Not sure how to light up your building or business? Here are 7 excellent tips to better manage contract lighting in your commercial space.
What is meant by contract lighting?
The term contract lighting refers to all phases, from design to construction, which concern the lighting of a contract space. Contract spaces refer to all those places open to the public, ranging between: reception rooms, dining rooms, halls, rooms and bathrooms of hotels; salons of state-of-the-art restaurants or bars; but also office, theatres, cinemas and shops, up to the private lighting of large villas and luxury yachts.
Contract, i.e. made to order, arises from the choice of the restaurant owner to turn to professionals. The architecture or interior design studios involved will propose multiple projects and will then get in touch with the manufacturing company to create the required lighting.
Contract lighting has become increasingly essential in the design or renovation of your premises, as it allows you to highlight the interiors and wonderfully welcome your guests, immediately sending them positive emotions as soon as they cross the entrance threshold.
Each contract lighting project has the main objective of creating a functional environment with a strong scenic impact, in fact only through the right lighting will it be possible to make the most of all the work done for interior design.
Taking care of every detail inside the premises
Who loves take care of every little detail within his own premises, he must also consider the light and cannot fail to evaluate the contract lighting.
In fact, illuminating all spaces with style allows you to elevate the room to a level of perfection and elegance such as to remain pleasantly imprinted as a memory in the minds of its customers or guests. This is possible thanks to a refined and original lighting.
This has been well known for years in the fashion and retail industry, where lights and shadows are used to enhance the products displayed in stores, favoring and encouraging the customers’ shopping experience, as this translates into higher revenues.
It is possible to choose the lighting style you want most, so as to guarantee solutions specifically created for each type of environment, creating a perfect synergy between light and furniture.
How to choose the right lighting:
And here are 7 winning ideas for your place, whether it’s contract hotel lighting, contract bar lighting, restaurant lighting or for your home, these 7 tips will certainly help you choose the right lighting.
1) Keep in mind the importance of natural light
Natural light (white light) includes all color wavelengths, so it is the purest light and gives us the most accurate color rendition, unlike artificial light where you need to know the true color rendering capacity of the lamp used since it differs from natural light.
Then there is the obvious benefit that the more natural light you have in a room during the day, the less electricity you will have to use to light up your space. But there are also enormous physical and psychological benefits, as natural light improves the circadian rhythms that control our sleep cycles, body temperature, hormone release and other key bodily functions.
So natural light also results in an improved mood and a higher level of motivation and productivity. So do your best to maximize your natural light and then use a tiered lighting scheme for your artificial light.
2) Always use 3 types of light
By far one of the most common mistakes people make when lighting their businesses or private homes, is that they don’t think about the layers.
What I advise you is to always use 3 lighting levels:
- Ambient Lighting
- Task Lighting
- Accent Lighting
Ambient lighting refers to a light source that provides illumination to the entire room. This is usually the only type of light people have in their homes. Forms of ambient lighting include chandeliers, ceiling fixtures, recessed or semi-recessed lights and wall sconces, they can sometimes be chosen to be the focal point of the room, catching the eye of the customers, or through their bright nuances they can bring out the focal point of the venue (a work of art, a painted wall, or simply a bar counter or restaurant tables).
Task lighting is used in smaller areas where brighter light is needed when performing specific tasks such as reading or cooking, for example. Task lighting includes table lamps, floor lamps, suspensions and abat jour.
Accent lighting is used instead to highlight objects or architectural features of the room. Accent lighting includes uplighting such as floor lights for a plant, picture lights, LED strip lights, and directional lights.
Task lighting should be about 2 times brighter than ambient, and accent lighting about 3 times brighter than ambient.
3) Calculate the amount of light needed
It will certainly be very important to calculate the amount of light needed in order not to exceed or limit the use of light sources. All you need to do is multiply your square feet by 1.5 for your ambient light needs and multiply the square feet by 2.5 to determine your task lighting needs.
To convert square feet to square meters, divide the square feet by 10.764. 10,764. For example, for a 12×14 room, which would be 168 square feet (about 15 sq m), you’ll need 252 watts for your overhead lighting and 420 watts for your task lighting for that room.
Keep in mind that another approach used is to determine how many Lumens you need, these refer to how much light a bulb emits, where the higher the lumens the brighter the bulb will be. To determine how many lumens a room needs we use a chart for the metric system, which is when we measure in square feet. Consider that a 10 watt LED bulb is equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent bulb.
The metric system is measured in “lux”, which is the term used to describe how many lumens are needed for each type of room. For example, for an ambient light in a salon, aim for 110 to 220 lux per square foot. Let’s say your living room measures 12 square meters, now multiply 12 by the recommended lux, so your range will be 1320 to 2640 lumens. That said, these are all guidelines, for example if you have dark walls and very high ceilings, you will need more lumens for proper lighting.
4) Consider the structure and size of your space
When choosing correct lighting, it is necessary to consider the dimensions of your structure, as it goes without saying that contract hotel lighting can afford larger spaces than contract lighting for a bar or restaurant (the same goes for a private residence).
This is a key point, as you will surely have gone to a club and been enraptured by the furnishings but strongly unhappy with the lighting, because it may be blinding or too dim. In fact, to ensure that your business exploits lighting to its full potential, you need to take into consideration parameters such as the diameter and height of the device to be installed and relate them to the square meters and height of the room to be illuminated.
5) Choose the lighting based on the functionality of your environment
You need to know what activities will take place in each room of your business before deciding which type of contract lighting is preferable, depending on whether you are looking for hotel lighting or bar or restaurant lighting.
For the Entrance / Hall a general ambient light is definitely recommended, such as a chandelier or large pendant light and I would also include a secondary light source, as a table lamp or picture light for any artwork you may have, always related to the size of the entrance clearly.
For the lounge area we will have some ambient light, perhaps dimmable, and an excellent choice would also be abat jour or a floor lamp with a traditional lampshade.
For the dining room I recommend making the chandelier or chandeliers the brightest light in the room, or hang pendants above each table for your cafe or restaurant, flanked by a pair of sconces for paintings or similar artwork.
For bedrooms, a small chandelier or applique throughout the room is fine as ambient lighting, and as accent lighting I would use bedside lamps or wall lamps with adjustable arms. so that the light can be directed on the book you are reading.
The bar area is one of my favorite places to include a chandelier or maybe even two pendants if you have a counter to place them on, as well as recessed lights on the space behind the bar.
For bedroom bathrooms, my favorite combination is to use sconces throughout the space (especially on the sides of the mirror), and combine them with a ceiling light that illuminates from above to fill in the shadows.
Finally, for contract hotel lighting, recessed lights or appliques along the wall are recommended in the corridors.
6) Vary the light sources
First of all, it is important not to have dark or shaded corners in a certain part of the room, this could easily happen in larger rooms such as hotel lobbies, so you need to pay special attention to these.
Then it’s important that every place has a variety of light sources, which means that there doesn’t have to be all table lamps in a restaurant hall or at least not all of them can be lit. Starting with a good lighting scheme is all about providing visual interest to a room and this will never be achieved with a single fixture.
Another important factor in being able to vary light sources is that there is a variety of intensities in your light, using dimmable light sources for example.
7) Take care of the choice of light bulbs
The choice of light bulbs is more important to the overall design of your place than you might think. This is because light bulbs emit different color temperatures, which have a significant effect on the atmosphere of your business or home. There are essentially 2 different types of light bulbs: CFL and LED.
CFLs were born to replace older incandescent lamps, and while they are cheaper than LEDs, LEDs are still the first choice of most designers for a variety of reasons. LEDs initially had a bad reputation for making a room seem too cold, but today’s LEDs are much improved and can closely mimic the look of incandescent bulbs.
Additionally, LEDs tend to last up to 6 times longer than CFLs, require little maintenance, use less energy, and are even cooler to the touch. Light bulbs generally have a range from 2500K to 6500K: the K stands for Kelvin rating which tells us what its color temperature is, which means how warm or cold that light is, with 2500K the hottest and 6500K the coldest, 3500K is a fairly neutral color temperature. That said choosing one color temperature or another is partly a personal preference, but you should also consider the style of your interior design.
As it is easy to understand there are many aspects to consider before choosing the contract lighting that best suits your needs, it is therefore essential to rely on a team of professionals in the sector who will be able to recommend the best tailor-made solution.
Cristalleria Murano ® makes its team of contract experts available free of charge, with the aim of creating original and refined lighting, to give any environment a distinct and classy air, so as to guarantee excellent performance both from an aesthetic and functional point of view.
Contact our Contract Team for a free quote
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