Restaurant Lighting

When looking for the best restaurant lighting options, there are many factors to consider. Lighting is an important element in any space, but it can have a huge impact in a commercial space. Customers will immediately pick up on the atmosphere of your business by way of the lighting. If the lighting is too bright, it may feel uncomfortable. If the lighting is too dim, your restaurant may come off as dodgy or seedy. It is important to find balance when designing your restaurant lighting plan. We have a few suggestions that might make figuring out your lighting a little easier.


The most obvious element of lighting is proper illumination. Guests need to be able to see menus and their meals with ample lighting. In fact, a lack of proper lighting could imply your restaurant has something to hide, such as dirty surroundings or unsightly food. For the kitchen and backhouse areas, you want maximum illumination to keep staff awake and energized, as well as being able to see essential food prep areas for any concerns. When it comes to visibility in customer areas, there are a few aspects to remember.

  • Lights should be bright without overpowering the space. Customers want well-lit areas, but they also want lighting that is comfortable for their eyes.
  • Experiment with different wattages until you figure out the one that works best for your space. The lower the wattage, the gentler the illumination.
  • Consider adjustable lighting that allows you to appropriately dim lights as the day wears on. For breakfast and lunch, keep things bright for alertness. For the evening, dim the lights slightly for a relaxing environment to help customers unwind.
  • The shape of the fixture helps determine the light disbursement. If you are looking for a wide scope of lighting, consider recessed lighting or a rectangle shape. For more direct and focused lighting, consider an oval or round hanging fixture.



Visibility needs to work side by side with ambiance. While any type of lighting helps decide your ambiance, you have control over the matter.

  • Choose where to focus light. If you want light that is only illuminating the tables, consider hanging light fixtures directly over the tables.
  • Make sure lighting draws attention to the areas you want to highlight. If you have beautifully crafted tables, make sure the light shows that. If your restaurant features exceptional artwork on the walls, consider small spotlight fixtures to direct the eyes of guests to that spot.
  • Remember, ambiance is not always about lighting that is dimly lit. While it is true many restaurants employ a dimly lit atmosphere, you can still have illumination if you use it to your advantage. Consider lighting options such as string lights and lanterns for added character to your space.