Choosing exterior lighting for a restaurant

Exterior lighting can significantly enhance the attractiveness and success of your business, especially during evening hours. It provides visibility, visual appeal, and offers a first opportunity to make a statement. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your entrance and pathways are well-lit, allowing your customers to navigate to your entrance doors with ease. So, how do you go about choosing exterior lighting for your business? Follow these key points.

Lights and cafe name as part of a coffee shop exterior

1. Durability against environmental elements

Your outdoor lights should be durable and resilient when it comes to standing against the elements. They need to withstand rain, snow, high winds, or a combination of these. These fixtures should be tough while making your business stand out. Look for materials like stainless steel or aluminum with a weather-resistant coating.

Light sconces as exterior lighting for the outdoor space of a restaurant

2. Energy efficiency

When considering your option, whether outdoor wall lights or larger fixtures, prioritize energy efficiency. LED technology stands out for its low energy consumption and long lifespan. Additionally, it offers a cost-effective solution for keeping your area well-lit.

Warm lighting in outdoor restaurant

3. Compatibility with your architecture

Consider the style of your commercial building to find an exterior light that complements its architectural aesthetics. Whether your building boasts a modern, minimalist or classic design, selecting a fixture that aligns with its visual appeal is a straightforward choice.

Lanters above a street full of restaurants

4. Design and layout

Consider the layout of your outdoor space when determining the number of lights needed. Strategic placement enhances visibility for customers at night, improving both safety and ambiance.

Decorative lights in front of a restaurant

5. The right brightness

Finding the right balance is key: Excessively bright lighting can contribute to light pollution, and negatively affect the environment and wildlife. If you’re concerned about this, choose fixtures designed to diffuse light spillage and minimize glare. However, make sure that the lighting is still sufficient for visibility purposes.

String lights creating a warm ambiance on a restaurants's terrace.

6. Compliance

Selecting exterior lighting involves complying with relevant regulations, including local laws and zoning requirements. Consider factors such as light levels, light trespass and glare control. Choose lights that won’t disturb neighboring properties and passersby.

Neon lights above a large cafe.

7. Maintenance requirements

For optimal longevity, prioritize lights with simple maintenance needs, such as easy bulb replacement and cleaning. Consider fixtures with smart lighting capabilities, including remote monitoring and diagnostics, for effortless, low-level maintenance.

Ideea for choosing exterior lighting - wall sconces on a restaurant's facade.

8. Motion sensors and timers

Motion sensors and timers serve two key purposes: energy conservation and security. Lights that activate via motion sensing can deter intruders while providing convenience for visitors and employees.

9. Color temperature and CRI

Color temperature and Color Rendering Index (CRI) can significantly impact the appearance of your business’s outdoor space. LED lights with temperatures ranging from 2000 to 3000 Kelvin are highly recommended for optimal illumination.

10. Affordability

When budgeting for lighting, it’s wise to prioritize fixtures that balance initial cost with long-term savings potential, considering factors like longevity, brightness and maintenance requirements. Additionally, explore any available rebates or incentives for energy-efficient lighting upgrades.

String of outdoor lights in front of a restaurant

When choosing exterior lighting for your property, it’s essential to consider your specific requirements and tastes. Whether your business operates around the clock or has set hours, the right lighting can enhance its appeal and visibility at night. Moreover, it should prioritize safety for both visitors and employees.

If you are thinking to open a new business or are in the process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at the “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight into how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

See our Small Store Design Extravaganza: Commercial Interior Design and Branding 01 book about branding small businesses from logo design to construction, with colorful images, offering insightful explanations every step of the way.

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