Effective bar and restaurant lighting schemes, although quite different in their specific requirements, both demand creativity, flexibility and durability from the light fitting. Whilst every establishment will have its own decorative concept, there are a number of fundamental rules worth considering.
Orientation is essential in hospitality venues. Lighting can be used to guide guests by drawing them on to different focal points using the contrast between accent and ambient illumination. A 5:1 ratio is a good guide for optimum contrast.
Different lighting for daytime and evening use is also fundamental. Ensure that your schemes are set up on different circuits or consider using a DALI system to control dimmable lights. Look at dim-to-warm options that increase the warmth of the illumination whilst decreasing the light levels.
The colour rendering index (CRI) is as important in a restaurant as it is in retail. Ensure that your luminaire reveals the true colour of the food by looking for a score of 80 or more.
Take care not to take mood lighting to extremes. Whilst an over bright restaurant or bar is not conducive to relaxation, neither is being unable to read the menu or see the food.
Do not be seduced by statement luminaires to the detriment of the light itself. Exceptional illumination is all about painting your space with light.
Finally, introducing colour changing LED lights is an excellent option, particularly in bars since they provide theatrical effects and make it easy to alter the mood. As a very early specialist in the design and manufacture of LED illumination, Collingwood has been at the forefront of colour changing light fittings for almost two decades, and we offer a wide range including downlights, ground lights for recessing into floors and stairways, wall and strip lights in both RGB and RGBW, as well as light bars and a fibre optic injector.