In­te­rior de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects are cre­at­ing the de­sired am­biance us­ing a mix of con­tem­po­rary and tra­di­tional lamps of vary­ing lux lev­els

MGS Architecture - - Restaurant Design & Lighting -

From cove light­ing, spot­lights and pen­dant light­ing to down­lights, flu­o­res­cent lamps, chan­de­liers, string lights and can­dles, in­te­rior de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects are cre­at­ing the de­sired am­biance us­ing a mix of lamp types that range from the most con­tem­po­rary to the tra­di­tional, and of vary­ing lux lev­els for dif­fer­ent ar­eas and time of the day and night.

Light­ing de­sign and lamps are in­te­gral to cre­at­ing the right am­biance in restau­rants. While nat­u­ral day light is pre­ferred with a mod­er­ate level of ar­ti­fi­cial light­ing dur­ing the day time, a low in­ten­sity light­ing is de­sired in the evening to cre­ate a re­laxed and in­ti­mate at­mos­phere for the din­ers.

A restau­rant uses light­ing de­sign to set apart dis­tinct ar­eas which may in­clude a ban­quet hall, a lounge-cum-bar, a dance floor, etc. The light­ing in a bar or dance floor, for in­stance, is usu­ally more dra­matic with lights chang­ing colour, coun­ter­tops that glow, star ceil­ings, splash lights and wall wash­ers, etc. Restau­rants and bars, in fact, al­low a lot of room for in­te­rior de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects to get cre­ative and ex­per­i­men­tal with cus­tom made/un­usual light­ing to em­pha­size the restau­rant’s theme and gen­er­ate ex­cite­ment.

Use of bright and white lights in fast food joints at­tract cus­tomers and give a sense of fast paced ac­tiv­ity and quick, ef­fi­cient ser­vice. On the other hand, fine din­ing is char­ac­ter­ized by elab­o­rate dec­o­ra­tive light­ing fix­tures, with low lux lev­els to cre­ate in­te­ri­ors that im­part a sense of lux­ury and qual­ity. Clean, white light with a con­sis­tent color ren­der­ing, high­lights the color and tex­ture of the food mak­ing it ap­pear more hy­gienic and ap­pe­tiz­ing. On the other hand, light­ing that is too dim, can cre­ate con­fu­sion, al­ter the colour of the food, and make read­ing the menu oner­ous.

It is im­por­tant to pay at­ten­tion to the ef­fect cre­ated by a lamp type and its light as it can al­ter the diner’s ap­pear­ance to ei­ther flat­ter his/her looks or not. Strong over­head lights at sharp an­gles es­pe­cially, are

Restau­rants and bars al­low a lot of room for in­te­rior de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects to get cre­ative and ex­per­i­men­tal with cus­tom made and unique light­ing con­cepts to gen­er­ate ex­cite­ment

con­sid­ered un­flat­ter­ing, while over­head pen­dant lights, ta­ble lamps and can­dles that im­port a soft glow are con­sid­ered com­ple­men­tary. Lamps placed on floors, or amidst pot­ted plants, on cor­ner ta­bles etc, cast in­ter­est­ing shad­ows on the ceil­ing above and around the guests. Glare from re­flec­tive glass wall pan­els and mir­rors, or light bounc­ing off sur­faces such as pol­ished ta­bles and coun­ter­tops can ir­ri­tate din­ers.

Spot­lights ac­cen­tu­ate a space, paint­ing or ar­ti­fact and cre­ate drama. Says Ar. Se­ung Hun Ham, AA Stu­dio Con­sult­ing, Sin­ga­pore, “The pen­dant spot­light is a kind of wiz­ard to cre­ate a space to con­cen­trate. Many restau­rant busi­ness own­ers over­look the fact that light­ing ac­counts for a very large por­tion of restau­rant sales. Pen­dant light­ing is a di­rect light that makes it pos­si­ble to in­ten­tion­ally bring lo­cal­ized light­ing down as close as pos­si­ble to the ta­ble, es­pe­cially in crowded spa­ces. The out­side of the ta­ble is dark­ened and the dome-shaped lights al­low peo­ple to fo­cus on con­ver­sa­tions and pay at­ten­tion only to peo­ple in front of them. When con­ver­sa­tions get go­ing peo­ple tend to stay on longer and more fre­quent or­ders con­tinue to be made, so store sales will nat­u­rally in­crease.”

Down­lights when re­cessed or mounted on ceil­ing beams, high­light spa­ces such as the en­trance, the cashier’s desk, din­ing ta­bles, the salad bar, etc. Flu­o­res­cent light fix­tures are rec­om­mended for the kitchen, en­trance, and park­ing area be­cause of their bright light, ef­fi­ciency and cool op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture. The light em­anated is bright enough to pre­vent ac­ci­dents, fa­cil­i­tate quick, ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tions, and give a sense of safety.

Com­ments Tushar Joshi Se­nior As­so­ciate Projects at Ozone De­signs, ”High lev­els of gen­eral light sug­gest work and ac­tiv­ity as seen in fast food joints and in cafe­te­rias. Lower light lev­els sug­gest peace and rest. Peo­ple draw closer and talk more qui­etly in dim light. High-end restau­rants have very low light lev­els. In­ten­sity of light and its di­rec­tion can trans­form mood, add some drama to the en­vi­rons. The same prin­ci­ple can be used to make a sur­face more dra­matic and draw at­ten­tion to it. Di­rect, an­gled light can cast shad­ows on a wall to high­light its tex­ture. On the other hand, an ob­ject such as a paint­ing, lit by a plain light is well il­lu­mi­nated but ap­pears flat. How­ever, light­ing the same ob­ject by di­rec­tional spot­light will high­light the paint­ing and give emo­tion to it.”

He adds, “Light af­fects the be­hav­ior of peo­ple, and ev­ery kind of space asks for a cer­tain mood. Be­tween low and high-end spa­ces there will be a dif­fer­ent light­ing con­cept. Mood and ex­pe­ri­ence is the essence of a restau­rant, and the light­ing de­sign and con­cept de­ter­mines this to a great ex­tent.”

Light­ing at­tracts, so the ex­te­rior light­ing of a restau­rant should be de­signed to cre­ate a strik­ing first im­pres­sion. Light­ing that high­lights the ar­chi­tec­ture or land­scape of the restau­rant, cre­ates in­ter­est in the passers-by. LEDS with their dy­namic color-chang­ing are of­ten used for high­light­ing the place with well-lit sig­nage, side­walks, path­ways and stair­ways.

One can­not over-em­pha­size the im­por­tance of light­ing, as a well-con­sid­ered light­ing de­sign can trans­form the restau­rant en­vi­ron­ment and im­pact busi­ness be­cause light­ing has a di­rect im­pact on the diner’s ex­pe­ri­ence and en­joy­ment of the place.

Light­ing can trans­form the restau­rant en­vi­ron­ment and im­pact busi­ness as light­ing has a di­rect im­pact on the diner’s ex­pe­ri­ence and en­joy­ment of the place

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