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How Restaurants Use Lighting Design to Impress Customers?

When it comes to creating a great dining experience, lighting design plays a crucial role in setting the mood and ambiance. In addition to satisfying functional requirements, In dining spaces, sufficient and appropriate lighting is required in the interior environment and on the table surfaces to fulfill the basic needs of customers and ensure functional dining requirements are met. Today, Canco will share with you how to properly design restaurant lighting.

1. Lighting Design for Different Types of Dining Spaces:

1.1 Chinese Restaurants

LED Circle Lights

Chinese restaurants often aim for a bright and vibrant atmosphere. The lighting design should feature higher illuminance levels and excellent color rendering. Achieving a balanced ratio between average illuminance and focal illuminance, such as a 1:2 to 1:3 ratio, ensures an even distribution of light throughout the space. Care should be taken to avoid excessive or insufficient lighting, and it is recommended that spotlights be used above the dining table.

1.2 Western Restaurants

Western restaurants attach great importance to the lighting of the atmosphere and dishes. The basic lighting is often relatively dark, and the illuminance ratio is <1: to create a sense of private space. The whole is too bright and too uniform, and the natural light is too strong, which will make the Western restaurant lack atmosphere.

1.3 Buffet Restaurants

Buffet restaurants require uniforms and higher illuminance levels to promote table turnover. Highlighting the serving areas with accent lighting helps to showcase the dishes and stimulate customers’ appetites. If there is no accent lighting, the lack of guidance will also affect the appeal of the food.

2. What are the Criteria for Good Light?

2.1 Avoid Excessively High Color Temperature:

Choosing the right color temperature for lighting is essential in enhancing the dining experience. Different color temperatures evoke varying emotional responses and affect the perception of food colors. Canco does not recommend using cool white light (high color temperature) as it may not highlight the natural colors of the food. 3000-3500K color temperature is suitable for Chinese restaurants and 2800-3000K for Western restaurants.

2.2 Importance of Ra Color Rendering Index:

The color rendering index (CRI), denoted as Ra, measures how accurately a light source represents the true colors of objects. To ensure a vibrant and appetizing food presentation, a restaurant’s lighting design should prioritize high-color rendering. Most of Canco’s lighting has a good color rendering 80/90 option, ideal for restaurant lighting.

Circular Pendant Light

3. How Should Restaurant Lighting be Designed?

3.1 Zoning of Lighting:

Effective lighting design in restaurants involves considering different areas and their specific lighting requirements. The dining area’s lighting should cater to the functional needs of diners, ensuring optimal visibility of people, food, tableware, and other elements. It is also important to provide adequate lighting for both the immediate table area and the overall space. For example, in the restaurant’s lobby, uniform distribution of brightness is necessary to avoid glare and create a welcoming atmosphere.

3.2 Thoughtful Placement of Light Fixtures:

There is a wide variety of light fixtures, and each creates a different lighting effect. In restaurant spaces, to avoid monotonous lighting, we often use pendant lights, spotlights, table lamps, and backlighting to create a unique sense of space. For example, the Canco LED Circle Pendant Light Halo Series is made of extruded aluminum and high transparency PC diffuser, with constant current Osram LED and flick free brand driver, especially suitable for use above the dining table, adding an elegant atmosphere.

3.3 Different Materials, Different Lighting

The choice of lighting should complement the materials used in the restaurant’s interior design. Different materials have distinct properties such as transparency, reflectance, refractive index, and luminance. Lighting can affect how colors appear on walls or objects. Directional lighting can enhance textures and highlight the glossiness of materials, resulting in rich halo effects and variations in texture on walls or objects.

4. In Addition to the Points Shared Above, It's Worth Mentioning Some Additional Considerations in Restaurant Lighting Design:

  • Energy Efficiency: Incorporating energy-efficient lighting solutions, such as LED lights, can not only reduce operational costs but also contribute to environmental sustainability.
  • Dimming and Control Systems: Implementing dimming and control systems allows for flexibility in adjusting lighting levels according to different occasions, creating a dynamic and adaptable dining environment.
  • Artistic Lighting Features: Incorporating artistic lighting fixtures, such as decorative chandeliers or pendant lights, can serve as focal points and enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the restaura.
  • Natural Light Integration: Maximizing the use of natural light through well-placed windows, skylights, or outdoor seating areas can create a pleasant and refreshing atmosphere during the daytime, while also reducing reliance on artificial lighting.

Please remember, Lighting is the eyes of a restaurant. Lighting design in dining spaces is not just about illuminating; it is a way for restaurant owners to express the culture and ambiance of their establishment, ultimately making customers feel comfortable and delighted. If you have a restaurant now, CONTACT CANCO professional lighting design team for custom lighting design services to help you achieve your lighting requirements and give your restaurant its ideal ambiance.


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