Lighting Design

Be Our Guest: Lighting in Hospitality Design

Photography by Stephane Brugger FLOS AIM Lights at the W Hotel |Photography by Stephane Brugger

Hotels and restaurants are spaces that sit squarely on the border between functional and recreational. They are simultaneously high-traffic work environments and spaces meant to feel comfortable on a personal level. Because of the dual nature of these service environments, hospitality lighting design is incredibly demanding, requiring superb task performance and sustainability without compromising the aesthetics that contribute to the greater concept or experience of the space. To meet these competing needs, interior designers look for contract lighting solutions that pull double duty.

All too often, restaurant guests are stranded in the dark, unable to read the menu or see their food because of dim general lighting. Brightening the overhead lighting levels, however, would ruin the private, sophisticated atmosphere that first brought them into the space. Instead, experienced designers supplement overhead ambiance lighting with task-oriented lighting, often a wall sconce or pendant lamp. These types of lights are typically designed with greater aesthetic consideration, intended to be seen, and so create a cohesive visual identity for the space while providing a direct illumination that doesn't spill onto the neighboring tables.

Photography by Stephane Brugger FLOS AIM Lights at the W Hotel | Photography by Stephane Brugger

Designers of hospitality environments also use modern lighting solutions to enhance the unique architecture of buildings. Bold pendants, like Jasper Morrison's Smithfield lights, draw the eye upwards to accentuate dramatically high ceilings. Repeatable solutions are particularly effective in restaurant and hotel lighting, since they create the opportunity to unify a design aesthetic while sufficiently meeting the lighting demands of larger spaces.

smithfield FLOS Smithfield Pendant Lights at Ellabess in NYC | Design: Gryzywinski + Pons

In contrast to overhead and wall mounted lighting, table lamps create a welcoming atmosphere by being reminiscent of home environments. They create visual landing points for visitors, and guide them towards important locations in larger spaces: the concierge desk, the host stand, etc. Additionally, they serve as task lighting for those service employees. It's important to carefully select these lights for their support of the overall design concept, as they see a high volume of interaction with guests. Consideration of these "smaller" details is what sets great spaces apart from the rest.

spun light at hotel FLOS Spun Light elevates a hotel lobby.

FLOS lighting solutions are particularly well-suited to hospitality environments, meeting the highest standards of design and performance. They are lighting designs that invite visitors in to stay, explore, and relax. Explore dynamic hospitality spaces featuring FLOS with us on Pinterest to inspire your next project, or see our architectural solutions for custom hospitality lighting ideas.