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Creating the Optimal Environment with Lighting

The following article is a guest post from Felicia Baratz-Savage who is a writer and graphic artist living in Indianapolis, IN. As a contributor for Cooks & Travel Books, she specializes in travel, culture and education.

No one likes to go to a restaurant with terrible decor, bad music and awful lighting. What do all of these things make? Atmosphere. The best restaurants are the ones that have a great atmosphere. Someplace that makes us feel like we are at home, or makes us feel romantic or makes us feel fun. Atmosphere is all about emotion, and a good or bad feeling can go a long way toward making or breaking the dining experience for your customers.

As far as music is concerned, it’s pretty obvious that music influences atmostphere and moods. We notice the music that plays around us, and it affects us, even if we’re not actively listening. Music should be selected to fit your restaurant and your clientele specifically, because ultimately, it will enhance or diminish their experience.

So what does this have to do with lighting? In simple terms, lighting, like music, can do a lot to create the feelings that make up a restaurant’s atmosphere.

Why Does the Lighting Affect the Atmosphere?

We’ve all been in those restaurants where you can’t see the menu because it’s too dark. Or maybe your eyes were in pain because there were too many lights shining in your face. Depending on the vibe a restaurant is trying to offer, something as simple as brightness can change everything. Take an English pub, for example. You’d expect such a place to have dim, natural light conducive to enjoying a few pints with friends after a long day. A hopping burger joint? You want to keep the scene bright and lively!

Which Lights Create Which Atmospheres?

There are many different ways to use lights in your restaurant. Here are just a few:

  • Track Lighting- For a more modern atmosphere in your restaurant, you can use track lighting. Track lights allow you to highlight certain areas of rooms for guests to focus on, including artwork, tables and architecture.
  • Low Lights- If you’re looking to create that intimate romantic destination for couples, then you definitely want to go with low lights. Low lights provide an excuse for couples to sit close together and typically help to keep noise levels to a minimum.
  • Recessed Lights- For a chic boutique look, recessed lights are the ticket. Like track lighting, they provide very targeted light, so be sure you put them over tables and over other important parts of the room.
  • Bright Lights- In order to create a restaurant that offers plenty of energy and a space for people to conduct business and be comfortable, bright lights are the way to go. Customers will feel comfortable if they can see everything with ease and will be more prone to stay a while and maybe get some work done.

Why Is Atmosphere Important?

Atmosphere is one of the aspects of a restaurant the keeps bringing people back. You can’t just rely on great food or great service. You have to create an inviting place that people want to spend their time in. Atmosphere is the ticket to giving people a home away from home—a place they will keep coming back to.

Image courtesy of MookieLuv

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