are the perfect solution to this problem. 

Lighting for restaurant kitchen

When it comes to commercial kitchens, restaurant lighting tips are less focused on design and tailored more towards practicality. After all, your main objective in this area is to choose lighting fixtures which enable your staff to do their jobs safely and efficiently, whether that’s food preparation and cooking, presentation or cleaning up the space.

Key considerations with lighting for restaurant kitchens include making sure the fixtures you choose don’t contribute to food contamination or create unnecessary glare. We recommend steering clear of any suspended restaurant lighting fixtures which could collect dust and opting for recessed or surface mounted lights.

Lighting for restaurant tables

There are a few aspects which play into the importance of lighting for restaurant tables. For one thing, your choice of lights is tightly linked with food presentation and how appetising a drink or a meal looks. Direct light, for instance, may cast odd shadows on the food and make it look less tempting, compared to indirect lighting which tends to be softer and more flattering.

As we mentioned above, it’s very important to find a balance in your restaurant lighting design. This is especially true when it comes to lighting for restaurant tables – you want to make sure that the ambience is right for creating a relaxed mood without compromising your patrons’ ability to see their meals. We recommend choosing a restaurant lighting fixture that provides soft light for creating a laid-back mood, and pairing it with restaurant lighting pendants above the tables in your dining area to ensure the guests have enough light.

What lighting you choose for your restaurant tables also depends on the type of meals you serve. If your main focus is on breakfast, having your dining area brightly lit is preferable, as it allows customers to read the news as they have their toast and cuppa in the morning.

Moderate lighting, on the other hand, is perfect for the lunchtime rush as it boosts customer turnover. Last but not least, if your restaurant is a popular dinner destination and you want to encourage guests to relax, low lighting is the best illumination choice for you.

Lighting for restaurant booth

Much of the restaurant lighting tips above apply to lighting for restaurant booths as well. We recommend hanging a single pendant above each of your booths to create intimacy without compromising the basic level of illumination required for a pleasant experience. If your restaurant booths comprise bigger seating areas, you can opt for a row of pendants or a cluster instead. 

Either way, using low lighting for restaurant booths is a tried and tested way to make your guests feel comfortable and relaxed, so that they stay longer and keep the orders coming long into the night!

Restaurant lights suppliers

As trusted restaurant lighting suppliers, Fritz Fryer has a choice of modern restaurant lighting for sale. Combining exceptional contemporary style and function, our restaurant lighting fixtures costs are on par with the quality and elegance they provide. What’s more, our restaurant lighting is customisable, so you can handpick the shade, colour and finish that best suit your needs.


We have a range of lights for each type of business. Browse the collections here.

Airport Lighting

Hotel Lighting

Bar Lighting

Commercial Bathroom Lights

Salon Lighting

Coffee Shop Lighting

Browse our restaurant lighting collection above or get in touch to enquire about custom solutions.

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