Commercial Bar Lighting Ideas to Set the Mood

Commercial Bar Lighting Ideas to Set the Mood

Lighting is a key design element in any bar or restaurant. Not only does lighting help set the mood, but it also tells your customers what to expect from an evening out at an establishment. 

With that being said, before you choose specific lighting solutions for a bar, you need to ask yourself what the goals are. 

Are you trying to create a romantic setting? Do you want customers to be struck by the modern aesthetics of the bar’s design? Or maybe you’re looking to amplify the football game playing on the wall behind the bar?

Whatever your aim, there’s a lighting solution out there that’s perfect for any bar! Let’s break down a few commercial bar lighting ideas to help you and your team start to set the mood.

Bar Lighting Basics

Popular lighting for bars includes track lights, strip lighting, and recessed lights. Overhead lighting tends can be a little overwhelming and stark if used widely within bar design (though it can be helpful and practical for bar staff when used correctly.

Cylinders are another option for sensible work lighting in bars that won’t ruin the overall design you’ve chosen. 

Romantic Bar Lighting

Romantic lighting is about much more than dimmer switches and dark corners. Even so, bright lights are the enemy of romance. 

Instead, aim for the private pools of light with lower color temperatures and higher CRI created by smaller decorative pendants or suspended cylinders above tables. This will create bright areas that illuminate what guests eat or drink. 

A combination of sconces, chandeliers, trackheads and recessed ceiling lights create a soft romantic atmosphere that will allow visitors to feel like they are in their own little world – while also providing bartenders and other staff with the task lighting they need to provide service. 

Warm and Elegant Bar Lighting

Warm, elegant lighting is popular in bars (whether the overall aesthetic is opulent kitsch or modern Scandinavian hygge in wood tones and off-white). 

Similar to Romantic lighting but dialed up a little brighter, warm lighting elicits feelings of comfort and coziness, and it can be achieved with most diffuse lighting sources. 

For example, you could create an elegant atmosphere by adding architectural touches such as recessed lighting provided by cove systems. Then, you could further complement it with uplight sconces. 

Pro Tip: When choosing light fixtures, think about design and materials. Darker metals like brass are always an elegant option, as are warm woods and smoked glass. For a slightly glitzier glamorous look, try adding fixtures with mirror finishes in chrome or rose gold.

Cool and Modern Lighting For Bars

If you want a bar to embody an upscale, modern feel, you can bring in clean industrial design with your commercial bar lighting. 

Architectural linear luminaires can provide various lighting solutions; they also come in various LED color options and offer both direct and indirect lighting options. Lightboxes are a more unusual option. They offer a diffuse source of light and an interesting talking point. LEDs can also be used for this purpose within glass or resin tables or bars.

Feature Lights For Bars

When it comes to commercial bar lighting ideas, feature lights are a fantastic way to stand out design-wise. A few well-placed feature lights can steal the show, which can give you the opportunity to get away with other light sources that are a bit more practical.

Modern chandeliers like the HPC-Trio are perfect for this. In fact, the whole aesthetic of a bar could easily hinge on these hoop-pendant trio chandeliers. 

Thinking Green With Your Commercial Bar Lighting Ideas

Increasingly, consumers are drawn to environmentally friendly brands. That’s true in hospitality, just as it is in retail. 

Perhaps you have already replaced your plastic straws with paper, but what about your lighting setup’s power consumption and longevity? What does your current light say to environmentally aware visitors?

LEDs are an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional bulbs, and technological advances mean LED lights run cooler, last longer, and look better than ever before. 

If you are in the US, your state will have an energy code that complies with the IECC. While compliance isn’t yet mandatory, it will be soon. 

Commercial Bar Lighting Ideas: Practicalities

No matter what style of bar lighting you decide to invest in, there are a few additional practical considerations when lighting a bar. 

For example, you will need to invest in quality fridge and cooler lights, as well as continuous tread lighting on steps used by the public or by members of staff. Edge lighting along the outside of the bar is also a good idea for customer safety and comfort.

Choosing bar lighting is a balancing act between aesthetics and smart commercial decision-making. Keep both in mind when deciding what’s best for your bar. 

If you want more information on light for bar areas or would like to find your nearest Solais rep, get in touch today.

Commercial Photography by Ed Wolkis

About Solais Lighting Group | Solais + EnergyLite

Solais Lighting Group (SLG) is a fast-growing, technologically relevant, market-driven manufacturer. SLG pushes the innovation envelope to create LED products that replace traditional lighting technologies, with zero compromise to aesthetics and performance.

Nimble and diligent, with best-in-class engineering, SLG has grown its product families in line with market demands to include high-quality, spec-grade interior and exterior products - to include downlights, multiples, cylinders, and track and specialty fixtures, as well as site, flood, roadway and security fixtures.

SLG's products provide quality lighting for its commercial, retail, hospitality, supermarket, museum and utility clients, which include the world's leading brands.

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