Lighting Trends in the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is a global economic powerhouse. The trends within this industry have a direct and indirect impact on the economy. With the emergence of a strong global middle class, blurring of work and leisure (also known as “bleisure”), and a focus on “wellness travel,” the hospitality industry continues to shift, to meet the demands of its current and future guests. One of the most relevant trends in hospitality today is the need for experiences. Guests want to feel a certain way, and expect hotels to elicit certain emotions from them, throughout their stay. As trends continue to change, and guest demands continue to evolve, one thing remains steady, hotels want guests to come back again. How are hotels keeping up with trends and making guests “feel-good?”

Hint: Lighting plays a big role, and could mean the difference between a stressed or relaxed guest!

Lighting needs to play an integral role in the design of a hospitality space. Hoteliers, interior designers, architects, and guest perspectives all need to be considered. Below are five hotel trends where lighting plays a big role in eliciting a positive, emotional response.

  1. Environmentally Friendly. Guests are seeking out hotels that are considered sustainable. According to Jenny Rushmore, Director of Responsible Travel for TripAdvisor, “eighty-one percent of travelers place importance on properties, implementing eco-friendly practices.” Considering the hospitality industry spends over $7.5 Billion on energy each year, this is a step in the right direction. Lighting design is one piece of the puzzle, which can help hotels shift to a sustainable atmosphere. OLED Light fixtures are not only energy efficient, but they are also manufactured with materials that are non-toxic. Society is becoming more and more conscious of energy consumption. Including OLED lights throughout your hotel, will allow guests to feel like they are making a positive impact on the environment.

  2. Multi-Use Space. Hoteliers are envisioning, and creating properties built on the idea of experience. Through the addition of restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and other experiential elements, hotels can keep guests inside their walls, for their entire stay. As part of an experience, hotels are also providing more business focused spaces. According to Westin, 75% of people working in the United States have no physical office at least one day a week. Hotels are jumping on this statistic and making sure rooms have work areas. In a similar fashion to WeWork, many hotels are also offering conference rooms rentable by the hour. These rooms may have lounge areas, bars and other perks. As hotel design continues to evolve, lighting must evolve with it. Has the designer considered the critical importance of lighting in a rentable conference room? Video conferences are on the rise. Professionals need to be seen in good light, as this may be the only “face to face” interaction they have with one another. They also need to be productive, and feel emotionally stable while they are working. In the same regard, there are trends in the hospitality industry pointing to smaller rooms and larger common areas to meet, work, and socialize. How light is used in a small vs. large guest room can provoke different emotions. How lighting is used in open common areas can evoke emotion. Lighting needs to help a hotel achieve a certain look and feel. It is not simply to light the hallway anymore.

  3. Wellness Trips. The wellness market is booming. It is currently a $4 Trillion industry, with wellness travel making up $639 Billion of the total. You may be thinking, people always plan vacations to relax. The shift lies in the before and after. People used to go on vacation seeking out wellness. Today’s traveler is already leading an active, healthy lifestyle, and wants to continue this while on vacation. Wellness is no longer an amenity, it is integrated as part of a hotels DNA. Lighting plays a huge role in health and wellness by impacting our circadian rhythms. Nadarra’s light fixtures utilize OLED light panels. These panels have minimal blue light, the ability to mimic sunlight, and diffuse light over a large area. All of these features have a positive impact on the wellness of hotel guests.

  4. Light is becoming part of design. There is a push by lighting designers to include lighting during the initial stages of planning, so it is directly integrated into architecture and interior design. Room colors may be chosen based off of light fixtures, direction of the light, color of the light, etc. Lights main purpose is always functionality. Designers need to figure out early on how they will make sure lights are functional, while creating an aesthetically pleasing space. One key differentiation of OLED light fixtures is their ability to be a work of art. Lighting is being turned into an art form that also serves a purpose, to illuminate a space.

  5. The WOW Factor. As guests have access to more information and imagery than ever before, hotels need to constantly innovate to impress their guests. HGTV, Instagram and other social outlets are increasing guest expectations for their hotel stay. OLED Light Fixtures are a great way to bring something new to your guests, while playing into the need for wellness and sustainability. The technology continues to mature with more options becoming available all the time. Nadarra is always thinking of what’s next in the space, and how to continue to bring new, responsive fixtures to our clients. As mentioned above OLED fixtures are a form of art. They will have guests immediately drawn to the overall hotel ambiance.

Hotels have to be on top of changing trends to keep attracting their ideal guest. As lighting directly impacts a guest’s overall experience, incorporating the right light fixture, and lighting technology, into hotel design needs to be an integral part of the overall plan.


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