Hotel Lighting: The Definitive Guide

Lighting is one of the most important things in a hotel or other accommodation facility. Therefore, the first step to providing quality services to your customers is to ensure your building has the correct lighting. The hospitality industry is highly competitive, which is why pairing the right hotel light fixtures with the correct hotel lighting ideas plays an essential role.

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Setting up hotel lobbies with modern style lighting is a little difficult. However, there are several additions you can make for beautiful lighting results and better interior designs.

What is Hotel Lighting?

Hotels and the hospitality business undergo constant change and if you decide to run a hotel yourself, you must know how to light it properly. You must have noticed that hotels and their interiors, (including the hallway, a shop, or lobbies), have different kinds of lighting.

This is because hotel owners want to make their hotels look good without overspending. A good instance of this is the accommodation options in Italy, which have a good reputation for their well-lit interiors as compared to the rest of the hotels in the industry.

The majority of clients visiting these hotels want a beautiful ambiance and want a balanced environment.

Why is Hotel Lighting Important?

Hotel Lighting At Night

The hotel lighting has a huge impact on the customer experience as well as the overall look of the hotel for the customers. It is one of the most fundamental things to consider if you wish to make a positive impact on the guests.

There are various kinds of lighting options that you can go for, but we are going to mention some of the best benefits of focusing on hotel lighting.

Benefits of Hospitality Lighting

Following are the top benefits of ensuring you have good hospitality lighting for your customers.

Improves Mood

The lighting of a hotel impacts the mood of the visitors, which is why you must prioritize lighting. For instance, warm lighting at the entrance of the hotel indicates a welcoming aura at the hotel.

In most cases, hotels use LED lights that mimic natural lighting, instead of the traditional yellow hue LED s that you find in a large number of buildings. Additionally, other lighting fixtures allow users to make adjustments to light intensity during the night for a peaceful sleep.

Activates Senses

Poor lighting can make your hotel interior look bland, which is why most hotel rooms have a strong and well-lit interior. You can also choose custom designs to ensure your hotel lobby and other major parts of the hotel look good enough. They will help you make the right first impression and enhance your hotel’s overall look.

You are more likely to interact with things around you if you can see them better. Higher visibility also makes the building’s overall features look more attractive.

Provide Convenience

Lack of proper lighting can be incredibly inconvenient for customers, especially when they are working or looking for something. Similarly, a couple or a customer that wishes to purchase something from the market needs to get dressed first. However, this is quite difficult without proper lighting.

Moreover, something simple like reading a book may also become difficult, if without sufficient light.

Believe it or not, most guests terminate their stay, clear out their account and leave from hotels where they do not have the perfect experience. Therefore, you must do everything in your power to ensure your guests have a memorable experience.

Lighting Trends for a Hotel

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hotel ceiling light

There are different characteristics like the design, size, location, and theme of the hotel that you need to consider before choosing the right designs for your hotel interiors. We are going to discuss these factors for your guidance.

Factors to consider for Choosing lighting Trends in a Hotel

Following are the most important factors to consider while choosing the right lighting trends for your hotel

Limitation of Glare

The glare rating is one of the most common reasons why hotel interiors seem uncomfortable for visitors. This refers to the amount of light that enters your eye and can interfere with your vision.

While lights with higher glare might make the interiors look brighter, they can also be a little difficult to look at. Therefore, it is essential to choose your hotel lighting accordingly.

A hotel light with 150 lux light levels is ideal for hotel and bathroom lighting, but you should experiment with it to ensure you have the ideal indoor lighting for the building.

Distribution of Light Bodies

The distribution of the lights in a hotel determines how balanced hospitality lighting looks as a whole. It also helps balance the number of shadows that appear in the room while the guests move around in the hotel.

The ideal distance to keep in lighting is around 4 inches if you have a fore ceiling design in your hotel. You can also add floor lamps to the mix if you want to illuminate more areas. However, you should add floor lamps in a way that they blend perfectly with the rest of your hotel’s lighting.

Color of the Light

The color of light you opt for should always stay balanced, but certain areas should have warmer lighting. Signboards in your hotel or entrances should have warm lighting to create a more welcoming aura.

However, you can use a mix of cool and warm tones on windows to bring more depth to it. You can enhance this effect if you use a curved design with your windows. Similarly, making other simple tweaks to your hospitality lighting will help you achieve excellent results.

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color temperature

Relative Color Rendering

The relative color rendering index is the light’s ability to imitate natural light. A good rating for the color rendering index depends on the kind of lighting you use.

Try to use lighting while keeping in mind the accumulative effect of these lights. Therefore, it is best to balance different types of hotel lighting in a way that they blend in perfectly.

Correct Direction of the Light

The direction of the lighting impacts how intensely or loosely your lights reach the designated areas. Therefore, you should cover all angles of the hotel for maximum lighting. The best way to do this is to light hotel with a 360 coverage.

Similarly, if you have a square art piece that you wish to keep in your hotel, try to adjust the light’s direction to its accordingly.

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hotel lighting

Types of Hotel Lighting

Hotels generally have wide spaces and filling these spaces with the right kinds of lighting will help you bring a beautiful and well-designed look. Therefore, we are going to mention the most popular types of hotel lighting that you should know about.

a) Direct lighting

b) Diffused lighting

c) Indirect lighting

Direct Lighting

Direct lighting is intense and shines from the source to the surface. In this type of lighting, the bulb shines directly into the room without any deflection.

Diffused Lighting

The diffused lighting uses a translucent shade or material as the original light source is completely enclosed in these kinds of lights.

Indirect Lighting

You can think of the lighting as a secondary lighting system that helps improve the overall look of the hotel. This kind of lighting usually bounces off walls, ceilings, or other surfaces for a more 360 lighting effect in the room.

Lighting Requirements for Hotels

The lighting requirements for a hotel differ for each hotel. Therefore, we are going to discuss some fundamental pointers to ensure that you have the perfect hotel lighting design for your next hospitality lighting setup.

Modern Hotel Lobby

Consider the Layout of the Hotel

Your hotel’s layout is one of the first considerations for choosing the right lighting. While making simple lighting design changes can help, it only works if it is according to the surrounding of your hotel.

Interestingly, you can find exclusive deals on lighting products while lighting hotels if you buy them in a bulk. This can help you make the lighting process more affordable.

Maintain Your Hotel Theme

The possibilities of creating the perfect look for your guests are virtually limitless considering there are so many options. However, it does not play well if you compromise on the quality of the lighting in your rooms.

You should always consider the theme of your hotel while deciding the elements to incorporate or leave out. For instance, you would want to use the same kind of theme for your hotel if you want a more professional look for the interior.

But, then again. it depends on your hotel theme. However, keeping this little tip in mind will help you create the best-looking hotels and increase sales.

Ensure All Areas Have Good Lighting

You never know where your visitors may visit around the hotel, therefore, you should ensure that your hotel has ample lighting throughout the indoors and outdoors. You should especially make sure that areas like the corridors have sufficient lighting. Consider using similar color tones in all these areas to keep the look of your hotel balanced.

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hotel lobby

Add Flexible Lighting Options

Flexibility plays an essential role in hotel lighting because customers have different lighting requirements during their stays. Therefore, try to make your hotel lighting flexible. The best way to do this is to add lamps to the rooms that have bulbs with interchangeable temperatures.

This will allow people staying inside the hotel to alter the lights of their rooms according to needs. We also suggest adding a master switch that can turn off all the lights within a room. These kinds of lights are more common with modern hotel projects.

Keep it Simple

While providing flexible options in a hotel plays an essential, you should always avoid overcomplicating things. Most of the hotel projects end up installing too many buttons and lighting options, which may not be ideal.

Just make sure that you cover all the space efficiently and you should not have any trouble. We also suggest adding lighting in parallel connection, so that people use them according to their needs. Additionally, if you have an art piece in a glass or near a furniture piece, ensure there is good lighting around it.

Invest In Quality Lights Only

There are various light options in the market that you can choose from and the pricing for these lights varies accordingly. However, the price of the lights in a hotel space should not be your only concern.

For example, imagine installing a low-quality light fixture in your hotel lobby. It will most likely have a lot of malfunctions and impact the overall look of your lobby.

Therefore, you should install the highest quality lighting in hotels only, even if they are slightly costly. Doing so will save you from various other expenses in the long run.

Hotel Light Interior

Prioritize Efficiency

Setting up fixtures for a glass surface or furniture should not be your only concern. You need to think of the energy expenditure that you will need to bear for your hotel lighting.

Therefore, choosing cost-effective alternatives is the easiest way of ensuring you do not have to bear extra expenses. Thus, choosing LED s for your hotel is the best way to minimize the energy costs for your hotel.

Now that we have talked about the factors that you need to consider in setting up your hotel lighting, let us discuss the best ways to make your hotel lighting designs stand out.

How to Create a Hotel Lighting Design That Stands Out

Hotels usually have a complex architecture and design, and to ensure your hotel has a suitable lighting design, you must learn how to light up the various areas of your hotel. Therefore, we are going to discuss these areas next. Let us begin.

How to Illuminate a hotel lobby

The lobby is a simple passage or transit that allows visitors to reach other areas and sections of the hotel. While you may think that it is not important, it serves the most important part. For starters, it is usually the first place visitors will see when they enter your hotel.

So, it is safe to say that the lobby will help create the first impression of your hotel. The lobby is usually quite spacious as compared to other hotel areas. It will represent the kind of hotel you run as well as the kind of services visitors can expect from the hotel during their stay.

There are several ways of lighting up your lobby, however, the easiest way is to focus more lighting on the reception. The reception area usually has a chair and a table for furniture, for the receptionist to sit. Try to throw a balanced amount of light here, so that new visitors know where the reception area is.

However, avoid adding lights at a 180-degree angle of the receptionist as it could glare and compromise their vision. You must add multiple warm tones to the lobby as they bring a welcoming look.

It is wise to balance the horizontal and vertical lighting to ensure that the lobby passageway guides visitors to their designated locations.

How to Illuminate the corridors of a hotel

The hotel rooms are the next most important part of your hotel lighting setup. You should try to make the hotel room lighting as simple as possible for the visitors. This includes having functional lights with intensity setters and easy switch on and off options.

Try adding a central on and off switch on both ends of the room, so that visitors can switch lighting easily. A simple control panel on side of the bed or the entrance of the room is enough for this job.

You should also add lighting that allows visitors to stay well-aware of the surroundings. Most of the hotel rooms tend to use bulbs with a temperature rating from 2700 to 3000 K. This helps provide sufficient light to the room while avoiding any kind of glare into the eye.

Additionally, avoid using extreme contrasts in the room as the aim of lighting should be to blend in with the environment properly. You should still try to find balance by experimenting with similar light temperatures to avoid monotony.

How to Illuminate hotel rooms

Setting up lights in hotel rooms is perhaps the most complex because everyone sees hotel rooms differently. Therefore, you should add flexible lighting options in the hotel rooms. Adding a regulator to the rooms will help the guests adjust the intensity of the light inside the rooms and personalize it as per their requirements.

Similarly, adding temperature-changing lights is also a good idea. These lights offer to switch between three light temperature settings. Visitors in the hotel room can adjust the temperatures for these lighting according to their needs and create the perfect lighting in the room.

However, there are few places in the room, including the bedside, the switchboards, windows, and mirrors that you should always be surrounded surround with sufficient lights. Try to add bed lighting for visitors that like to read or study in bed.

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hotel room

How to Illuminate a hotel bathroom

Bathrooms do not require complex lighting, however, you should try to direct all the lights towards the mirror for your visitors. However, the direct light should stay within 20% of the total light in the room, if you wish to avoid uncomfortable reflection.

It is a major reason why most hotel bathrooms use a diffused lighting set up to ensure that the bathroom lights do not overcompensate the space available.

How to Illuminate the common areas of a hotel

The common areas of the hotel like passageways, sitting or waiting areas, etc do not require extreme lighting. You still need to pay attention to blending the light fixture with the space available. It can help you develop a more profound style with your common areas. It is a major reason why most common areas have chandeliers in the center of the room.

How to Illuminate a Hotel Bar

The hotel bars are one of the most interesting areas to light up as they have a more relaxed look. You would not want to stuff the bar with extreme lighting because it may overwhelm the people visiting. Try to keep the environment as relaxed as possible. It will also make it easier for people to make conversations without worrying about dazzling lights.

Similarly, adding more color to your bar would be a great idea if your hotel visitors are younger. We suggest adding chandeliers as the centerpiece. You could also use a disco ball if the hotel bar has a dance floor. However, the chandeliers provide a more sophisticated look indoors.

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How to illuminate hotel outdoor

The hotel outdoor is also just as important as the indoors, as it is not only essential to the people who are entering but also the ones who pass by it. However, keeping the outdoor lighting simple matters. If you have an LED board for your hotel, chances are that your hotel is going to be quite visible f. One of the best ways to do this is by utilizing pendant lighting.

Modern Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting is a popular choice for outdoor light fittings. This kind of lighting is a bit different from primary lighting options. These lights fit into the ceiling and hang by a wire, which provides very sleek and modern lighting wherever you install them.

However, the bulb inside the modern pendant lighting needs to blend with the rest of the surroundings properly. For example, if you are installing it in a hotel park or lawn, try adding these lights along the wall or fore ceiling with equal gaps in between.

We also suggest adding energy-efficient LED bulbs so that you can bear the expense for it even if your lights keep running throughout the night. Interestingly, the pendant lighting also helps add retractable and customizable cable lengths to increase or decrease the light impact.

How To Create Lighting according to the Non-Standard Hotel Styles

Hotels have different themes and styles which require making necessary changes to the lighting accordingly. Let us take a look at these non-standard hotel styles and how you can make changes to them.

Non-Standard Hotel

A non-standard hotel focuses on catering to special visitors like tourists or certain groups. These may include hotels that provide specific services for honeymoon couples or adults. In most cases, visitors in these kinds of hotels are usually looking for fun and memorable experiences, which is why ensuring that they get a comfortable and memorable time here is important. If your hotel has large structures or statues, try to use direct light on them to make them look more visible during the nighttime.

Similarly, if your hotel is located at a good location, try to use lighting to your advantage to make the hotel stand out.

The more unique your hotel looks, the more people would want to visit it. You can also add a souvenir or gift shop here to sell more products.


Creating the perfect lighting experience for visitors in your hotel is vital. It is essential to develop your hotel lighting in a way that fits your visitor’s needs and blends with your hotel design and theme perfectly. The best way to ensure you have an ideal living experience in these surroundings requires taking each part of the hotel separately.

It is best to add lighting to the lobby, rooms., bathrooms, and outdoors one by one. However, all these lightings should fit together like perfect pieces for a well-designed picture. Just make sure that you consider the direction, spacing, intensity, rendering ability, and pricing of the lights that you wish to use.

It will take some time to come up with the perfect look for your hotel but it will help you stay on top of the competition for years to come. We suggest you reach out to us at RC lighting for more information. We are a leading provider of commercial lighting for hotels and the hospitality industry. Ensure mentioning the specifications of your hotels in your order, and we will deliver whatever type of light you need to design your hotel.

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