Its important to understand as a business owner that every decision you make can play a role in the overall success or failure of your operation. When it comes to commercial kitchen lighting, this area is very important, but is often completed without taking a number of factors into consideration to achieve the best results possible. For example, many restaurants simply install traditional fluorescent tube lighting and never give it another thought beyond that. Below are some key suggestions that will help you implement the best commercial kitchen lighting, to ensure this frequently overlooked area will be operating at full potential.
One of the easiest ways to make commercial kitchen lighting better than what is traditionally in place is by improving the type of bulb installed in the fixture. Shatterproof bulbs need to be installed in a commercial kitchen for several different reasons. One reason is due to the high temperatures that are present in most kitchens especially over areas such as stoves and ovens. Its proven, heat can cause lesser bulbs to shatter, resulting a variety of problems such as glass ending up in the food, which is a serious matter. Another reason is that your employees can also be affected by the shattering of glass by means of cuts or glass getting into their eyes. The bottom line is all of these problems caused by glass breakage can be extremely dangerous and painful experiences, which can be avoided with the simple installation of shatterproof bulbs. These bulbs are commonly available in different specifications to fit the needs of most fixtures and locations, and are not that much more expensive than non-shatterproof bulbs.
Another key suggestion for commercial kitchen lighting is to light by area in terms of color temperature. In areas where cutting and cooking tasks are being performed, you should implement a cooler temperature, since it can actually help improve the concentration and focus of your staff. Whereas, the plating area would actually see more benefit from a warmer temperature range. The reason behind choosing a warmer temperature for this specific area is due to that fact warmer temperatures are more pleasing to the eye and can help the employees in charge of plating the food arrange a visually pleasing aesthetic of food on the plate. We recommend that you should stay in the 2700K-3000K range, so you get a nice, warm tone that is overall more pleasing to the eye. Something else you can experiment with, is to try to match the color temperature of the plating area to that of the light temperature experienced by the guest that are receiving the plated food to help create consistency.
As with any type of kitchen, especially when it comes to a commercial one, cleanliness is extremely important, so you should keep that in mind to choose options that are easy to clean and maintain over time. The best solution is to go with recessed lighting. Lighting fixtures that are placed directly into the ceiling is always going to be easier to clean that fixtures that are out in the open to accumulate dust, residue, and food stains. With traditional options such as 2 x 4 troffer-style lighting, you can simply wipe down the lens to make it look new and clean, whereas fixtures that are surface mounted or pendant style need frequent cleaning since they're exposed.
Even though having general lighting in the form of recessed troffers is a smart move, you should also implement some form of task lighting. Task lighting is a perfect addition for performing smaller tasks, which require more light or light spread that is more focused in scope. For example, when it comes to the cutting board area, more focused lighting is required because it is a specific task that requires precision. When it comes to task lighting, you can incorporate a few focused spotlight style light fixtures, so that the table or workstation is adequately illuminated with a focused light spread.
Everybody knows that any commercial kitchen will get incredibly hot in terms of temperature. So, the last thing you need is to implement a lighting solution, which produces high levels of heat by way of heat production or heat loss. Fixtures typically produce some heat in the process of converting energy to illumination, however there are more efficient solutions, such as LED, which produce mostly illumination and very little heat.