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Diner Lighting

As the world continues to change on a daily basis, consumers still enjoy popular styles of the past. Many people love the fun vintage throwback of going to a diner for popular tastes from the past. When it comes to implementing the right diner lighting to create a fun throwback vibe, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Below are some suggestions for creating successful diner lighting for your restaurant.


When you envision retro-inspired diner lighting, you might not think about modern technology like LED, but you should definitely consider it. LED provides the best performance on several important matters. LED offers the best lumen output for a lower wattage consumed, which means it is brighter than other options that are available, while still using less energy for better utility costs. LED also provides the best options on matters such as color rendering indexes, color temperature variations, and they are a no heat option, which helps with their overall longevity and performance. LED is also great for the environment, since they use less energy and the lamps last a long time before requiring replacements.


Every dine should promote a fun atmosphere! Experimenting with different lighting colors will allow you to easily create the right vibe for the location. Whether you're looking for soft pinks and blues that commonly existed in classic 50s diner, or going for the style of an all-American burger joint with red, white, and blue colors, the color of the lighting is very important because it adds to the experience for your customers. Even though adding colorful lights into your lighting plan is important for this type of atmosphere, however you still need general lighting that address basic lighting needs. Keep in mind that colorful lighting is more of an accent lighting that helps add ambiance rather than being the primary source of light.


Another factor of color that needs to be addressed in choosing the lighting for a diner is color rendering index. This describes how well a light source shows different colors under light. Higher color rendering essentially means consumer's eyes will be able to differentiate between colors with more ease, whereas a lower index means colors will look washed out and less noticeable. This factor is important for any type of setting, but its even more important in a diner since its full of lively colors that help create the overall atmosphere. Color rendering index plays an important part in how customers perceive your establishment, including making colorful menus easier to read, the way the food looks, to the wall décor or other ambiance elements. A good rule of thumb is to choose lighting with color rendering indexes of 80 CRI or higher to get the right outcome of your location.


When you're looking for the right fixture types to address the unique needs of diner lighting, you'll notice there are several options available. Wall sconces are ideal for a diner since you can easily place them on walls throughout the dining room to create an inviting light source that doesn't appear too overpowering for the space. They also allow you to mix and match light sources in a visually pleasing way, while staying with the same theme for the entire location.


Another fun way to add to the lighting plan of your diner is the implementation of tape lighting. This type of lighting is ideal because you can run it along all sorts of areas such as the ceiling, floors, counters, and rails. This solution will also provide additional lighting to the location, while creating a fun ambiance that is unique to a diner. If tape lighting isn't the right fit, you can also use undercabinet lighting to illuminate areas under the counter, which will provide an appropriate glow for a diner.

For overhead general lighting, most diner locations employ troffer-style fixtures. While adding accent lighting is ideal for creating a fun atmosphere in a diner, general lighting needs to be accurately placed as well to ensure no one is having to eat a meal in areas that aren't adequately illuminated. When you're considering the proper troffer placement, its good to space them out evenly to get the right mix of general lighting and gentle lighting. For example, if you were to install a troffer in every panel or even every other panel of the ceiling, the lighting would be too bright for the vibe you are trying to create, so its important to make sure they're properly spaced out.


One of the simplest ways to add to the fun and function of diner lighting is to mix and match with different lighting mounts. If you were to choose to use just one type of lighting fixture throughout the space, it will look drab. However, if you use a combination of different mounts, the lighting plan will appear more balanced and exiting. For example, we recommend using wall sconces mounted to walls with individual hanging style fixtures over the tables or tape lighting coupled with gooseneck or barn style fixtures that are mounted over the counter area. The goal is to make sure the lighting is fun, while meeting visibility needs, so feel free to mix and match fixture mounts and fixture styles.


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