Restaurant lighting is important for the safety and comfort of diners while they eat or spend time in the restaurant. A restaurant must meet certain requirements, both on the restaurant floor and in the kitchen, to protect customers and employees. Proper lighting is also important for the comfort and enjoyment of your customers, whether they are reading the paper after breakfast or having a romantic dinner.

Walkways, Bathrooms and Exits

Restaurants are required to have proper lighting in walkways where customers and employees must walk through sections on the floor of a restaurant, so that everyone walking through the restaurant can see and there is less of a chance of anyone tripping or falling on chairs, tables or people's feet. Proper lighting is required at all emergency exits and entrances to the restaurant so that customers and employees can enter and exit the restaurant safely. Bathroom entrances should also have brighter lighting by their doors, as this is a highly trafficked area and people need to be able to see properly so they don't bump into each other or slip on water which may spill on the floor.


Dimmers on all lights in a restaurant are an excellent thing to install, as they allow the restaurant to raise and lower the lights based upon the time of day--much more light may be needed inside the establishment at different times. During breakfast hours, diners may be reading papers and want more light as they start their day. When it is dark outside during dinner hours, a little light goes a long way, and the main restaurant lights can be lowered to allow for a moodier atmosphere that is still safe for everyone. For a restaurant with a bar, the lights can be raised as high as possible to let everyone know the establishment is closing.

Safety Coated Bulbs

Light bulbs are prone to popping on occasion, sending glass everywhere. More and more restaurants have been installing safety coated bulbs over their cooking areas in their kitchens, so that if a bulb does burst, it doesn't send glass into anyone's food, causing a serious safety hazard and health violation. These bulbs come in a variety of brightnesses, but the brighter the better in kitchens, as there is constant movement and chefs and their staffs need as much light as possible to properly cook diners' orders at an appropriate speed.