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October 2017

Restaurant Lighting: A Unique Challenge

Light affects an individual’s experience as well as his mood. Restaurant owners need to select the best possible lighting system to ensure their clients’ well-being. The challenge lies in creating optimal lighting for each designated space of the restaurant according to the activity that takes place in these zones and the atmosphere the owners want to convey. Here a few ways to address the challenge that restaurant lighting poses.

Lighting the Reception Desk

This area calls for soft, inviting light, one that does not irritate the eyes. By the same token, it should not be terribly dark, as the Maître d’hôtel should work comfortably in this space.

Given these parameters, a suspended luminaire or a recessed fixture with a directional beam positioned directly onto the reception desk are suitable options.

If there is no adequate task lighting, a desk lamp may correct the problem.

Lighting the Dining Room

More often than not, restaurant owners look for a congenial and cozy atmosphere in this particular area. This area calls for fixtures that diffuse warm and pleasant light. Choosing the appropriate colour temperature is extremely important.

However, clients should be able to see the food on their plates. Each table needs its own distinct soft, clear light, strategically focused on the table. A hanging fixture, downlights or ceiling mount luminaire are all very suitable. LED lamps are also adequate on the walls.

No restaurant décor would be complete without decorative lighting or a few chandeliers, depending on the restaurant style, be it retro, rustic, or industrial.

Finally, any restaurant owner worth his salt will want to highlight the charm and unique décor of his space by adding a little touch of classy accent luminaire that makes his place unique.

A Brightly Lit Kitchen

A restaurant kitchen must be a space that is both practical and safe. Its lighting should be consistently bright throughout.

In addition, lighting fixtures must be resistant to a variety of conditions such as escaping steam, smoke plumes, grease and food splatter… All luminaires, whether LED or fluorescent, must be waterproof to avoid repeated maintenance. They must not be subjected to loss of light intensity due to the accumulation of dirt and dust, and they must be damage-proof.

A light system comprised of T8 fluorescents or standard LED lamps is considered a practical, money-saving choice for restaurant lighting.

Safety Regulations

Regulations governing lighting and safety require that certain food processing industries such as restaurants and hotels be equipped with protective lighting systems to prevent broken glass particles from entering the food or causing harm to the personnel. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stipulates that light bulbs suspended over exposed food or packaging materials at any stage of production must be of a safety type or protected to prevent contamination of food in case of breakage.

Should a Safety Max lamp break, all glass, mercury, metal and phosphorus must remain contained inside the safety coating. You can prevent contamination, minimize the risk of potential injuries as well as ensure safe disposal and changing of lamps. STANDARD offers a wide range of protective coated products.

No Harsh Lights in the Washrooms

Washrooms may have brighter lighting fixtures than those of the dining room. However, they should not be overly bright to ensure a smooth transition from one lighting system to another.

Ideally, narrow washrooms should be equipped with small ceiling-recessed fixtures.

Restaurant washrooms with a larger surface area may be well suited to CFL or LED lighting that can be installed over a sink, or lighting systems such as LED or T8 fluorescent lamps in the other areas of the space. Restaurant owners might even elect to install centre basket luminaires or light panels.

Why not install slim line LED bars around a mirror for that extra touch of glam?

An Inviting Bar

Restaurant bars are usually located in an open space; all the more reason to select soft, subdued lighting that harmonizes with the dining room lighting.

Installing downlights or recessed fixtures along the bar counter alongside decorative suspended lighting and slim line LED bars will certainly generate an atmosphere of warmth and coziness while embellishing the bar’s décor.

A Cozy Terrace

Finally, we come to the restaurant’s terrace. It lends itself beautifully to well-appointed outdoor luminaires.

When combining canopy luminaires, projectors and ambience lighting, a terrace can be an alluring space for restaurant clients. Post top luminaires installed in strategic areas of a terrace will certainly help produce fashionable and cozy lighting.

Motion sensors are quite appropriate in a space such as this where control of the lighting system helps restaurant owners avoid wasting energy.

In conclusion, remember that the three basic lighting types are the ultimate approach to creating an inviting atmosphere that is both comfortable and safe for restaurant owners and their clients!