How to get the best lighting for your coffee shop

Lighting. It sounds simple, but when it comes to your coffee shop there’s a delicate balance to be had – and getting it right can be harder than it looks. You need the right mix of cosy and comforting to offer a relaxing break from the world, and bright and functional for those who like to work through their emails. Go too far towards one side, you risk turning off customers who would otherwise spend money with you.

So how should you go about walking this coffee shop lighting tightrope to ensure happy customers and more business?

Here are some of our top tips to get the balance just right…

Section your shop with natural light

When it comes to getting heads down and smashing through our workload, natural light is what we want! We all feel more productive in a space streaming with natural light. On the contrary, those who want to relax may be after some warmer, cosier lighting. A good way to work this balance is by using natural light to segment your shop. Most coffee shops come adorned with large windows at the front of their store, so it’s a good idea to position your tables and chairs for those who come to you to work in this area.

Where natural light struggles to reach – AKA the areas towards the back of your store – use artificial lighting to influence a warm and cosy feel, where those  looking to relax and unwind gravitate. By doing this you’re catering for both profiles of customers – increasing your appeal.

Get the colour of your coffee shop lightbulbs right

Choosing lightbulbs – how hard can it be? Well, actually – harder than it looks. There are so many different types of lightbulbs all offering different shades and tones. And you need to get this right for your coffee shop. Harsh bulbs can make your shop appear sterile and uninviting. If you opt for a colour that’s too cool (white - blue white) your coffee shop may feel more like a hospital. Go for a warmer option to give a more appealing vibe to encourage customers over the threshold. Bulbs between 2200K and 3200K should fit the bill here.

Opt for LEDs

When it comes to your artificial light source we’d recommend opting for LEDs over incandescent bulbs. They’re better for the environment and cheaper too, using a lot less energy than traditional counterparts. They also help to give a cleaner and more cohesive appearance, being flicker free. Look for a customisable LED sign to add an instagrammable background to your coffee shop.

Keep it consistent

Whatever bulbs you choose to go for – keep that consistent throughout your shop at any one time. You don’t want to have bright white light in one area and dim yellow light in another as this will ultimately wreak havoc with your everyone’s eyes. Remember, you want customers to want to stick around – and poor lighting could put people off.

The power of comfortable light

Comfortable and appealing light not only has a huge bearing on the overall aesthetic of your shop, but it’s also been proven to influence buying decisions. Research has shown dimly lit spaces encourage people to buy for pleasure, while others have illustrated that warm lighting helps customers feel more comfortable, thus encouraging them to linger for longer. When it comes to coffee shops, the longer a person stays the more likely they are to spend more with you so warm light is a must.

While on the face of it lighting seems easy enough, there’s actually plenty to think about when it comes to getting it right. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of the perfect coffee shop lighting – pulling in the punters and keeping them spending with you.


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