Maybe no other element of interior design has the potential to change the mood of your commercial space the way that lighting can. Do it right, and your modest interior can be visually transformed with a turn of a switch. Do it wrong, and your expensive decor falls – literally – in the shadows. As you have probably guessed, some lighting tips are in order.

Of course, all business owners face the challenge of choosing how to illuminate their commercial interiors. However, not all take advantage of the great potential that creative lighting has for enhancing the beauty of a space and making an impression on their customers. Great lighting goes well beyond functionality and helps highlight the best features of a place while hiding what is undesirable.

So, what types of light can you use to take your interior to another level, and what ares some good lighting tips when it comes to commercial spaces?

Track lights

Track lights are usually associated with a modern vibe, but they can actually be incorporated in any type of decor. Their beauty lies both in their numbers and their versatility. First, a collection of decorative elements generally has a greater visual impact that one single piece, and so do multiple light heads sending light to different corners of the room. In addition, track lights provide ample illumination, which is the perfect way to create an uplifting atmosphere.

Second, using track lights is a great way to emphasize the beauty of your interior. Install them over your display shelves and put the spotlight on your products. Direct them towards a spectacular wall mural or place them above a beautiful sculpture or architectural feature at the entrance of your luxurious restaurant. Finally, simply turn them towards your work area and enjoy their functionality. Track lights offer you excellent flexibility and the opportunity to showcase exactly what you want to be seen.

In addition, the fixture frames can play an important decorative role in your overall decor. From straight design to softly curved metal constructions, they can give your ceilings more depth and add another decorative element to your space. Even better, they can be as flashy or non-intrusive as you want.

Decorative pendants

It’s hard to imagine a restaurant that doesn’t take advantage of the highly decorative virtues of light pendants. Especially when placed over tables, decorative pendants create islands of light that turn each seating area into an intimate, welcoming space. When a cluster of such pieces are placed above a counter, they are visually powerful and can define the vibe of a space. 

If your old recessed lights start looking tired and uninspiring, take the leap and invest in decorative pendants. The choices are endless, and their potential to change your space is huge. Here are some lighting tips to get you started. Use bold shades to bring in a pop of color, choose bling if you want to dazzle the eyes, or go for a minimalist look to keep your space interesting but clean. Take advantage of their frames and their ability to lead the eye upwards, to fill the space above with beautiful decorative elements, and to echo the character of your decor.

Wall lights

Wall sconces are an excellent choice for mood lighting. Their appeal comes from their softer, less revealing light that helps you create an intimate atmosphere. It also has to do with their romantic look that calls to mind Parisian streetlights or old-world light fixtures. Finally, they have an important decorative potential, since they are more visible that other fixtures. When chosen right, sconces can play a double role as wall decor, creating shows of lights and shadows on your wall.

Need some sconce lighting tips? To make things easier, wall sconces can be plugged in, so that no major electrical work is necessary. Suspended over individual tables in a restaurant, they have a special ability to create an intimate, warm and romantic atmosphere. When combined with a traditional frame, they can imitate the look of dreamy streetlights over a little cobblestone street and make your customers relax, dream – and linger over many courses.

Color Rendering

When it comes to lighting, mastering a few technicalities can make a big difference. One of them is how to influence the way your customers perceive your space by using the right color rendition and temperature.

CRI (Color Rendering Index) is a numerical scale from 0 to 100 that shows how accurately the light source illuminates the true color of the objects. The higher the light bulbs score on the CRI, the better they are at revealing subtle color variations. As a rule, light bulbs with a CRI between 85 are 90 are very good in doing this, while everything over 90 is excellent. As an example, incandescent and halogen light sources have a CRI of 100. There are also some LED lights that go as high as 98, which takes them closer to the way that colors are rendered in natural daylight.

This is important when you want to do justice to the subtle colors of your interior decor, to the products you sell, or the food you serve. Of course, there are times when a high CRI index is secondary (like in storage areas or garages), but mastering these simple numbers in order to change the appearance of your interior helps you control the impression you make on your customers.

If you want to learn more, read this detailed explanation of color rendering and why it counts.

Color temperature

Equally important is the color temperature of your light sources. Color temperature is different than color rendering and has to do with how the light appears to the human eye when looking directly at the light bulb. If you have ever played with terms such as “warm light” or “cool light”, you were actually speaking about this very concept.

Color temperature is measured in kelvins (K) on a scale from 0K to 10000K, with most Kelvin temperatures in commercial and residential spaces ranging from 2000K to 6500K. When moving along this scale, the appearance of light changes from yellowish to bright white to bluish white, with different effects on the human eye.

Knowing this, you can illuminate your space with a bluish white light resembling natural daylight by choosing light bulbs with a color temperature between 5000K and 6500K. You can go with a bright white light source of 3500K to 4000K, better suited for an office space. Or you can create the impression of a warm yellowish light, by staying around 2700K and using the mood-creating abilities of such light sources. Restaurants, for instance, are ideal places for using warm light sources that greatly emphasize the food, complement customers’ faces and create a relaxing atmosphere.

Need more information? Find it in this great article on color temperature.

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2018 HERE.

If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a 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 “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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