10 ways LED technology can improve your business
- It’s not about the light. I know this sounds strange coming from an LED lighting guy but it really is not about the light, it’s about where you want to direct the light, what features do you want to highlight and what features do you want shade. This is an extremely important concept to grasp and if you do it right you can direct your customer’s attention any way you wish.
- Less is more – in a lot of cases, this is true. It is important to look at your space as a whole and decide what experience you want your customers to have. Do you want them to be overstimulated, feeling like they are walking down the strip in Las Vegas or do you want to create an atmosphere where they can relax enjoy themselves and stay longer?
- Its all about the controls. We no longer live in a time where we rely on the on/off switch or even the dimmer switch. We now can control the light to suit every time of the day. Our systems not only allow for colors to change for different occasions they also allow for complete automation and smooth transitions. This means there is no sudden dim at 7 pm to remind people that it’s getting late. Our system can allow 15-20 second transition, smooth, even and unnoticeable.
- Distinguishes responsibilities – most of our lighting systems are set to perform different functions at different times of the day. For example, your day customers are very different from your night customers and expect a bright clean cozy look, for the most part, they have to go back to work. At night, however, its time to relax and be sociable. In essence, its time for the lights to come way down – it’s our job to make everyone look good harsh bright light is our enemy. Then there is the cleaning crew harsh bright light is their friend – set the time for LEDs to come on fully for the cleaning crew.
- Get the beam angle right -no longer do we need to rely on the one light fits all model of the past. We now can custom our LED technology to suit your application. A great example of this occurred recently when we were asked to consult on a project. Imeaditly we see the issue, the restaurant had track lighting with wide-angle par lights everywhere. The beam angle was 120 degrees so the entire establishment was washed in 3500k light. It took away from every feature that existed and hurt business. We replaced the bulbs with 10-degree narrow beam lights to direct attention on what mattered, no surprise but business went up.
- Use Commercial grade In Commercial Projects. This might sound obvious but a lot of people surprisingly get this part wrong, please don’t be one of them. I am a big fan of big box stores and online retailers but you wouldn’t serve your customers sub-quality products and expect to be in business very long and neither would we. We recently had a client come to us after he used cheap LED technology behind his bar – he was lucky the entire place did not burn down but it did do enough damage to set him back months worth of business.
- Take advantage of coves. One of my favorite features in a bar or restaurant is inbuilt coves. They offer a great space to place LED tape light – hidden back from customers view, cove lighting creates a warm glow throughout the building. I would recommend either RGBA or a warm white look depending on the business and the overall aesthetics.
- Use the right color to convey the right message. There are literally more than 16,000,000 possibilities to choose from with the more sophisticated controllers. Now that is a lot of colors to choose and surprisingly the human eye can distinguish approx 10,000,000 colors. For our purposes, let’s stick to very basics – Red conveys warm and Blue conveys cold. A good example would be of a brewery showcasing the beer vats, use a blue to indicate cold-brewed beer and red or amber inside on a cold night to highlight warm cozy spaces.
- There will be maintenance and repairs. While there is a lot less that can go wrong with LED technology it is important to remember that there is a lot of components involved when designing and installing a proper lighting system in your bar & restaurant. Although the LED diodes themselves are unlikely to fail you are likely to experience some failure with power supplies over time. Wires can become loose or broken with different staff and maintenance crews doing their work and hitting off or accidentally cutting wires. 90 % of our call outs are due to human error causing the system to fail.
- Know your color temperature. No this does not mean the heat coming off of your light but rather the difference in white light. It is measured in Kelvins, think from matchstick flame orange glow ( 2200k ) to blue looking light (7000k) and everything in between. Its can be described as soft light to hard light and it will affect everything it shines on. On a side note when buying white light LED lights it is advisable to buy a few extra because different manufacturers can have slightly different hues on the same kelvin lights.
There are many more factors to consider when considering how to properly design the lighting package for your bar or restaurant but the tips above should give you something to consider when you are looking at your design. I would now challenge you to take a good look at your establishment – and every place you visit, how would you rate your light design, do you have lights that are two different colors of white, are they the right color temperature?
Do you have coves that you can light up? Are you displaying your liquor and beer properly – are special features highlighted to catch your customer’s eye. Are you dimming your lights at the proper time (I have been to places where they don’t dim them at all or keep it way too low during the day, generally I don’t go back)
When we complete a project we go back to look at the reviews and we always look for one word and that is the atmosphere. We cannot control the food, the service or the location but we pride ourselves on helping the create desired the atmosphere that our clients can thrive in this very competitive space.
It costs as much as 5 times extra to generate new business as it does to retain existing customers. It is vital to get this right in the restaurant business, get your lighting perfect, make use of experts and LED technology as its available now, plan ahead and implement the right strategies to ensure a sustainable, profitable business.