Where to Get Lighting Design Inspiration for Your Restaurant

February 7, 2019

Open a Restaurant

Unless you’re running a greasy pizza by the slice joint or dingy city cafe, you probably want to put some thought into the lighting of your restaurant. Just like decor, lighting sets a tone. What’s that tone going to be?

These days, eco-friendliness is also a huge concern for most businesses. Not only can lighting really add to your energy costs (and your air conditioning costs, in some cases), but it gets expensive really fast if you don’t do things right the first time.

In most cases, you’re going to want to go with some kind of LED lighting. Incandescent is out, halogen can be awfully warm, and fluorescent…well, let’s not even go there. You’re not running a prison cafeteria.

LEDs are ridiculously affordable and versatile. You’re no longer limited in your options – you can get LED bulbs in pretty much any size you’d need, even for older light fixtures or pendant lights. For an even sleeker look, you can opt for LED strip lights. You can get them in virtually any color temperature, with dimmers, and even with color-changing options.

The main thing to remember is not to go cheap. You might save a little up front, but when your cheap gear goes bad on you, they’re a pain in the butt to change out (especially if you’re talking about strip lights that were carefully installed in hard-to-reach areas.

Anyway, let’s talk ideas. Where can you go to get lighting design ideas? Here are my Top 5 places:

  1. Houzz – Because…obviously. Not only can you get great ideas, but you can easily find local contractors to help.
  2. Pinterest – There’s a bit more garbage to sift through on this one, but it’s still full of lots of great ideas.
  3. Google Shopping – If you’re looking for fixtures, there’s some crazy cool stuff here.
  4. Google Image Search – Just type in “restaurant lighting” and scroll, scroll, scroll!

Where did you get your restaurant’s lighting design inspiration from? Did you have a plan, or did you sort of just go with the flow? Do you feel lighting is important for the dining experience? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


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