Hotel lobbies are the first impression of your hotel for guests. Whilst many guests don’t spend a lot of time here, it is vitally important to get the look and feel just right. Lighting designers relish the chance to work on hotel lobbies due to the unique opportunities and challenges they provide.

The perfect hotel lobby is a place of many uses and should be warm, welcoming, and set the tone of the hotel. It must have the ability to change its look from day to night. The lobby gives guests a taste of the brands overall style and ethos and creates a breathtaking sense of luxury from the moment they step through the door.

Safety First

Ramps, stairs and emergency exits are the first luminaries to be added, as these are the basic essentials to keep your guests safe and well-informed. It is also important to ensure the corners of low tables are also visible to unsuspecting guests.

Hemingways, Nairobi | Lighting design | The Light Lab

Welcoming Light

For luxury hotels, a good lobby should make people feel welcome and comfortable while at the same time, reinforcing their choice of hotel. Similarly, if a hotel is likely to get last minute walk-ins, the lobby could be the difference between people choosing your hotel or one further down the road. In most cases, hotels prefer to use soft warm lighting that is more yellow than white or blue.

Practical Light

A hotel lobby is a hive of activity and can see a multitude of people pass through it, all with their own agenda. Whether it’s staff such as bellboys or concierge, waiting guests or business meetings, it is important that practicality is not sacrificed for style. Guests and staff will need to easily navigate through the lobby with luggage or family-in-tow. Wall lights and LED guide strips can focus light in key areas such as the check-in desk, walkways and the various seating areas. Creating both paths and pools of light will make guests feel more comfortable and relaxed when staying at the hotel.

Bespoke Chandeliers | The Light Lab

Extraordinary Light

The hotel lobby is a fantastic place to convey a brand’s overarching style. Lobby lighting is a great place for lighting designers to display flair and finesse and combine practicality with prettiness. Bespoke lighting creates a truly unique atmosphere and a look worthy of those glossy travel magazines. A centerpiece or lighting feature can be enough to ‘wow’ your guests, setting your establishment apart from the competition. In many hotels, the lobby can be one of the biggest spaces to light and can span several floors. Little lights will simply get lost in the cavernous space, whereas large statement pieces can draw the eye and achieve that breathtaking effect sought after by luxury hotels. The best way to create a feeling of height and space is to cluster large ceiling luminaires and use different height to create additional levels of interest. If your hotel has particularly beautiful mouldings or ceiling details, then directional lighting could make the ceiling itself a focal point for guests.

Adaptable Light

Lighting solutions in hotel lobbies need to be particularly versatile because they will be seen at all hours throughout the day and night. If your hotel lobby enjoys large windows, let in as much natural light as possible by tying back curtains and raising blinds; your statement ceiling lighting will then take on more of a decorative function in daylight hours. At night however, your lobby lighting can really shine. Dashes of small LEDs will lend a little sparkle to dark corners, large chandeliers can take centre stage, and wall and picture lights can draw attention to interesting architectural details or artwork.

For more information on hotel lighting in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch with The Light Lab.

The Filaments SW18 | Leisure lighting | The Light Lab

Author Ellen Murphy