How to Carry out Successful Café Lighting?

A café refers to a small coffee shop that is uniquely designed to fit a more casual sort of dining place genre. Most café’s serve hot beverages with small accompanying food items. They are known for their relaxed atmosphere and cozy vibe, which café lighting is an important part of. Lighting design can make or break any interior, but atmospheric café lighting is especially important because aesthetics are an integral part of the presentation front of the business. It will help attract the customers, stimulate the appetites of the guests and create the right mood. Below, let’s look at some café lighting techniques you can implement in your establishment.

4 Important Café Lighting Techniques

1. Ambient Lighting

This is the most essential form of café lighting. The best way to describe ambient lighting is by comparing it to the make-up foundation. Just like you put a steady coat of foundation as a base for your make-up, similarly, ambient lighting is the linchpin to a good lighting layer base. It consists of a steady row of LED’s arranged at equidistant intervals to ensure an equal spread of light.

This equal spread of light is an important part of the café interior design because it creates a natural environment that can be further accented through other lighting interventions. It also makes the overall setting seem more hospitable and friendly; which is always a plus for places like restaurants and cafes.


2. Accent Lighting

If ambient lighting is the base, then accent café lighting can be compared to contouring. Just like you highlight and emphasize your make-up with proper contouring, similarly, you can showcase the best parts of your interior with accent lighting.

In the context of a café interior design, accent lighting can be carried out towards the very periphery of the interior. This kind of café lighting is used to highlight the feature pieces within the interior, you could always put them above the snack counter to feature the ‘delight of the day’ or even showcase artwork. The possibilities are endless with this one.

How to carry out successful Café Lighting 3

3. Decorative lighting

Decorative café lighting is the metaphorical jewelry to your interior. This kind of lighting is there to complement the interior ‘style’ rather than the ambiance. Decorative café lighting is carried out by using unique lighting fixtures – such as chandeliers and pendent lights – which can complement the theme of the café interior. It cannot be used singularly, as each fixture has a limited halo, which can cast many dark spots within the interior. This might also include specialty techniques like cove-lights, toe-kicks or even laser light art.


4. Natural lighting

This kind of café lighting benefits the layout of the café the most. A close arrangement of tables and chairs can make the interior seem constrained but natural light can imbue a breezy vibe within the space. This is why the famous French cafés arranged their seating on the sidewalks. Natural light could be imbued in a café interior through large window portals or even skylights.



Café lighting is an important part of the overall interior design of the café. It includes thinking about many layers of several lighting interventions to create the best mood.

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