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Why back of house lighting should not be overlooked

Author: Richard Bevan
Published: February 21, 2018

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Any good hospitality business needs to deliver an enjoyable guest experience and create a great lasting impression, if they wish to attract and retain customers. Lighting plays a crucial role in helping restaurants, hotels, and bars to meet this goal, and through implementing good lighting design the overall guest experience can be increased significantly. Conversely, poor lighting can have the opposite effect.

In fact, in a survey we conducted last year we found that 80% of people who had visited a hospitality venue such as a restaurant, bar, hotel, pub or café found the lighting to be below par, with nine out of ten respondents going as far to say that bad lighting would be enough to put them off revisiting a venue in the future.

While lighting is a critical component in front of house areas, it is equally important in back of house spaces such as kitchens, corridors, maintenance rooms, laundries, offices, and so on. Having good lighting in these areas can dramatically improve the wellbeing and mood of staff, not to mention the health and safety of anyone who ventures into these areas.

Back of house lighting tips

To ensure the lighting is adequate in back of house areas, consider these following tips.

  • Direct and reflected glare from bright bulbs can negatively impact the visual comfort and safety of employees. Ideally, seek a balance of indirect or semi-indirect light reflected from the ceiling, along with direct task lighting positioned above work surfaces.
  • In low traffic areas such as storage rooms, laundries, service corridors, and stairwells, opt for motion sensored illumination to reduce energy expenditure.
  • Moisture proof bulbs should be used in high moisture spaces such as laundries or dishwashing areas as well as food prep and cooking areas in order to allow for quick and easy sanitation from accumulated dirt and splashes.
  • High colour rendering light sources (for example LED bulbs) are usually best for food preparation tasks.
  • Long corridors can cause a disorientating or claustrophobic “tunnel effect” which can be minimized through the use of layered lighting on walls and ceilings, adding in artwork, ornaments, and planters along with accent lighting will ensure these spaces remain invigorating and visually interesting.
  • Consider adding recessed down lighting above room entrances.

The future is LED

LED bulbs are becoming an increasingly popular choice for businesses owners. This is mostly due to the fact that they are an energy efficient lighting source, using approximately 50-90% less electricity than traditional incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent bulbs, which can result in significant energy cost savings over time. Additionally, a quality LED bulb has an expected lifespan of 30,000–50,000 hours, however a typical incandescent will only burn for around 1,000 hours. With this longer life expectancy, LEDs require less maintenance, making them a cost effective lighting option for both back and front of house solutions.

Lighting is plays a fundamental role in any hospitality business, and back of house areas present an enormous opportunity for energy savings, due to the fact that lighting is often left on for long periods of time when these areas are not in use. Implementing energy efficient LED lighting along with motion sensors where applicable, and encouraging staff to switch off lights after use can lead to significantly reduced energy bills over time.

Contact us to speak with an expert about reducing your lighting bills.