Designing a hospitality lighting specification


Hospitality lighting specification can directly impact the success of a commercial venue. Designing lighting projects can help to create an intimate atmosphere for restaurant spaces or bright and bold spaces for hotel reception areas.

To create an effective lighting scheme, first and foremost it is important to consider the preferences of the establishment’s typical clientele; the architecture of the building including ceiling height; the amount of natural light; focal points to a space; ambiance; and safety for the occupants to a space. There will also be modifications for different times of day.

Detail Lighting are specialists in hospitality lighting specification. We work with architects and specifiers to design lighting specifications that enhance hospitality venues, ensuring they are fit for the purpose intended and comply with UK Building Regulations including Approved Document L.

Designing a hospitality lighting specification
Image courtesy The Lighting Design Studio

Current lighting trends for hotels

The current lighting trends for hotels include several key concepts.
  • - Use of natural light. Natural illumination has a positive impact on mood and wellbeing of occupants.
  • - Layering of ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting to be both functional and atmospheric is very popular in current lighting trends for hotels. 
  • - Bold statement lighting. This can be particularly effective in bars or large reception areas.
  • - Sustainability and energy efficiency. Lights that are handcrafted or made from sustainable or recycled materials are popular. Energy efficient bulbs are now generally a preferred choice in current lighting trends for hotels to manage energy consumption and keep costs down.
  • - A blend of decorative light fittings such as chandeliers, pendant lights, table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconce lighting and others.
  • - Technology in hotel lighting. Technology allows for lighting to be programmed according to the surrounding interior design, mood and time of day.

LED Lighting for hospitality venues

LED lighting


How to illuminate zones within a hotel

Reception area

The reception area is the first touch point with the hotel, where first impressions matter a great deal in hospitality. Essentially the reception area needs to tell the story of the hotel brand. 

Reception desks can either be lit by a dominant light or a warm welcoming light, depending on the design of the interior space. Designer table lamps create a lounge feeling while statement chandeliers represent the opulence and luxury that many hotel guests are looking for.


Guests want to control the lighting in the bedrooms as soon as they enter the room and from their bedside. Warm, coloured lighting is ideal as a contrast to bright main lights. A directional wall light next to the bed will help guests to read.

Terraces and outdoor spaces

Terraces and outdoor areas can be illuminated with floor lights which will create a beautiful effect and also bring the inside and outside together as one room.


Light in hotel bathrooms should be directed to the mirror, with lighting on the sink bright enough to illuminate the entire room. This allows the bathroom to double up as a dressing room.


In the corridors, lighting is purely functional to guide guests towards lifts, stairs and rooms. Varied levels of lighting will provide the necessary definition.

Hotel lighting

We are specialists in hospitality lighting specifications

Detail Lighting are specialists in hospitality lighting specifications. We create stunning lighting design for the hospitality sector and supply lighting fixtures for a wide range of applications. We advise our hospitality clients on how to create the right atmosphere through strategic lighting design.

Contact Detail Lighting to find out how, with the help of specialists in hospitality lighting specifications, you can create inspirational hospitality venues.

Hospitality lighting