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Utilizing the Five Senses to Bring Comfort to Your Hotel Guest & the Role of OLED Lighting

The best hospitality lighting creates a home away from home for guests. Ultimately a guest should be at ease in a space, unaware of the effort and planning that went into lighting design and layout. Lighting not only impacts a guest’s mood and feelings, it directly relates to a hotel’s energy consumption. Lighting for comfort and design, needs to be well-balanced with lighting that is efficient, and environmentally friendly.



One of the most critical points to remember is that guests choose hotel’s with their eyes. They rely on visual cues to determine if a hotel is going to fit the experience they are looking for. Often when people travel they are looking for some sort of escape. When designing hotels, it is important to provide elements of aspiration that are different from home, but that are paired with comfortable elements that may remind them of home. Seems impossible right?

When mirroring the right senses, it is it doable.


Smell. Many hotels utilize signature scents. This is meant to evoke a feelings and trigger memories in a guest, even after their stay.


Sight. This is where lighting comes in. Designing a space with the right lighting elements is critical to creating an experience that a hotel guest will not forget. When designing or renovating a hospitality space, lighting needs to be addressed as soon as the build, or remodel itself. Lighting has the ability to evoke emotions, and directly impact the guest experience. Hotels should consider not only the look of the light, but the light source itself. Organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology poses no blue light risk to your eyes, and is circadian rhythm friendly, leading to better overall health and well-being. Because OLED light is circadian rhythm friendly, it also may help jet-lagged travelers, or any type of traveler looking for a good night’s sleep, to achieve that solid eight hours they were hoping for!


Think about the experience you want a guest to leave with. A hotel’s lighting design should encompass this experience. OLED’s thin and flexible design, as well as the fact that it is a beautiful, soft and diffused light, with no shadows or harsh glare, gives hotel’s the ability to differentiate their light design, and have a positive impact on the health and wellness of their guests.


Hear. This may be more about what guest’s don’t hear. Many hotel are utilizing white noise technology, and other features to minimize guest room noise, and promote an optimal sleep experience. Larger brands are adding double insulated walls, as well was noise-reducing windows, quieter air conditioners, and some are going as far as individually controlled white noise units. For a guest receiving an optimal sleep experience, is key piece of their overall hotel experience. Maybe combining quieter guest rooms, with circadian rhythm friendly light source would do the trick!


Taste. Hotels often use food and beverage offerings to differentiate themselves. Think of the Hilton chain who offers warm chocolate chip cookies as guests arrive. Restaurants and bars within a hotel have the ability to truly set the hotel apart from others. However, there is more to a guest experience in a restaurant or bar than just how the food and drinks taste. What is the ambiance? How does a guest feel in a space? Depending on the atmosphere one is trying to create, lighting can play an integral role, in creating a one of a kind dining experience. OLED lighting in particular has been shown to have a more positive impact on our biological functions and emotions. Utilizing the right type of light can have guests leaving happier, and possibly hotels earning more per guest.


Touch. Guests touch so many areas of a hotel. Think lobby furniture, guest beds, desk chairs, curtains, towels, etc. Touch should convey elements of comfort and relaxation. How someone feels when touching a piece of a hotel, transcends superior quality. The fabric and pieces that make up a hotel give the hotel the unique ability to convey a feeling to guests on-site. Lighting can also impact the overall feeling of a space, so it’s important to determine how light will interact with different pieces of the hotel that guests will touch.


All five senses must be considered when designing a hotel that speaks to the experience the hotelier wants to create. Lighting can play a key role, due to its unique ability to impact many of the senses. The look of the light, as well as the impact it will have on the guest experience is critical to address early on in the design phase.