Imagine seeing the beautiful exterior of a hotel, but inside the lobby is the complete opposite. It’s dark and it’s hard to see the detail in the furniture and ceiling. This type of lobby would feel very cold and unwelcoming. Now imagine seeing the same hotel and walking into a well lit room with a chandelier that adds extra light. It’s almost as if the furniture and every detail have come to life. A lobby with a well thought out lighting design can grab attention and act as that “wow” factor for your guests.
There are different types of lighting that can be used. Some, such as accent lighting, set a mood or is used to create drama while others, such as task lighting, is used when work needs to get done. Task lighting would most likely be found near the reception desk. The third type of lighting is called ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is considered to be the “general light in the room.” It should be used in a room where conversations can be held or where people are gathering. You want this lighting to make the guest feel relaxed when carrying on a conversation. It’s important to use the correct type of lighting in your lobby. If there is an area for eating, there should be an atmosphere but enough lighting to read a menu. This lighting would be different from the area near the reception desk. The lighting here would have to be brighter. No matter what type of lighting you use, lighting helps bring the room, the furniture and everything else in it to life.
The lobby of your hotel is the first area of space your guests see when arriving for the first time. Think of it as the first impression; you want to “dress to impress.” People are visual creatures and lighting can help impact the overall perception of your hotel. Every hotel has an image they want to covey. The lighting used can help convey this image and message to your guests when used correctly. Lighting, in fact, can influence emotions, which will in turn affect how your guests perceive the hotel as a whole and whether or not they will return. You could have the most beautiful furniture and décor, but if the lighting is wrong, it could give off the wrong impression. The furniture could come off as dull or flat. Guests won’t be impressed and the lobby could look unwelcoming; in turn, the guest will most likely find a different hotel when they return. If the lighting is too dark, a guest could feel uneasy and if the lighting is too bright it could make a guest feel restless. The lighting of your hotel helps introduce the image and feel of your hotel.
Finding the correct lighting in your hotel lobby can be a challenge because they serve various activities. People go to the lobby to eat, meet friends, to work or are just passing through. Having the correct lighting to complement each of the functions is crucial. Creating zones in the lobby can help tackle the challenge. Lobbies shouldn’t have one lighting design. It should all work together and complement each zone. If they are going there to work, the lighting should be bright enough for them to read and if they are going there to relax for a bit before going out, the lighting should make them feel at ease. The lobby is the main room in a hotel. Guests should always feel comfortable going to the lobby regardless of the purpose. The lighting is what brings all of the elements that make up the lobby together. It turns a stay into an experience by creating an atmosphere that makes the guest feel at ease and at home. It is important to create the right mood for your guests and yet make the lighting be practical for the various functions a lobby serves.
There are many ways to tackle the lighting challenge. Many hotels use the “layer” technique. This is when you use each of the types of lighting by using various decorative and functional lighting products. You could use lamps at eye level and have chandeliers to provide ambient lighting. It is important to choose the correct type of decorative lighting product. You don’t want your lobby to look like it was decorated just for the sake of being decorated. Decorative lighting should not be the primary source of lighting. The decorative lighting should be the final touch that complements the furniture.
While creating mood and an atmosphere is important, it is also wise to remember natural lighting and in turn what that means for your lobby when the sun sets. For example, imagine having a lighting design that works well during the day because of the use of skylights. There is the right amount of natural light that makes the room feel warm, welcoming and open. People are easily able to converse with each other but once the sun goes down, the room becomes very dark, unless you have ambient lighting. It is important to remember that your hotel lobby has to function both during the day and at night. Some hotels use a timer for when it becomes nighttime; the alternative lighting is turned on. You want enough lighting so that during the night, the atmosphere of the hotel stays the same. If you have skylights think of ways non decorative lighting could be used to maintain the same amount of light during the night. You don’t want your hotel lobby to have a “split-personality.” It should always convey the same message regardless of the time of day.
The lobby is the first room your guest sees. The lighting should complement the furniture. It should make the room come to life. This way, it will make your guest feel welcome and will give them a good first impression. Lighting is crucial because it brings your lobby to life.