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The Effects of Hospitality Lighting

The Effects of Hospitality Lighting

Hospitality lighting combines science and art and poses numerous challenges since it is partially responsible for establishing a mood or tone for a space. By using lighting to influence a guest on an emotional level, a hotel or restaurant is able to establish a specific atmosphere. Understanding how people emotionally respond to lighting can help the designing process and improve a guest’s experience.

Does Lighting Effect a Person’s Mood?

Lighting does not only provide the general illumination which guests and staff require to see, but it also has the ability to influence an individual’s experience. In a study conducted in 2010 by the Université de Liège in Belgium, researchers concluded that the color of light influences the way our brains process emotional stimuli. Their findings revealed that blue light during the day stimulated the memory processing and emotion regulation areas of the brain. Since blue light has various similarities to natural day light, by utilizing the sun during daytime hours, you will not only be able to see better, but allow your guests and staff to feel better.


Although, blue light promotes as sense of well-being during the day, it is not the same case during night time. A study conducted by Ohio State University, compared the psychological effects of light during night time by testing the colors blue, red, and white, along with total darkness. Their study concluded that the blue light followed closely by white light both resulted the worse mood-related effects that lead to depression. While red light had significantly less mood-related effects, total darkness performed the best. While it’s not practical to operate a facility in complete darkness, warmer colors such as red can be beneficial during the night to promote a sense of well-being for both guests and employees alike. Using warmer colored lights at night or incorporating Edison bulbs in the hallways during night time will help avoid the “bright” appearance of cooler colored lights.  By connecting to an individual on a psychological or emotional level, a hotel a restaurant can increase the pleasure of a guest stay and increase customer loyalty and promote repeat business.

How to Improve a Guest Experience

In a hospitality setting, particularly a hotel room or restaurant, the focal point should be on the guest’s experience. From a restaurant stand point, the best looking food is the food that you’re able to see. Hotel restaurant lighting can benefit from accurate representation of colors because it has the ability to accentuate the appearance of entrees and drinks. Not only does high CRI help but, it creates a smaller space within a larger space.

“In a restaurant, each table should have its own atmosphere. It enhances the presentation of the food, and with the table as the focus, you don’t feel the people behind you.” Iowa State University.

Restaurants in particular can stimulate multiple senses, if not all them. In addition to the delicious smells, lighting can create a relaxed and comfortable mood which in turn helps establishes the value and prestige of a place of business.

A guest’s hotel room poses similar lighting challenges in order to provide a “home away from home.” The two most common complaints for guest are poor vanity lighting and reading light, along with the lack of multiple sources of light such as overhead lighting, lamps, and windows. In order to reduce complaints, provide guests with adequate task lighting for the bathroom, closet, and vanity mirror. Another simple way to improve a guest experience is to integrate user-controlled lighting like dimmer controls so it may allow the guest to control or customize their space to suit their needs.

Are your guests seeing you in the right light? Still have questions about the wonders of color temperature? Let us know by leaving a response in the comment section below or reach out to us via our FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn, or Pinterest. As always, check back on our blog for weekly updates and articles about the power of lighting.




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