5 Tricks for Picture-Perfect Hotel Lighting

Whether it’s the furniture and décor or the ambience and comfort, hotels need to be perfect in every way. Hoteliers know that the smallest slip-up can come back in a negative review. And given that guests are paying top dollar for a hotel stay, can you really blame them for expecting nothing but the best?

One factor that’s just as important as your hotel’s furnishings and décor in setting a desired atmosphere is light. In fact, according to a 2014 survey of 350,000 hotel guest complaints by Osram, the majority of guests complained about lighting quality. Specifically, guests complained about bad, dim, and poorly-positioned lighting in the lobby, hallways, and in rooms.

Whether you’re managing a big hotel chain or a modest inn, below are a few tips to help you make the most of your lighting system and give your guests a better experience.

Plan Your Lighting

Other than serving a utilitarian purpose, lighting also has a decorative use. Given the importance of lighting in the hotel experience, the best thing you can do is to hire a professional to help you with your lighting setup. Lighting setups and layouts are usually up to electrical engineers, so style and design may not be a priority. Look for professional light planners and designers specializing in hotels or commercial lighting to choose the proper fixtures for your establishment.

Adapt to Changes in Hotel Lobby Design

Hotel lobbies are constantly changing. From once being compartmentalized into separate spaces for a foyer, restaurant, bar, and check-in counter, modern hotels have free-flowing spaces where different activities can happen in one large room. As such, it’s important for your lighting to be adjustable to adapt to the primary activities happening in the lobby throughout the day.

For example, a small section of the lobby might be used as an entertainment area for performers. At night, the lobby’s bar shifts into an area for socializing over drinks. Your lighting can use contrasts to zone this area out.

Make Your Lighting Consistent

Whether it’s the grand hall or a small powder room under the stairs, every area and space should have good lighting. You’d be amazed at how a small detail, such as a flickering light at the end of the hallway, can affect your guests’ experience. Make it a point to ensure all of your lights are working perfectly and that there is consistent lighting in all spaces.

Flexible Room Lighting

Little details like dimmers, which allow your guests to adjust the brightness of light in a room, make a huge difference in the usability and beauty of a room.

In individual suites, having dimmable lighting allows your guests to create their own personal ambience depending on what’s happening during the day. For a romantic dinner care of room service, for example, your guests can dim the light to create an intimate atmosphere.

Small details such as task lights on either side of the bed, a ring light in the bathroom, and close lights are all nice touches that make the room more usable.

Invest in High-quality Sustainable Lighting

Although slightly more expensive than conventional lighting solutions such as halogens and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), LEDs make up for it with their superior energy efficiency, long lifespan, and ruggedness. These lights are perfect for the demands of commercial light—long hours of operation, extreme temperatures, and constant vibration.

When in doubt, talk to the pros to figure out how best to light your hotel or inn in a way that makes your guests feel comfortable and want to stay longer.