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Proper Restaurant Lighting

Lighting plays an important role in any environment and restaurants are no exception. Lighting is an integral part of setting the mood and should not be overlooked. Here are a few things to consider when you are choosing the lighting for your restaurant.

  1. Consistent lighting in the dining room
    Make sure lighting levels are consistent throughout the entire dining area so that you can avoid pockets of light and dark. Depending on the tone of your restaurant you will have to decide if you want bright lighting or low lighting. A quiet, romantic restaurant is the ideal place for low lighting whereas a fast food restaurant is better suited for bright lights. However, you will want to keep the reception area bright so that guests can see the host and read the menu with ease.

  2. Keep the kitchen area bright
    No matter what the mood of the dining room is you will need to keep your kitchen brightly lit. Opt for strong overhead lights in this section and avoid having any dark sections. You should also ensure that any doors leading outside from the kitchen, and any garbage can areas are appropriately lit. This will reduce the likelihood that someone will trip and fall, improving workplace safety.

  3. Vary the lighting depending on the time of day
    If your restaurant is open all day you may need to adjust the lighting depending on what meal you are serving. Bright lights are ideal for breakfast, while moderate lights are better suited for the lunch rush. Dinner time calls for dimmer lighting to create a more intimate atmosphere.

  4. Use different light fixtures
    Once you have laid the foundation for your lighting level you can accent or highlight areas of your restaurant using accent lighting. You might consider spotlighting your menu board, pieces of art or your open kitchen area.

  5. Lights for housekeeping
    In order to set up and clean the restaurant properly your dining area should be able to be brightly lit. You might consider using dimmer switches so that you can lower the lights during business hours and raise them during setup and cleanup. Bright lights during cleanup allow you to see every crumb and stain so you can properly clean your restaurant.

  6. Don’t forget outside lighting
    Make a good impression with your customers and attract passing potential customers by ensuring the exterior of your restaurant is properly illuminated. Lighting can also offer important visual cues to customers, like whether or not you are currently open. Ground lighting can reduce tripping hazards and lights can also be used to illuminate your sign.

For more information about restaurant lighting, or to get a quote, contact Fluorescent Man Lighting today at 403.863.8529 and visit

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