Types of Restaurant Lighting and What It Says About Your Restaurant

Designing the perfect ambient space in your restaurant means considering the different interior design elements. The architecture, the area, the paint and choice of colors, the furniture, and the layout all play a vital role in creating an inviting and welcoming experience for your diners and customers.

But often, restaurant lighting is not top of mind and can be an afterthought in the design process. The value of restaurant lighting is underestimated, with some restaurant management experts saying that lighting is an essential element of interior design. Not having the correct type of restaurant lighting for the right intention will make your dining patrons feel underwhelmed or overstimulated.

With diners and patrons wanting to escape the drudgery of the pandemic and isolation, all restauranteurs must ask these questions when welcoming back patrons:

What patrons are you trying to attract? Is your venue located in the hustle and bustle of the city or in a quiet location? Do you operate earlier in the afternoon or later in the evening? How do you want your patrons to feel?



As the name suggests, ambient lighting in restaurants creates your restaurant's overall ambiance and mood. Ambient lighting creates warmth and depth within your dining space while illuminating your restaurant space without glare.

Low, soft-lit lighting can create an intimate, upscale experience, making this ambient lighting perfect for a restaurant's bar or lounge area. But the same effect can be recreated on tables by placing a suitable table lamp that diffuses the light onto the table without the glare while still creating Intimacy and warmth between diners. Low lighting encourages diners to linger comfortably and stay for longer, perhaps for coffee and dessert coupled with good conversation.

Low, soft-lit lighting creates an intimate dining ambiance 

Cordless table lamps for restaurants are a seamless way to create luxury and Intimacy in any particular space of your restaurants, such as dining tables, bar areas, or cocktail lounges.  

Bright lighting, in contrast, encourages a more energetic and lively mood, making this type of ambient lighting perfect for casual and family restaurants where bright lights and bright noises are to be expected. Bright lighting can also encourage diners to move on once their meal is complete, allowing for more turnover in the dining rush hour.

✔ Minimal glare

✔ Creates depth

✔ Intimacy and warmth


Accent lighting refers to the more decorative light sources around your restaurant space that attracts attention for visual interest. The bar's back wall, paintings, architectural features, and sculptures often require the proper accent lighting.

Accent lighting is used to draw attention to the bar area of a restaurant

Floodlighting or spotlighting is often used for accent lighting to draw attention to particular restaurant spaces, highlight signs, or showcase art. Accent lighting can help illuminate your room without overpowering or taking over the overall ambiance of your restaurant.

Wall lights are often used in restaurants where lighting fixtures on walls can help provide additional overhead lighting. They also create lighting and design accents around your restaurant space.

Chandeliers are typical examples of accent lights that draw your attention to the overhead space of a restaurant. They are perfect for high-end restaurants and upscale lounges and bars looking to create a sense of elegance and grandeur.

✔ Attracts attention for visual interest

✔ Elegant and grandeur

✔ Great lighting and design accents