The Best Lighting Options for Restaurants & Bars

bar lighting

Your bar or restaurant lighting should be determined by the unique mood that you want to create inside the establishment The lighting you choose for your bar or restaurant will have an immediate effect on the atmosphere. Lighting plays a significant role in your customer’s mood and overall experience inside your establishment. 

There are several factors that should be considered when selecting the lighting inside your establishment. These factors include your unique consumer demographics, hours of operation, and the mood you are trying to create. 

The following informational guide was developed to provide design ideas to assist bar and restaurant owners in choosing the best lighting for their establishment.

Light Fixtures

The wisest thing that bar and restaurant owners should do is to install light fixtures that can be manipulated easily based on their current lighting needs. Doing so will allow you to use different types of lighting without having to make extensive design changes in the future. 

Natural Lighting

Using natural light to your advantage is a visually appealing and cost-savvy way to lighten up a space. Optimize your natural lighting during daytime hours with windows, in outdoor spaces, and certain fixtures.

Accent Lighting 

Accent lighting is a great way to draw attention to specific areas and still keep the overall ambiance of a room intact. There are several types of accent lighting that can be used.

Pendant Lights

These lights hang from a chain or cord and are generally used to create functional, ambient light over bars and tables.


Chandeliers can be used for general or accent lighting and are generally used in higher-end establishments.

Wall Lights

Wall lights can make a space appear larger and the mood inside your establishment feel brighter. 

Cost-Efficient Lighting

The following types of bar and restaurant lighting are the most cost-efficient options:

  • LED Lighting
  • Smart Lights 
  • Utility Lighting

Utility lighting is also a great choice because it distributes light efficiently across large areas. This is ideal for businesses with large, open floor plans and in dark locations. 

Hours of Operation

Which hours your business is open is an important factor in determining which type, and how many different types, of lighting that you need. 


If your restaurant is open during the morning hours you have the benefit of natural light. You should use natural, warm lighting that mimics the sunlight. 


Dimmable lights are the best choice for afternoon hours because of the inconsistency of outside sunlight at this time of day. Natural light will also vary based on the time of year. You should also use lamps to add to your ability to manipulate the lighting this time of day.


Bright accent lights are a great way to illuminate specific areas throughout a bar or restaurant but keep a generally relaxed environment. This will allow part of the establishment to remain dark and provide light where it is needed. 

Professional Lighting in Franklin, MA

Contact a lighting professional to learn more about the best lighting for your bar or restaurant. The professionals at Brunelli Electric are knowledgeable and experienced in lighting design. Reach out to us today for more information. 508-400-5571

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