Proper lighting for outdoor dining is critical for creating the perfect ambiance for members.
The right lighting for outdoor dining is critical for clubs when wanting members to dine comfortably, service to be efficient and to create a specific environment. However, the importance of lighting can often be forgotten when it comes to outdoor dining. With more hours of sunlight in the summer, it can be easy to rely on natural light for as long as possible. Although, lackluster lighting can contribute to an unsatisfactory dining experience no matter how good the food is.
The three main types of lighting are ambient, task, and accent and properly layered lighting schemes include all three. Ambient lighting provides general lighting for a space and will allow members to see without strain. Ambient lighting for an outdoor dining space can come from natural light or overhead fixtures such as string lights, which are a popular and timeless look. Task lighting is any light that serves a specific purpose or task. Task lighting is important for members to be able to read menus or for staff such as the hostess to easily see important items at the service stand. Lastly, accent lighting helps to create depth and draws attention to key focal points such as water features, landscaping, or even the back of an outdoor bar. When all three types of lighting are used in a patio space it makes a noticeable difference along with making both members and staff feel more comfortable.
While a club should tailor its lighting design to suit the style of the space, knowing the audience is also critical. Dimmer lighting is ideal for creating a romantic dining environment, but if a club’s patio is geared more towards families then something a little brighter might be more appropriate. Just be careful not to overdo the light intensity.
Proper lighting is not only important for setting the mood of the environment, but also for the safety of the staff and members. Both members and staff need to see clearly if they are serving, walking around, or dining. Lighting needs to be strategically positioned to provide enough light for maneuvering while dim enough for privacy and a relaxed ambiance.
Lighting plays a major role in the overall feeling of a space. The right lighting can create a mood that transforms the environment of a club’s outdoor dining space, making members want to stay longer and more likely to return.