Harness the power of lighting to improve your customer’s experience

Lighting directly influences your customers’ experience. And, of course, lighting within hotels varies dramatically from lighting within office environments, retail stores and other locations. Moreover, the lighting for the different parts of a hotel varies from area to area. This is obviously similar to our previous blogs which have concentrated on how commercial furniture differs from location to location as do the colour schemes used to zone your hotel.

Understanding the benefits of using appropriate lighting in your hotel enables you to make an informed decision regarding the implementation, placement and variety of the lighting that will best serve your space. And of course, to do this, you must first consider your brand, style and what outcome you desire from the different areas of your venue. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to the hotel industry but all customer establishments, from restaurants and cafes, to pubs and bars.

Remember, as soon as a customer walks through the entrance to your hotel, their experience has begun. And lighting is acombination of both science and art. And, it’s not easy to get it right… You have to take into consideration both artificial and natural light because they really do have such an impact on your guests moods and the overall atmosphere of your hotel.

The hotel exterior
A customer doesn’t even need to step into your hotel before they begin experiencing your brand. And this is why the exterior of your hotel is as important as your interior. It needs to uphold your brand and style. The lighting effect should complement and highlight the architectural design. And, of course, there’s the health and safety element which needs to be taken into account on the exterior of any hotel, including sufficiently lit walkways, staircases and pathways etc.

Lobby
The very place to create the ‘wow’ factor.  The mixture of natural and electric lighting here is key and you will want to create an inviting and welcoming space for guests to check in. As highlighted in a previous blog however, you don’t want guests hanging around in this space for too long. They should be moving relatively quickly to their rooms, the restaurant/bar or outside areas. 

Restaurant
Lighting within your restaurant will very much depend on the design of this area. The main aim of any restaurant is to highlight the table and whilst adding designed lighting to ensure the area is aesthetically pleasing. But, make lighting a focus and central to your design and apply different layers of light. You need to consider ambient lighting which provides the general level of lighting. Also, task lighting located close to the till or serving area. Also, accent lighting which is typically spot lighting which draws attention to a particular feature. Finally, decorative lighting to personalise your space.

Bedrooms
The bedroom is the place guests need to carry-out all manner of tasks, sleeping, reading, working, getting ready for an evening out and relaxing with a glass of wine. So, a mix of lighting is crucial. Dedicated reading lights will be required next to the bed. Many hotels feature wall-mounted bedside lamps to keep the bedside table clear. Make sure switches are close to the bed and customers are able to control the central lighting system from here. Bedside lights should always be separate from the main circuit.

Ensure there’s a good light near a full-length mirror and the dressing area – a lit mirror will also work. Many hotel bedrooms feature a desk, and this should be lit by its own lamp. 

Conference area
Hotels can provide the setting for diverse events, from business meetings to weddings. As people are unlikely to want to celebrate the best day of their life in a venue that reminds them of work, the best thing to do is to provide options. From a wide choice of colours to adjustable dimmers – guests need to be able to light the room to fit their needs. Pre-defined settings for different functions can save time, enabling a quick switch from “evening reception” to “conference” for example.

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Corridors
Corridors are often overlooked when it comes to lighting design. As they form an important part of the journey from the foyer to the rooms, they should link the different areas of the hotel in a way that reflects the atmosphere experienced elsewhere. Whilst sufficient lighting is required to aid orientation, there shouldn’t be great differences in the temperature of lighting as you pass through different spaces.

Smart lighting and sustainability
As we’ve noted in a previous blog, smart technology is very much coming into its own in the hospitality industry and lighting is no different. In the morning for example, cool lighting might be used during breakfast, whilst in the evening warmer lighting can create a cosy atmosphere. Other areas such as the bar might need to be zoned out using lighting contrasts when not in use.

Smart technology is extremely apparent within office environments and you’ll often find sensors are used heavily so if one section of an office is not being used, lights will remain off and as soon as movement is recognised, the lights will go on, saving a huge amount of energy and this is becoming more and more apparent within the hospitality industry as well.

Make sure your lighting doesn’t cast a shadow over your ratings. More often than not, customers complain either in person or online specifically about lighting, saying its dim or bad etc. When lighting is done well within a venue it generally actually goes unnoticed! It shouldn’t be left in the hands of electrical engineers but a designer or architect. And, you must ensure that it works in conjunction with your commercial furniture and your décor/colour scheme. And, as simple as it sounds, make sure that your lighting systems are entirely intuitive for your guests – usability is key!

If you require help with the overall design of your venue, we can help as we have many commercial interior designers who can assist from design to implementation, so why not give us a call and get the ball rolling. Why not take a look at our range by visiting our website or alternatively call 01452 336 520 or email sales@eclipsefurniture.co.uk

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