Aside from very peculiar or opulent pieces, such as an elaborate chandelier, hotel lighting fixtures often remain unnoticed by guests – both in their physical beauty and the function they serve to enhance the space.
Don’t let that discourage you when designing the look of your hotel. Professional designers know well that the true mark of a job well done is keeping the lights invisible. Instead of focusing on the lighting fixtures, hotel quests will be left with a lasting impression of how the space made them feel, which is the true aim of interior décor.
The possibilities open before hotel designers are endless, and while there isn’t a definitive guide to hotel lighting design, there are a few tips you should bear in mind when choosing and arranging the lighting fixtures for your hotel.
While guests might not notice a well-placed source of ambience, they would often criticise poor lighting when giving feedback on their hotel experience. Issues such as room lighting being sparse, dim or just plain bad can seriously affect the ratings of your hotel.
Here are some basic hotel lighting tips to help you get glowing reviews:
1. Consider the layout
One of the common downfalls of hotel lighting design is the poor planning. Electrical engineers are often left in charge of planning the layout and design of hotel lighting fixtures, which inevitably means they don’t always account for appearance as a priority. To make sure your hotel lighting is done well, work with a light planner to define a hotel lighting design before work starts, so your public areas make a great first impression.
2. Go with the flow
The lines between different aspects of a hotel layout are blurring, with foyer, front desk, lobby and restaurant gradually flowing into one cohesive space knit seamlessly together through design. This means when you’re choosing hotel lighting fixtures, you want to make sure they are adapted to the flowing layout. From cool breakfast restaurant lighting to warm and cosy evening light in the lobby, think about how the lights can shift with the use of the space.
3. Balance flare and function
In hotel rooms and common spaces alike, we recommend using lighting fixtures that fit with the overarching concept of the space, rather that acting simply as a feature of interest themselves. To keep statement lamps from sticking out like a sore thumb in your hotel lighting design, we suggest using them as a tool to emphasise particular elements of the hotel décor or architecture.
4. Cover all your bases
It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on key spaces such as the individual rooms and shared spaces like the lobby or reception area, but you really want to ensure every area of your hotel is well lit. That means kitting out your hallways with the same quality hotel lighting fixtures as the rest of the building. An important part of your guests’ journey, hallways need lighting that continues the flow of the atmosphere between public areas and private rooms. We advise opting for hotel lighting fixtures that strike a balance between sufficient brightness for orientation and a temperature that matches the other areas.
5. Have flexible lighting for hotel rooms
When choosing hotel lighting designs, remember the guest bedrooms serve multiple functions that go beyond sleep. They often double as areas where visitors work, as well as a place to unwind at the end of the day. Lighting for hotel bedrooms should reflect this versatility. You can cater to different needs by including lighting fixtures that provide sufficient light to work by, cosier warm lights for relaxation and a master switch to turn them all off when it’s bedtime.
6. Diversify for the occasion(s)
In addition to daily activities such as serving breakfast at the restaurant or nightcaps in the lobby, hotels cater to private events ranging from business meetings to wedding receptions. Make sure you have lighting options to offer for different occasions, so your guests don’t end up celebrating their marriage in a space that makes them feel like they are on a conference call. Hotel lighting fixtures with adjustable dimmers and a choice of colours are great tools to have in your arsenal if you want to meet the needs of every event!
With so many varied facilities to consider during hotel lighting design, it’s important to make sure your lighting fixtures can be adjusted accordingly to the needs of the space, shifting the ambience from bright and energetic to warm and relaxing.
To help you choose the best lighting for all spaces, we put together some hotel lighting ideas broken down by different areas:
As we mentioned earlier, the role of a hotel room has evolved past just offering a place to sleep. Hotel guests use their bedrooms to eat, work and unwind in privacy that communal areas don’t offer. Optimal lighting for hotel rooms caters to all uses and allows visitors to adjust it to their needs.
The easiest way to ensure you’ve chosen the right lighting for hotel bedrooms is by ticking all basic lighting type boxes.
1. Ambient lighting for hotel rooms
Let’s start with the basics: both the room itself and the bathroom need ambient lighting which illuminates the space and, as the name suggests, creates some ambiance. Designed to provide uniform light throughout the area, ambient lighting lights up the entire hotel room without the need for extra lighting fixtures.
2. Task lighting for hotel rooms
Another aptly named lighting type, task lighting adds extra brightness you may need in a particular part of the room to carry out a task such as working at a desk or reading in bed. In a hotel room task lighting can take the shape of a nightstand or desk lamp, or even closet lighting for those rooms where natural light doesn’t reach the wardrobe. Mirror lighting (bulbs above or around the mirror) is also a type of task lighting crucial for hotel rooms.
When choosing task lighting for hotel rooms, take care to avoid harsh lighting and position the lights in a way that keeps them from casting bothersome shadows. We also recommend installing a switch that controls the task lights independently of the main lighting.
3. Accent lighting for hotel rooms
The main purpose of accent lighting is to boost the atmosphere of a space by highlighting a particular point of interest in the design. Most commonly, accent lighting for hotel rooms is used to highlight architectural features or individual elements of the décor (e.g. a painting, sculpture or an indoor plant).
Task lighting for hotel rooms tends to be three times brighter than general ambient lights, and often makes the space look larger.
Your lobby and reception area are where guests get a first impression of the hotel. These spaces are your opportunity to showcase the unique personality of your brand through design. Choosing the right lighting for a hotel lobby helps create the desired atmosphere and expresses character through ambience.
We touched upon this earlier – your foyers and hallways are the transition spaces that take guests from the main reception area to the comfort of their rooms. Your goal is to make this a seamless experience. To keep hallways looking like a tunnel, we recommend using wall lights and pendants as the main sources of lighting for hotel foyers and hallways. This will significantly boost lighting levels and make the journey more inviting for guests.
Great hallway and foyer lighting is also beneficial for hotel employees who spend their working days in these areas. The right lights will make your staff more comfortable and improve their productivity as a result!
In addition to serving the range of purposes we discussed earlier on, lighting for hotel restaurants play an important part in creating the distinctive design of your dining and entertainment areas. We recommend combining pendant lighting with downlights and wall lights to create a cohesive look whilst also offering a diversity of light sources.
Closely tied to high hotel guest turnover is excessive use of hotel lighting fixtures, especially when it comes to bedroom lighting which visitors have full control over. If you want to avoid your hotel lighting deteriorating as a result of extended use, we recommend working with hotel lighting manufacturers who produce fixtures made from high quality, durable materials.
At Fritz Fryer we offer a choice of exceptional quality hotel lighting fixtures – you can browse our full range above or give us a call if you can't see what you're looking for and we'll make it for you.