Best Lighting Products for Bar Design

Best lighting products for bars

What are the best lighting products for commercial bars? Discover the best value lighting picks, including pendant lighting and recessed lighting.


BEST VALUE LIGHTING PRODUCTS FOR BAR DESIGN

When it comes to commercial 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.

Photo of bar with a variety of lighting
PHOTO OF BAR WITH A VARIETY OF LIGHTING
Photo of edge-lit LED bar top
PHOTO OF EDGE-LIT LED BAR TOP

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.
Photometric table used to select proper lighting effects for the best lighting products for bars
PHOTOMETRIC TABLE USE TO CALCULATE LIGHTING EFFECTS
  • 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.
Color chart depicting various color temperatures available when designing architectural lighting
COLOR TEMPERATURE CHART FOR SELECTING LIGHTING FIXTURES

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:

Con-Tech Lighting makes some of the best lighting products for bars
HIGH QUALITY LIGHTING BY CON-TECH
Targetti lighting fixtures are among the best lighting products for bars
TARGETTI: A TRUE ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING FIXTURE

COMMERCIAL LIGHTING SIZES

The majority of commercial lighting products are offered in three sizes: 2″, 4″ and 6″ diameter. The diameter refers to the size of the hole of the lighting trim. To me, the best products for bars are 2″ and 4″ dia. The following are some of my favorite components by Con-Tech Lighting:

  • 2”  lighting products:
    • Remodeling housing (R2RM)
    • Specification grade trim (CST2322L-BLK)
  • 4” lighting products:
    • Remodeling housing (RL20SAR)
    • Pin spot trim (CTR1605)
    • Square baffled trim (CTR1604P)
    • 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 the above can be downloaded by click the images 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”.

R2RM 2 inch remodeling housing
R2RM 2" HOUSING
Con-Tech Lighting CST2322 2 inch specification grade trim
CST2322L-BLK TRIM
Con-Tech Lighting RL20SAR 4 inch remodeling housing
RL20SAR 4" HOUSING
CTR1605 4 inch pin spot trim
CTR1605 PIN SPOT TRIM
Con-Tech CTR1604P 4 inch square baffled trim
CTR1604P BAFFLED TRIM
CTR4324L-P1AR4 4 inch floating trim ring
CTR4324L FLOATING RING
4 inch pendant lighting fixtures by Con-Tech Lighting are among my top picks for best lighting products for bars
CRS8 PENDANT FIXTURES
MLA111 pendant fixtures
MLA111 PENDANT SHADE

CONCLUSION

For recessed lighting, I prefer remodeling housings over new construction housings in nearly every instance, because they enable the electrician to make field adjustments.

Need Help with your bar plans?

Designing a bar can be time-consuming and frustrating. Contact us today for your free consultation!