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Three lighting trends to watch in the hospitality sector in 2018

Author: Richard Bevan
Published: November 22, 2017

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Lighting in the hospitality sector has come a long way in recent years, with the emergence of LED technology in particular paving the way for new and innovative lighting solutions. No longer is lighting just about functionality, it’s now an integral element of design and customer experience, and increasingly it is providing a way for businesses to add some extra ‘wow’ factor to their venue. Here are three lighting trends to keep an eye on in the hospitality sector in 2018.

1) Li-Fi

Light Fidelity, or more commonly known as Li-Fi, is a way of wirelessly transmitting data through light waves in visible light sources. When compared to Wi-Fi - which uses radio wave transmission - Li-Fi offers a number of key benefits; most notably, it’s reported to be 100 times faster than Wi-Fi, and much more secure due the fact access is limited to users who are in the same room as the light source. The major downside of Li-Fi is that once the lights go off, so does the internet connection.

Li-Fi is very much still in the early stages of adoption and its potential for the sector may not have been fully realised yet, but as owners of hotels, bars, restaurants and other hospitality establishments seek to improve guest experiences, and meet the needs of an increasingly mobile-centric population, emerging technologies such as Li-Fi will become increasingly important.

2) Smart lighting

Smart lighting is becoming increasingly popular in homes across the country, as users take to their smartphones and tablets to wirelessly control the colour and temperature of the lighting throughout their properties. But smart lighting is starting to show signs of adoption in commercial settings too, as the benefits of having full control over lighting become realised by business owners. Smart lighting makes it possible to experiment with endless arrays of colours and temperatures, and as such, one single bulb - or a set of bulbs on the same network - can cater for every scenario, season, or event.

3) Hypercontrol lighting

We recently carried out some research amongst consumers to find out more about their attitudes towards lighting in hospitality venues, and we discovered that 60% of consumers would be more likely to visit an establishment if they were able to control the lighting to create a ‘mood’ over their table or in their area.

Smart lighting makes this possible, as individual bulbs can be controlled to suit the needs of guests. For example, a large group of diners sat around a large table may prefer a brighter light so they can see each other at far ends of the table, while a couple out for a romantic meal may prefer a softer, warmer light to help set the mood for the occasion.

This could be a big deal for hospitality venues, as our consumer research also revealed that nine out of ten participants would be deterred from returning to a venue if the lighting was bad.

Today, there is a growing demand for technology to form a part of the customer experience - it is no longer a nice extra to have, but more of an expectation. With this in mind, we predict these lighting trends to become more widely utilised in the next 12 months and beyond.