One might think that a generation’s worth of eating in front of TV screens has ruined our perception of fine dining lighting (say that five times fast), but a new study reveals we’re as particular about it now as we ever were.Or, at least they are in the UK. A study conducted by OnePoll
in the United Kingdom revealed that nearly 30% of respondents had walked out of a restaurant or bar because of bad lighting. Of course, that doesn’t give us a clue as to how bad
the lighting was (power outage?), but it reinforces something most of us already know: Bad lighting can ruin an otherwise good dining experience.More to the point, though, is that this can happen at home as easily as it can happen out on the town. The good news is that at home you’re in control of the ceiling light
and the switch.1. Mind the height of your dining table light.
It’s more than just a rhyme – it’s a key element to more enjoyable dining. The go-to height for dining lights is 36 inches from the table, but there are a lot of things to consider: the style of the fixture, how much clearance you need to set the table and what kind of bulbs (spectrum-wise) you want to use.2. Bulb type does matter.
Advances in technology and adherence to new federal regulations
are causing interesting changes in the light-bulb industry, so much so that it bears consideration when choosing bulbs for your dining area. To take one example, LED bulb
s have broadened in their available spectrums so that “warmer” tones don’t come at the expense of longevity.3. A dimmer is dandy.
Adding a dimmer switch in your dining room is a no-brainer, but its efficacy and aesthetic quality is still going to depend in part on the lighting design. Consider, for example, the difference between uplights and downlights, and how dimming each will create different effects.4. Fixture design can impact lighting quality.
As mentioned above with uplights and downlights, your dining area’s fixture design can determine the quality of your lighting, to some greater or lesser degree. And, shade shape is just one of many features that can alter how much and what kind of light reaches the table.It’s probably no surprise that lighting can have such a dramatic effect on our dining enjoyment, but the takeaway is how much more
lighting can add to the experience. It’s something that’s easy to take for granted when just being able to see your food represents the minimum requirement.But, maybe it’s okay to ask for even more than that.