In the hospitality industry, you don’t just sell food and drink, the atmosphere is also an important part of the service. You can determine the atmosphere with the furnishing, the furniture, the color scheme, and perhaps also background music, don’t forget to make a lighting plan for the catering industry. Just as we eat not only for nutritional value but also for conviviality, we use light not only to see better but also to create a pleasant atmosphere. We lay the basis for a lighting plan for the catering industry on this page, you can call in professionals for a custom solution that provides an optimal catering experience.
Lighting plan for the hospitality industry: Functional light
A kitchen should have sufficient light to work safely and hygienically. According to the NEN standard that applies to restaurants and hotels, there should be at least 500 lux of light in the kitchen. A cafeteria or cash register should have a minimum of 300 lux. Ensure that staff can work in well-lit conditions. Also, pay attention to the color of the light. For example, there is a big difference between cool blue-white light and warm yellow-white light. Discuss this with the chef in the kitchen, as it also depends on the ingredients used.
In rooms where guests come, guidelines have also been set, for example, an average light intensity of 500 lux is recommended for a conference room. Here, dimmable lamps can provide a solution, for example when showing a PowerPoint presentation on the projection screen. There is no standard norm in restaurants and dining rooms because there is so much diversity in catering establishments. Naturally, a guest must be able to read the menu. More and more restaurant owners have taken the initiative to offer reading lights and reading glasses as a service. In this way, space can be attractively illuminated with a customer-oriented, personal approach.
After functionality, the mood-enhancing factor is of course very important in a lighting plan for the hospitality industry. Guests will not feel very comfortable in a brightly lit room with flashing fluorescent beams on the ceiling. Decorative lighting is a combination of attractive fixtures with lamps that emit the right amount of light at the optimum color temperature. So these are three important criteria to take into account. In many catering establishments, it is apparently thought that dark is automatically atmospheric, to the frustration of guests who cannot distinguish the salad from their steak. Certainly, in combination with a dark interior, this creates a depressing atmosphere. The rule of thumb is actually very simple; a light interior = less light, a dark interior = more light. The placement also plays a role, of course, indirect lighting is softer because the light becomes diffuse. The fixture and lampshade can direct the light in the right place and increase the atmosphere. Think also of reflection against the wall, shadowing by placing a light behind a grid or concealed LED lamps that not only give a subtle accent but also make the contours of the surroundings clearer.
When a catering establishment is still using old-fashioned light bulbs, it is high time to replace them with LED lighting. This also applies to all those halogen spotlights that generate more heat than they provide light. You will notice it directly in the energy bill, the airconditioning can probably also be turned down a few positions. LEDs are economical, available in several colors, and optionally dimmable. But what about those beautiful filament lamps that give so much atmosphere? Nowadays a LED variant has been developed for this as well. Are there also disadvantages to LED lighting? Actually, only the relatively high purchase price can be mentioned, and this pays for itself amply in the energy savings.
Other points of attention
A well-thought-out lighting plan for the hospitality industry goes further than just the lamps. Here are some points of attention to take into account:
- Most fittings are suitable for modern LED lighting, this does not apply to old dimmers. They need more wattage to function. They will therefore have to be replaced.
- More attention is often paid to the fixture and the design of the lamp. However, with ‘hidden’ light sources you can increase the atmosphere enormously.
- Be careful with bright lamps and shiny surfaces, this glare can be dazzling for both guests and staff. In this case, use more diffuse light to counteract disturbing reflections.
- White reflects light, black absorbs it. That means hot black chairs on the terrace in summer, and more lamps for a dark interior… or the opposite, of course!
- In places where there is no electricity connection, it is also possible to use battery-operated lamps or a rechargeable power bank. LED lighting is very economical, so you also avoid ugly wires that you have to get rid of.
With a lighting plan for the hospitality industry, you offer your customers and staff more than just light in the darkness. You create a pleasant environment in which to dine, work, and enjoy!