Top Restaurant Lighting Trends 2023

Top Restaurant Lighting Trends 2023

Top Restaurant Lighting Trends 2023

Creating the right mood and ambience in restaurants requires the ability to blend style with your surroundings. This will help your business feel like a place where guests want to sit at a bar or table, eat, and stay longer than usual.

But are you hoping to create a sense of elegance in your eating spaces? Or perhaps you’re just after a few ideas on how to make use of the available space? Either way, your lighting fixtures can completely transform the look and feel of your restaurant.

Lighting for restaurant businesses can make or break a dining experience. To keep your guests feeling like they’ve found the perfect dining atmosphere, here are the top restaurant lighting trends to consider in 2023.

What to Consider in your Restaurant Lighting Design

When it comes to lighting for restaurant experiences, whether you’re looking to add a little more elegance and class via natural light, or you’re hoping to accentuate a focal point in a specific restaurant room, it’s important to consider things before making a final choice.

Restaurant lighting needs to complement its surroundings, and as no two restaurants should ever be the same, there are several ways to approach the design of your lighting fixtures.

Before making any decisions that can affect the lighting of a room or bar for your guests, take the following aspects of your lighting scheme into account.

Your Menu

The type of food you serve should play a pivotal role in the look and feel of your eatery. If your business offers rich and succulent food that has a little more gravitas to it than the average menu, then your lighting needs to reflect that.

Your Colour Choices

The inside of your restaurant will always work in tandem with your light choices. Your light sources should complement the overall colour scheme of your restaurant for your guests to get the full picture of your style choices.

The Overall Atmosphere

Your menu and the colour scheme should be accentuated by your lighting choices to create the atmosphere of your dining experience. Is that a casual and friendly feel, or a more intimate setting via ambient lighting?

The Latest Restaurant Lighting Ideas

The innovations in lighting styles and designs have offered restaurants many different directions to take in 2023. It all depends on what you’re aiming for based on your food, colours, and room design stylings.

Below are some of the top restaurant lighting design ideas for this year, what they can offer for your business, and how you can go about creating them in your dining areas.

Restaurant Lighting Trend: Exposed Ceiling Lights

Perfect for any building that has a classic industrial feel, ceiling lights help to cultivate a soft retro illumination in buildings with roof fittings that are too difficult to hide. The solution? Don’t hide them!

While there may have been a time when things like large piping and beams were hidden away, 2023 sees the continued increase of the ‘retro-chic’ lighting style that many diners associate with a more hip and welcoming feel.

How to Create the Best Look

Lights like this work best when you’re not attempting to hide their wiring. Instead, look to embrace the rustic feel of your ceiling and create a simple but effective hanging look to catch the attention of your diners and guide their gaze upwards to the space above.

For the same effect with a little more style and nuance, a lower-hanging pendant can be a versatile alternative to the stark industrial aesthetic.

Restaurant Lighting Trend: Menu Lighting

For restaurants looking to make their menu the hero of their inner settings, there are several stylish ways of making it stand out. For busy eateries, having the light showcase the food on offer can inspire people to stop and pay attention to the ambient light display.

And with the right hues and expressive methods of lighting, you can develop an instant feeling of rapport between a potential customer and the food on offer.


How to Create the Best Look

A strong lighting feature can be accomplished via wall lights, attractive light boxes, or by putting in a small overhead swan neck light above the board itself.

For a more modern and versatile style of lighting, you can use LED lights with LED controllers and dimmers, allowing you to adjust the hue of the display depending on the time of day and dining occasion.

LED Lighting Options

On the subject of LED lighting, many forward-thinking industries have embraced the benefits of an LED light fixture as part of their business design heading into 2023.

For restaurants, this means making the most of a creative and energy-efficient alternative to traditional methods of lighting.

For a stylish way of adding more flair to your bar, or a great alternative source of vanity lights in your bathroom, there’s unlimited potential for light sources that use LED as part of their interior designs.

How to Create the Best Look

LED lights offer multiple options to adjust your lighting according to your needs. For instance, you can purchase LED strip lights in plain white or with colour-control options to change the depth and mood of your dining areas.

An LED neon sign helps to give your restaurant that classic ambient light look without shifting the focus from your key selling points.

Through a wide range of spotlights, controllers, and adjustable LED lighting, you can save energy while using task lighting as a potential added source in areas that have a lot of ambient lighting.

Restaurant Lighting Trend: Outdoor Lighting Options

An outdoor dinner date can be popular in the spring and summer months. People are always on the lookout for an intimate and well-lit outdoor meal with the right kind of light levels.

Outdoor lights that have the right colour scheme can attract passers-by to come in and take a chance on your business, meaning that in many ways a good exterior lighting fixture can be a huge selling point. 

How to Create the Best Look

With exterior lighting, the choice is really yours. From understated string lights to create intimacy to larger-scale floodlights that provide a more open and social feel, it’s all about what you want your customers to feel when they set foot in your outdoor space.

Make sure any potential corners or stepped areas are well-lit to prevent any falls, especially during those peak business hours. For small touches, adding some string lights or tea lights to your plants and hedges can make the space feel warmer and more inviting.

Restaurant Lighting Trend: Candle Light

With lighting for restaurants, creating a romantic atmosphere by candle light may sound like a no-brainer, but this incredibly effective method of restaurant lighting design isn’t as easy as it may sound. After all, it’s not always practical to simply light a few wax candles and create magic.

But with candles working well with any interior style, there’s a timeless quality to them that evokes positive emotions. So, what’s the key to making this lighting trend work for your business?

How to Create the Best Look

Restaurant lighting ideas are best when the main focus is on the customers and how the tables they sit at contribute to the atmosphere. So, try to look for light that complements the surroundings and doesn’t steal the show from the candles.

Candle lighting can be assisted greatly by a few well-placed lamps or subtle track lighting, as opposed to down-facing recessed lighting that shifts the focus away from the softness and romance of the candle.

Restaurant Lighting Trend: Natural Light

In some places, depending on the surroundings, standard lighting fixtures just aren’t able to encapsulate the brightness and colour of the tables, spaces, and ambience of a restaurant. For this, you need natural light, which isn’t always easy to come by even when your restaurant has lots of windows. Fortunately, in these circumstances, you can illuminate small and large spaces with a neutral white LED strip, also known as a natural white strip.

For restaurants that do have plenty of natural light coming in, making use of these light sources can add a new dimension to your bars and interior focal points. But is natural light enough? Especially at night?

How to Create the Best Look

Direct light is an underutilised method of achieving stunning restaurant lighting ideas with minimum expenditure. Many restaurants that have exterior lighting install large windows to allow the space to breathe and make the most of the natural source.

Some soft understated accent lighting or LED alternatives in the evening can really help to evoke a low-key dining experience with shadows and shaded areas in your dining rooms.

Lighting Fixtures in Restaurants: A Checklist

While finding restaurant-quality fixtures for lights that can work well across different times of the day isn’t easy, using the above trends to pinpoint what works best for your customers is one of the most important aspects of nailing the right lighting scheme.

Below are some of the other final considerations to check off your list before finding the perfect light source.

  • How do the light fixtures look both night and day?
  • Does the lighting suit the style you want to convey?
  • Can customers walk in and sense what you’re aiming for?
  • Have you considered LED alternative lighting to save energy?

It’s in these final questions that you can add more scrutiny to your interior design options, helping you to install something that’s suited to your restaurant and the needs of your customers.

With the right combination of light levels and the right atmosphere, any room or table can feel awash with colours and limitless lighting possibilities, day or night.