Why is coffee shop lighting so important?
First, the question to ask yourself is why you visit your favorite coffee shop for a meeting, friendly outing or a new date? The obvious answer would be the great coffee, food range and prices but the much more subtle factor is the role of the lighting and its’ ability to make you feel something. Consciously or subconsciously it will very much affect the way you experience a place and most likely be a contributing factor to whether you want to return or not.
We have all walked into a coffee shop and right away we get this feeling of admiration, charm or even the feeling of being at home. As a lighting designer, I would say the aesthetic which includes the look of the light fitting has equal importance as the functional role of the light which includes light output and its dimming controls.
Aesthetics and Colour:
Your coffee shop design interior colour choice will need to match the lighting colour choice so that it seamlessly blends in together if that’s the the effect you are looking for. In this type of applications, you really have a chance to be creative and come up with your own lighting design. You can in many ways look at a coffee shop as a cozy living room or a kitchen where you have endless possibilities to create charm and character, in which lighting can have a huge impact.
Example 1: Most of the interior is black so you complement it with black fittings and fixtures or a slight variant of that black, like matte black for example. This makes the lighting blend in but still gives away that small contrast that can work as a nice little break-off.
Example 2: The interior uses timber and wooden interior in its furniture as a prominent part of the design, this way you can use timber pendants and light fixtures to keep the nature theme consistent within the cafe design.
Example 3: You might want the lighting colour to have contrast within a space. Let’s say most of the interiors are a black colour, you could start to use white light or some other bright coloured fittings here to achieve contrast in your coffee shop lighting design. With aesthetically appealing light fittings, it can really make the interior stand out.
Example 4: Let’s say you are going after a very 50/60s design or maybe even 70/80s look and feel which may call for some colours to be used other than black and white. Red, green ,blue, yellow, turquoise or whatever colour you can think of, we offer a large range of custom colours for our light fittings which make your cafe stand out in the market place.
Example 5: You’re thinking outside of the box and are looking for a lighting design that really stands out. In this case you can come a long way using linear profiles in a less traditional way. These can be installed in different shapes, not only in the ceiling, but also on the walls. They can even be installed so that they hang vertical as a pendant making it look something like an icicle. Create squares, triangles, circles or whatever configurations you desire to achieve that funky and really “out there” coffee shop lighting design that will be long remembered by the visitors.
Light Fitting Choice for Cafe:
Track lighting is an excellent choice of lighting to use in a coffee shop environment. Not only is it a very subtle and aesthetically appealing lighting, but it’s also incredibly flexible and leaves you the option to play around with the light outputs. You can for example, aim the lights on whatever you want to have illuminated as well as moving the light fittings up and down the tracks. The light fittings can be used to pinpoint art on the wall or to illuminate a cozy sofa corner in the cafe space, to mention a few alternatives.
A very important thing to keep in mind is what colour temperature you choose for your coffee shop lighting. To avoid lighting that is too bright or clinical you should always go with a warm white (3000K). Also make sure you make use of the dimming feature that the 15W track lighting comes with as it can contribute to that cosy atmosphere that a coffee shop should have.
The tracks come in 1,2 and 3-meter lengths as standard and can be custom cut to fit the size of any application. The tracks can also be put together into all sorts of different shapes which gives you even further options to be creative and play around with the lighting design. Even round and bendable shapes are now available on the market which can give a coffee shop a more artistic and playful look.
Depending on the ceiling look of your application, you can either choose to suspend the tracks or have them fixed straight onto the ceiling surface. If you happen to have an application with a very tall ceiling you might want to get the tracks down to a more convenient level as well or you’re stuck with a very rough ceiling surface that is not ideal to attach anything to. You can then attach the tracks via suspension kits that can be adjusted to whichever level you want your track to rest on. If the ceiling however, is relatively low and has got a suitable surface, a better option would be to simply surface mount the tracks which is a very quick and easy installation method.
Most linear lighting is done in aluminium material and either left silver or painted, commonly in matte black or matte white, but can in special orders be painted in any other colour. The standard light fittings come in 1,2 and 3-metre lengths which can also be cut down to custom sizes.
We can also do timber/ wooden linear profile which most of the time are suspended from the ceiling. The idea is that usually these lights create the ambient lighting within an area and is at the same time very aesthetically appealing. They’re often a very suitable choice of lighting to put in a cafe environment as they give a room that earthly organic impression which is a recurring interior style that many trendy coffee shops use these days.
The LED linear profiles are also available in an up/down lighting design which means the light fitting shoots direct light toward the floor while at the same time shooting indirect lighting towards the ceiling. It can create a nice and warm glow to a room and is ideal for spaces where you want to bring more attention to the ceiling area. This type of linear profiles are mounted via suspension kits which can be adjusted up and down to fit your requirements.
Fixed LED linear profiles can be installed for a very modern and artistic look when for example put in different configurations such as zigzagged or in square shapes. This way they can be used as a funky installation that will have a great impact on the overall interior and become a part of the overall design.
Similar to fixed LED linear profile, the light fittings can also be recessed. A hole is then cut through the ceiling surface where the linear profile then is placed, making it sit flush with the ceiling. This gives the lighting a more subtle look if you don’t want too much attention drawn to the light fittings themselves.
Lighting Designers for Cafe:
It’s always good to set a reasonable budget for your lighting project. We often go by a ‘less is more’ principle where simplicity is king. Every space is however, different and the target audience can vary a lot. It all depends on what interior style you’re looking to achieve and use the lighting as a contributing factor to that style. Some principles for lighting design in cafes will always remain the same:
This is achieved using pendants often in the linear design. Its job is to throw light onto larger areas light walkways and contribute to that glow effect we experience in cafes, this is the subtle lighting effect which can be a fine art. You could describe it as the background lighting – it’s not the light you notice first, but will still have a huge impact on the overall atmosphere in the room.
This is the direct lighting that usually pinpoints areas of the shop which you want people to gravitate toward and really highlight. The menu, artwork, the tables, a self-service counter etc. can all be lit up with this type of illumination. This is done with track lighting and a more narrow beam angle that creates a very concentrated illumination onto a selected area.
This is the icing on the cake from a lighting designer’s perspective but ultimately one of the most important parts. You need to have bright sections of the cafe and you need to have dimmed down section to create contrast, having areas of a cafe all the same light level will make it feel like a supermarket or hospital. Always remember lighting is about feeling and that feeling is what your customers keep in mind when picking their favorite cafe to visit.
Give us a call or email for a chat, send us a floor plan and get the advice you need from us. A lighting project requires careful planning and leaves room for a countless number of mistakes if not being thought through properly. The best thing you can do is get the $99 + GST 2D lighting plan completed which gives you a good idea of what the final result is going to look like. This will give you the ability know the cafe has the best possible lighting design and won’t break your budget in the planning process.