What Color Temperature is Right for My Restaurant?

For restaurateurs, there is no detail too small which is why lighting is such an important part of any restaurant. From the light fixture to the color temperature, lighting sets the mood and creates an atmosphere. Here’s what you need to know about lighting color temperature to choose the right light for your space.

best lighting  for restaurants 

The color of light emitted by a light bulb is measured on the Kelvin temperature scale, giving it the name “color temperature.” Each number on the scale correlates to a different shade of white light. The lower the Kelvin temperature, the more reddish, or warm, the light is. The higher the Kelvin temperature, the more bluish, or cool, the light is.

Fluorescent light bulbs are available in a variety of shades of white light. These color choices allow you to customize the mood of your restaurant. Read about the different color temperatures below to help you decide which color temperature is right for your restaurant.

2250K – This is a rosy shade of white that is designed to look like a dimmed incandescent light bulb. At full voltage, an incandescent light bulb has a soft, golden white color. When it is dimmed, its color of light becomes progressively warmer – more orange or red in color – as the light is dimmed lower and lower. Because fluorescent light bulbs’ light does not change in color as it is dimmed, some fluorescent bulbs are manufactured with a 2250K color to provide the same color of light as a dimmed incandescent. If you regularly dim your incandescent light bulbs and like the rosy hue they provide, then you should try 2250K fluorescent bulbs to save energy without losing the ambiance of your restaurant.

2250K bulbs and bulbs manufactured with a pink color are also great for restaurants that serve a lot of steak and beef. The rosy hue of the 2250K bulb and pink light bulbs accentuate the color and juices of red meat, which makes it appear more appetizing to customers. When the presentation of cuisine matters, try 2250K or pink bulbs to intensify the appearance of red meat.

  • Simulates the look of dimmed incandescent light bulb
  • Rosy hue creates a soft, romantic ambiance
  • Accentuates the color and juices of red meat

2700K – This is a golden white color that is designed to look like a standard incandescent light bulb when it is operated at full voltage without being dimmed. 2700K light bulbs, like incandescent light bulbs, provide warm tones and soft lighting that create an inviting space. If you do not dim your incandescent light bulbs, or if you do not like the reddish tone of a dimmed incandescent, then you should try 2700K fluorescent light bulbs to save energy in your restaurant. Even when dimmed, 2700K dimmable CFLs continue to provide the same golden white color as when operated at full voltage.

  • Simulates the look of standard incandescent light bulb
  • Golden hue creates a warm, inviting ambiance

2850K-3000K – Fluorescent light bulbs with a color temperature of 2850K-3000K have a crisp white color that is designed to look like a halogen light bulb that is not dimmed. Halogen light bulbs are naturally whiter than incandescent light bulbs, and their bright color helps create a lively, engaging atmosphere for your customers. If you currently have halogen light bulbs in your restaurant, or if you want to create an energized dining experience for your customers, then you should try fluorescent light bulbs with 2850K-3000K color temperature.

The bright white color of 2850K-3000K bulbs also helps emphasize colors and textures in brightly colored food. If you have a salad bar that features a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, 2850K-3000K bulbs will help accentuate the bright colors of your produce and make healthy fruits and vegetables more appetizing to your customers.

  • Simulates the look of standard halogen light bulb
  • Crisp white color creates an exciting, lively atmosphere
  • Accentuates the different colors and textures of fresh produce

3500K-4100KFluorescent light bulbs with a color temperature of 3500K-4100K have a brighter, cooler white light than standard halogen light bulbs. The bright white color creates a fast-paced environment that encourages customers to eat quickly and leave, which is beneficial for quick service restaurants. If your restaurant’s profitability depends on quick turnover to serve the maximum number of customers, then you should try fluorescent bulbs with 3500K-4100K.

The cool white color of 3500K-4100K light bulbs also helps accentuate the textures and colors of fish and white meat. If your restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, but you want to enhance the appearance of fish and white meat dishes, then you should try dimmable bulbs with 3500K-4100K color. Fluorescent bulbs dim without changing color, so you can dim the lights to create a more relaxing mood while benefiting from the cool white color that accentuates the appearance of your seafood and poultry cuisine.

  • Brighter white light than standard halogen light bulb
  • Cool white color creates a fast-paced environment to maximize turnover
  • Accentuates the color and textures of fish and white meat

Learn More

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