The Key Role of Lighting in Hotel Design

Lighting is considered a key part of any interior design project, illuminating different areas of a room or space and ensuring that navigation is good whether it’s the evening, middle of the night or first thing in the morning.

In this blog post, we’re taking you through the intricacies of hotel design from a lighting point of view, drawing on the relationship between natural light and engineered lighting, how to illuminate different spaces in different ways, and how to ensure that the lights suit your theme, aesthetic, and ideal environment.

The importance of lighting from a practical standpoint

First thing’s first, lighting is what enables both your guests and hotel staff to move around the hotel safely and with ease – making it one of the most important considerations in terms of functional use of your building and different areas.

Hotel corridor lighting

Alongside the illumination from the bulb itself, you have the practical importance of the fitting, shade, or bulb mount. This, alongside your other furnishings and accessories, plays a major role in the theme and how the hotel looks – with attention needing to be paid to small details like keeping the light and its entire fitting clean.

How engineered lighting works alongside natural light

Have you ever noticed how a light and airy hotel on the beach or in the countryside has a different vibe from one which is in the city, and which creates a moody and intimate atmosphere?

The use of natural light against artificial and engineered light is one which required a refined balance, not only in terms of maximising natural light without dulling your decorative lighting, but also in terms of how the different light sources affect the look of your hotel.

Another way to look at this is by considering the difference between al fresco seating and an underground bar. One boasts a much closer and often more intimate environment, while the other is light and open and much more relaxed. This is a great way of understanding the importance and impact of different light sources on the feeling of a space.

How does lighting affect hotel guests?

Everything from the colour of your lighting to its intensity and situation can play a part in how it affects guests. A bright white light which shines uninterrupted from a single spotlight tends to feel quite clinical and is often reserved for bathroom settings. Meanwhile, softer lighting which is dulled by a shade lends itself to bedrooms and to relaxing communal areas where guests want to feel welcomed and relaxed.

The way that you light the different areas of your hotel can impact how guests feel, how much time they want to spend in that location, and how convenient that spot is for its intended use. And believe it or not, this requires more thoughts and consideration than you might think.

Corridors for example, need to be well lit to facilitate easy navigation. They should use a mix of wall mounted lights and ceiling lights to allow guests to find their hotel room and then unlock easily, with many hotels opting for automated and motion sensor lighting to alleviate the need for lights to be left on all the time.

Meanwhile, your hotel reception should be reflective of the environment and vibe that you want your guests to enjoy during their stay. For many hotels, the ideal reception is one which feels light and airy but also underpinned by their theme – which means that lighting becomes as much a part of the decoration as it is a functional accessory.

Finally, to the bedrooms – the main part of a hotel which impact the guest’s stay. This is where you need to strike the right balance between aesthetic detail and function, ensuring that the bathroom is well lit, that the ceiling light is balanced with wall lights and bedside lights, and that the furniture is carefully configured to optimise the presence of any windows or natural light sources.

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