Lighting is key when walking into any hotel. The wrong lighting can make your public space appear garish, stark, and inhospitable. Too much florescent lighting even gives me headaches. Yes, lighting is insanely important for both function and comfort.

Picking proper light fixtures, bulbs, and design might seem like a simple task, but with so many options and the diversity of spaces in hotels, it is a somewhat complicated process. Here are a few tips to implement appropriate lighting design in the public areas in your hotel.


First and foremost, utility comes first. Consider how a space will be used and what activities guests and staff may engage in before making any lighting decisions. When judging the amount of light a room needs, you should consider more than brightness and temperature. Furniture and barriers can obstruct illumination causing parts of the room to be less well-lit than others. Be mindful to create even lighting.

When choosing your bulbs and fixtures, consider their purpose. Chandeliers, for example, are not only used in foyers and entryways for their elegance; they provide ideal illumination for large spaces. Similarly, wall lights add length and a sense of direction. Task-specific lighting is perfect for countertops, desks, and other work areas where functionality is of particular importance.

Focal Points

From wall paintings and decorative vases to bathroom counters and restaurant tables, certain locations require extra illumination. Set the overall lighting of a room first. Then, look for focal points of areas requiring more light and make selections accordingly. 

For example, if you have seating in the lobby, you’ll want to add lamps. You’ll also need bright, directional lighting on the front desk to read and sign the necessary paperwork. Lit doorways help guests find their room number and unlock the door more quickly while juggling their luggage. Special wall frames have built-in lighting to highlight pictures and mirrors or specific areas on a wall.


Making people feel welcome and relaxed is our top priority in the hospitality industry. You can do this through lighting design elements such as relative brightness and color temperature of lighting.

Cool colored hues are helpful in creating and maintaining concentration. This type of lighting is ideal for office space and conference areas. Warm tones make guests more relaxed. Relaxing activities require ambient light between 150-200 lux, while more focused activities require stronger lighting of around 300-500 lux. Super bright can be a visual shock and continuous exposure to them can increase feelings of anxiety. Only use fluorescent lighting where you want to create a sense of high-energy or when bright lights are necessary for function. For flexible space, simple! Choose flexible lighting options.

Work with what you’ve got

Sunlight provides an incredible amount of brightness without the negative psychological effects or lowered productivity of artificial lighting. Natural light is also preferable to man-made lighting because it adds to the visual space of a room and shows off colors better and by bouncing off reflective surfaces. When available, Consider skylights and large windows for your lighting option. Use sheer drapes and curtains to allow the maximum amount of light from your current windows.

Lastly, remember that there is no single formula for proper hospitality lighting. You are the expert! Let your style shine through. Don’t be afraid to let lighting fixtures and installations become a part of the decor. The best lighting neither adds nor detracts from a space; it is inseparable from the concept. Think creatively with artistic fixtures of all shapes, sizes and colors. These can add character to your hotel.