What is hotel lighting?

Hotel lighting is all about setting the mood and making sure guests can see what they’re doing. It’s not just about having a light bulb in a room. It’s about where that light is, what kind of light it gives off, and how it makes the room look and feel.

There are a few different types of lighting in a hotel:

  1. Ambient lighting: This is your main source of light—think big chandeliers or ceiling lights. It’s all about lighting up the room.
  2. Task lighting: This is the light you need to do stuff. So, desk lamps for working, bedside lamps for reading, and lights around the mirror so you can see yourself when you’re getting ready.
  3. Accent lighting: This is all about showing off the cool stuff in the hotel. It could be a spotlight on a piece of art or lights that highlight an awesome architectural feature.
  4. Decorative lighting: These are lights that look good all by themselves. Think of a funky table lamp or a really cool pendant light.
  5. Outdoor lighting: This is all the lighting outside the hotel. It could be lights along a path, lights that show off the landscaping, or lights around a pool or patio.

Hotel lighting is all about making sure the place looks good, feels welcoming, and works for the guests. It’s a big part of the overall vibe of the hotel.

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Why is hotel lighting important?

The lighting at your B&B will have a direct impact on the general atmosphere at your property, and will leave an impression on your guests. You want to set a mood that is warm, comfortable and inviting — not harsh and business-like. 

Types of hotel lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood and atmosphere in a hotel. It’s not just about visibility, but also about creating an environment that’s welcoming, comfortable, and functional. Let’s take a look at the different types of hotel lighting.

Hotel Room Lighting

Hotel room lighting is all about comfort and functionality. It usually includes ambient lighting for general illumination, task lighting for reading or working, and accent lighting to highlight artwork or architectural features and design. Bedside lamps, desk lamps, and ceiling lights are commonly used. The goal is to create a cosy and relaxing atmosphere where guests can unwind and feel at home.

Hotel Lobby Lighting

The lobby is the first thing guests see when they enter a hotel, so the lighting here needs to make a great first impression. It’s usually a mix of ambient, accent, and decorative lighting. Large chandeliers or pendant lights can provide ambient light and serve as a focal point for the design. Accent lights can highlight decor elements or architectural features, while smaller table lamps or wall sconces can add warmth and create a welcoming atmosphere.

Hotel Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting enhances the hotel’s exterior and landscape while also providing safety and security. Pathway lights guide guests around the property, while landscape lights can highlight beautiful gardens or interior design. Pool or patio lights create a relaxing and inviting outdoor space for guests to enjoy.

Hotel Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom lighting should be bright and functional, but also flattering. Vanity lights around the mirror ensure guests can see clearly when grooming. Recessed lights in the shower or tub area provide necessary illumination. Dimmable lights can add a touch of luxury to the design and allow guests to adjust the lighting to their preference.

Hotel Facade/Exterior Lighting

Lighting the facade or exterior of a hotel is crucial for visibility and curb appeal. It can highlight the hotel’s architecture, draw attention to the entrance, and make the hotel stand out at night with superior design. It’s also important for safety and security. Different techniques can be used, from floodlights that wash the entire building in light to spotlights that highlight specific features.

Hotel Hallway Lighting

Hallway lighting is all about safety and guidance. It needs to be bright enough for guests to navigate, but not so bright that it’s harsh or glaring. Wall sconces, recessed lights, or track lighting are often used in hallway lighting design. The lighting can also enhance the hallway’s design and create a welcoming path to guest rooms.

6 creative hotel lighting solutions and tips for small properties

Lighting plays a pivotal role in setting the mood and atmosphere in a hotel, especially in small properties where every detail counts. It’s not just about visibility, but also about creating an environment that’s welcoming, comfortable, and functional. But how can you make the most of your lighting, especially when you’re working with a smaller space? The answer lies in creativity and strategic planning. From the placement of lamps to the use of natural light, there are many ways to enhance the lighting in your hotel and create a memorable experience for your guests. 

Here are six creative hotel lighting solutions and tips that can help you illuminate your small property in the best possible way.

1. Place your lamps and light fixtures out of the direct sight line of your guests

When the lamps and other light fixtures are at eye level with your guests, it can cause glares and make it difficult for them to see. You don’t want to blindside them — quite literally — when they walk into your B&B and begin to check into their rooms. By adjusting the height of your fixtures, you will create a calm and welcoming atmosphere that is ideal for greeting your guests.

2. Use different types of lighting in the guests’ rooms to allow flexibility for the individual to set the mood

Within the rooms, there should be overhead lights that brighten up the space if necessary, but also lamps and wall light fixtures that allow guests to create a dim light. Some people prefer to read by the dim light at night, but need the bright lights overhead to get ready for their day in the morning. You need to give your guests the lighting options they need so that they can customise their own experience.

3. Make sure that every space of your property has adequate and appropriate lighting

When you’re planning your lighting design, think about how each space will be used and what kind of mood you want to create. For example, a cosy corner with a comfy chair might need a soft, warm light for guests to curl up with a book, while a hallway might need brighter, cooler light to help guests find their way. Remember, the goal is to make every part of your property feel inviting and easy to navigate. And don’t forget about outdoor spaces! A well-lit patio or garden can be a beautiful and relaxing space for guests to enjoy.

4. Invest in simple lighting technologies

Today, there are numerous lighting technologies designed to help hotel operators save on costs and reduce energy usage. However, some of these technologies can be complex and confusing for guests. The last thing you want is for guests to walk into their rooms and struggle to turn on the light. This is where a hotel lighting control system comes into play. A well-designed hotel lighting control system can be intuitive and user-friendly, allowing guests to easily manage the lighting in their rooms. Not only does this enhance the guest experience, but it also allows for more efficient energy use. So, investing in a simple, easy-to-use hotel lighting control system can be a win-win situation, improving guest satisfaction while also reducing energy costs.

5. Prioritise natural lighting throughout your small property

Large windows with airy treatments allow the natural light to stream into your lobby, dining areas, gathering spaces and guest rooms. Natural light allows people to feel more comfortable and at ease during their stay.

6. Don’t forget to light up the details

Up-lighting can be used to highlight the special details at your property, such as historical artefacts or paintings by local artists. Be sure to incorporate light fixtures where they will highlight the best that your B&B has to offer.

There’s more to selecting B&B lighting than finding a few vintage lamps and placing them throughout your lobby and in the guest rooms.

You need to consider not only the design elements, but also the atmosphere that your hotel lighting provides. To learn more about small hotel lighting and other ways to improve the guest experience, sign up to receive our weekly newsletter.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).