What’s the best lighting products for commercial bar design?
BEST VALUE LIGHTING PRODUCTS FOR BAR DESIGN
Discover the best value lighting picks, including pendant lighting and recessed lighting.
When it comes to bar design, nothing makes a finishing statement better than well-selected architectural lighting. Lighting creates intimacy. Nowadays, nearly every type of lighting fixture is available with LED lamps. With near-infinite lamp life, LED lighting is the king of architectural lighting for hotels, bars and restaurants. In order to achieve an effective design, there are a few things to know. LED lighting is directional, so glare can be an issue and for this reason it’s especially effective with up-lighting, recessed can lighting and pendant lighting (which disperse it). Another great application for LED lighting is with edge lighting, as shown in this photo of the bar top by Sensitile Systems.
DESIGN CRITERIA FOR SELECTING THE PROPER LIGHTING
In your quest to have the best lighting products for your bar design, here are some design criteria you might want to know when purchasing LED lighting:
- In bar design, architectural lighting is designed for mood.
- There are many lamps available when purchasing lighting; the ideal lamp for your application should deliver about 20 footcandles at the table top / bar top, as shown in this photometric lighting table.
- Select the appropriate color temperature for your lamp; 2,000K – 3,000K is known as “Warm White” and imparts a cozy, calm and intimate atmosphere, as depicted in this chart, courtesy of Westinghouse.
- LED lamp rating is based without dimming; for instance a rating of 100,000 hours of operation could ultimately result in 300,000 hours with dimming controls; furthermore, dimming will enable you to adjust for proper mood.
HIGH-QUALITY LIGHTING PRODUCTS WITH MINIMAL SPECIFICATIONS
When shopping for the best lighting products for bars, there are two paths to follow: 1). True commercial-quality architectural lighting, such as the Targetti recessed fixture (shown below), requires considerable expertise to specify, which is typically done by engineers. 2). Recognizing the need for a simpler approach and a reasonably-priced fixture for everyday people opened the door for companies such as Liton and Con-Tech. These companies offer a range of the most popular lighting styles, but with limited finish options, so the consumer can have a stylish lighting solution with an average fixture price between $100-$200. Comparable commercial fixtures are at least double the price. While Liton and Con-Tech are similarly priced I normally lean towards Con-Tech (photo at right), which has impeccable customer service. Here are some of the favorite lighting products I use in commercial bar design:
- 2” remodeling housing (R2RM)
- 2” specification grade trim (CST2322L-BLK)
- 4” remodeling housing (RL20SAR)
- 4” pin spot trim (CTR1605)
- 4” square trim (CTR1602SQ)
- 4” floating single acrylic ring (CTR4324L-P1AR4); in numerous colors
- Pendant lighting fixture (CRS8-DQRCD2)
- Pendant lighting shade (MLA111); other styles and sizes are available
Cut sheets for all of the above can be downloaded below. The above recessed lighting is also available in 6” versions of each product. I prefer 4” lighting for soffits and 2” in backbar areas.
Note that the above lighting must be ordered as two components: a “rough” and a “trim”.
For recessed lighting, I prefer remodeling housings over new construction housings in nearly every instance, because they enable the electrician to make field adjustments.
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