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Salon Lighting Ideas

The lighting arrangements of a salon are quite often overlooked. The atmosphere provided by the way in which the lights are designed, positioned and how that light is distributed can impact both how a client will feel about the service provided and their opinion of the salon itself. Browse our beautiful collection or read more about salon lighting below.

Given that the importance of salon lighting is largely underestimated, we have decided to create a helpful guide for any salon owners, existing and aspiring, on the various aspects to consider when it comes to lighting and how it can help to create the optimum environment.

There’s no way around it: salon lighting can make or break your interior design on top of throwing off existing and potential clients. When well thought-out, however, it can enhance every single step of your customer journey and daily tasks. Everything, from the placement to the type of bulbs you decide to use, plays its role in successful interior lighting design. So what is it that you must look out for, and why?

You just can’t expect your stylist, therapist or receptionist to work in a poorly lit environment. It’ll be annoying for them, but it’ll also be detrimental to your customer experience! Lighting is an integral part of how we, as humans, experience a space. Make sure you put some thought into it.

Ambient Lighting

Think of it as your primary light switch. Your salon, spa, clinic or nail bar can’t go without it. It’s what allows you to work, simple as. For this, people often go with recessed ceilings lights and dimmers (don’t underestimate them, you can use them to change the whole salon’s mood).

Task Lighting

Do yourself a favour, and make sure your reception desk and your colour station are well lit. If they’re quite dark, add some task lighting. Same for the bathroom. Task lighting is essential when carrying out specifics tasks. You can use table lamps, floor lamps, pendant lights, etc.

Accent Lighting

Bring your customer’s attention to something in particular within your salon or spa. Your retail display for instance? Or perhaps your waiting area where you keep books and magazines? Accent lighting is also known as “directional light,” which can be achieved by wall sconces, lamps or small recess lights. Think of this type of salon lighting as the stronger lights, the ones that accentuate an area of your business.

Below you will find three major areas to consider before choosing salon lighting, along with five rules to abide by and a testimonial from a leading barbershop in London and how Industville helped them to create a stylish and effective interior.

How to Flatter Your Customers / Salon Lighting Should Flatter the Complexion and Compliment the Interior

Most salons will aim for a warm lighting solution, which will flatter both the appearance of the client and the design elements of the salon. Cooler counterparts will often mirror that of daylight, grey out any warmer parts of the interior and wash out guests, which is the last thing you want to do. Bulbs are usually available in a range of temperatures, from very warm to cool, and once you’ve decided on an estimated bracket for your salon, you may wish to consider experimenting from each end of the spectrum until you find the one that works for you.

Bulbs come in a variety of temperatures ranging from very warm to cool. A warm temperature bulb (2,700 to 3,500 Kelvin temperature) is the most flattering on the complexion and compliments most salon interiors. Cool temperatures (4,800 Kelvin temperature) can equate to daylight (a sunny afternoon) and is typically not the most flattering temperature (think about being out in broad daylight and how your skin looks in the sun). Daylight/cool temperature bulbs will grey-out warm interiors as well as wash-out guests.

Your interior design: Bulbs come in a variety of temperatures. If you go for something too cold, your salon might feel too clinical. The right bulb temperature will tie into the entire design of your salon, making your client feel relaxed and at ease.

Make sure that your hair salon lighting design flatters the interior. Go for something in the middle, not too dark or bright, not too white or warm.

With the right budget you can mix and match various lighting styles, for example, using warm bulbs around mirrors to flatter your clients’ complexions while bringing in soft overhead lighting to illuminate the work space and remove unwanted shadows.

How to Remove Shadows / Salon Lighting Should be positioned to Eliminate Shadows

How a guest looks and feels in the chair is critical. Creating an environment that is selfie-ready for all your #FreshFade snaps, without the need for cute filters, is of paramount importance and will greatly impact how they feel about the overall visit to your salon. One of the best ways you can guarantee this is by positioning lighting at either side of the mirror, alongside a functional lighting solution throughout the salon. In this sense, wall lighting such as the Vintage Sleek Edison Wall Light is the best option for next-to-chair lighting, while a low-hanging pendant such as the Brooklyn Antique Flat Industrial Pendant could be used in central areas for a space-saving yet stylish focal point.

How a guest looks in the salon chair is paramount in the salon environment. If a guest feels good about their appearance, it reinforces a positive experience for repeat business and increased revenues. The easiest way to help eliminate shadows on the face is to position lighting at the mirror on either side to directly light the complexion. This too should be a flattering temperature bulb (2,700 to 3,500 Kelvin). Spotty lighting above, such as track fixtures, will also create shadows. In this type of application, wall lighting on the face is even more important.

Be aware of the shadows you create with your beauty salon lighting design. Dimming is great for setting a calm and relaxed mood and keeping the glare level of your lighting down. Too many shadows though, especially around your stylists’ chairs, and your therapists and stylists will not be able to see what they are doing properly. Down lighting, such as created by using pendant lamps, can be a great salon feature aesthetically, but be conscious of the unattractive shadows they can create on people’s faces and install lamps which correct for this if you choose to use them.

Overhead Task Lighting and General Illumination

Overhead fixtures provide you with general lighting to perform tasks as well as light the overall space. If the overhead lighting is properly designed, this will provide enough lighting to perform all of the required tasks for hair styling and color application. Separate "task lighting" is not required if the overhead lighting is properly configured. Proper overhead lighting will vary from space to space and is dependent upon the ceiling height and type (open, grid, etc) as well as how dark or light the space is. A lighting designer who understands the intricacies of salon lighting can help.

Another tip, don’t fall into the trap of installing light fixtures that spread the same amount of light all over the room, this effect can make your salon look very plain and dull. Contrasting areas of lighter and darker spots in your salon can contribute to the high-end, quality atmosphere that you wish to create.

A Few Other Tips for Lighting a Hairdressing Salon

Each hair styling space, whether it is the hair cutting module, the coloring space or the hair washing podium, should have its own lighting system. That way, the work done in each zone is properly highlighted to ensure visual comfort for the stylists. The recommended luminaires in these areas are those that offer a color rendering index that reaches close to 100, which is that of natural daylight.

The public areas in hairdressing salons may have more subdued lighting than the work spaces. However, they should have sufficient lighting to ensure people’s safety. Also, lighting between both areas in the hairdressing salon should not be unpleasant.

Optimal lighting in the public areas of a hairdressing salon can be achieved with the use of directional recessed lights. You may install wall sconces to further enhance the atmosphere of the facility.

The waiting area would also benefit from subdued recessed light or wall scones, but if you offer any magazines, the lighting should be safe for reading.

Think of the bathroom lighting as well. If the general salon space is dimmed and the bathroom is brightly lit, the change in brightness would be strenuous to the eye.


 Follow These 5 Rules of Salon Lighting:

  • Light within the law. It’s imperative that lights comply with UK regulations as this could affect the validity of your insurance. Ensure you buy from a reputable business or trader such as Fritz, where you will be able to ask about conformity.
  • No space? No problem! Smaller salons can use the lighting and the mirrors in conjunction with each other to create the illusion of more space.
  • Use a variety of lighting styles, including a combination of wall and pendant lights for the optimum atmosphere.
  • Ensure the main lighting solution is enough for the tasks that need to be done. Your stylists should not need to rely on additional sources of light such as a lamp, which may result in the interiors seeming cluttered.

Here at Fritz Fryer, we provide the best-quality salon lighting solutions for an interior that is as practical as it is decorative. If you have any questions about salon lighting, please do not hesitate to contact us today, where a member of our knowledgeable and professional staff will be able to help. Allow your salon to shine as brightly as your platinum highlights.


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

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Commercial Bathroom Lights

Bar Lighting

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