Decorative lighting for hotels: everything you need to know

Posted On 8 January 2019

Le Corbusier, a great Swiss architect and designer, stated: "Light creates ambience and feel of a place, as well as the expression of a structure”. Light can establish the mood of an environment and condition our way of perceiving what surrounds us.

That is why it is important to know how to choose the right lighting system for your hotel.

Installing lamps that are unsuitable for the spaces and that create disharmony with the general mood of the hotel could inevitably compromise the permanence of visitors and their ratings.

In fact, recent studies have revealed a large number of reviews that expressed customers’ disappointment about the poor lighting of the accommodation and the hotel as a whole.

Finding the right decorative lighting elements for a hotel is not easy. It is necessary to choose lamps suitable for the areas used by guests (such as the entrance, bedrooms, restaurant, bar, etc.) without neglecting the external lighting, which plays a central role in the image of the hotel.


GINGER Decorative lighting for hotels


But which evaluations should be made?

For the lighting design of a hotel, you should consider some suggestions that will help you make a qualitative and targeted choice for the type of lamp you are looking for.

Strategies to ensure high-quality decorative lighting for hotels

A hotel consists of several areas intended for different uses, and each of them requires a suitable type of decorative lighting, with certain characteristics, always in tune with the design and mood of the lighting systems in the remaining rooms.

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Here are some useful tips you should consider to help you choose the right solution of elements and lamps for your decorative lighting project.

1. Ask a lighting designer for help

Turn to those who understand lighting design.

Often style and structure are neglected during a building’s lighting design, and this can cause you to make your first misstep. Ask for a technical consultation with a professional in the lighting sector , who will be able to advise you on the most suitable solution for the look conceived for the hotel and its structural needs.

2. Match the lamps to the layout of the hotel areas

The layout of hotel areas has changed following trends over the years.

Nowadays it is much more common to find an open space at the entrance of a hotel than a traditional hall that separates the reception from the restaurant and the bar area.

This internal feature could affect the type of lamps installed at the entrance of your hotel. Therefore, a single solution that is neutral and suitable for the use of each room is necessary.

Fresh and dynamic lighting will work for breakfast, while, for dinner time, a more relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, created with a softer gradation of light, wouldn’t hurt.

3. Respect the general concept

Combine decor and practicality by selecting lamps that can enrich and characterise the image of your hotel the best and that are functional for each area.

Keep in mind that the lamps installed in the bedrooms, common areas and restaurants, while having different functions, will have to respect the concept of general aesthetics for the hotel.


MOBY DICK Decorative lighting for hotels

Moby Dick

4. Make sure each area has optimal lighting

When we talk about lighting a hotel, we focus more on the spaces frequented by visitors and do not give weight to the passage areas, which still deserve attention (the lounge and corridors, for example). It is here that with the right lamps you can really characterise your project.

Guarantee your guests the ability to move around easily , creating paths inside the hotel using lamps.

5. Choose versatile lighting solutions

The bedrooms are not just for sleeping. The lamps for the hotel rooms should create an atmosphere suitable for lighting the space, for rest, but also for other tasks such as reading and working on your computer, for example.

To meet this need, you could install lamps such as Alì and Babà: its white linen lampshade will guarantee a greater diffusion of light.

In this case, the most suitable versions of this lamp model could be the table and floor lamps.


ALIE BABA Decorative lighting for hotels

Alì E Babà

6. Enjoy intuitive decorative lighting systems

Install switches that are easy to locate and use . You could install classic wall switches or even give your customers access to apps for mobile phones or tablets that can manage the entire lighting system with just one tap.

7. Use resistant and quality lamps

Lamps subjected to continuous use and prolonged exposure inevitably deteriorate more quickly. For this reason, it is advisable to choose lamps made with resistant materials but also explicitly designed for hotels . It may seem obvious, but it is not.

8. Set the illumination levels based on events

The detail makes the difference. Hotels often host all kinds of events such as parties, conferences and ceremonies. Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that each event has a characteristic and appropriate type of lighting . You could change the lighting from time to time depending on the event or rely on dimmers that can set the illumination level based on the type of event.

9. Make the most of natural light

Always try to include natural light in the hotel's decorative lighting levels. Natural light will create a unique atmosphere , giving a fresh and light look to every room.

But be careful, even natural light needs an appropriate use . Sunlight combined with cool colours alters our circadian rhythms and influences the rhythm of sleep and wakefulness.

Do you want customers to live a pleasant all-around experience? Do not neglect this aspect.


NOTREDAME Decorative lighting for hotels


10. Keep an eye on convenience

Choose smart and efficient decorative lighting solutions for the hotel you are working on. If you are looking for low-energy and savings-oriented lighting, you could choose LEDs.

It seems far-fetched, but today LED lamps represent the most popular lighting solution for lighting installations in hotels.

This is because it is a long-lasting intelligent lighting solution, so there is no need to continuously replace them with other lamps; they minimises energy waste and, as a consequence, helps reduce costs.

Decorative lighting ideas for hotels: indoor and outdoor

What you have just read is some simple advice to help you keep the elements that you should pay particular attention to under control for the hotel lighting project that has been commissioned.

But to put these suggestions into practice correctly, you should first reflect on the most suitable type of lighting that will enhance the internal and external areas, taking into consideration their use. Attention to detail in the decorative lighting for hotels will act as a determining factor in your choice but also in the impact it has on the visitors and their memories.

Find out how this happened in our projects


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Believe us when we say that customers will always choose an elegant environment with attention to detail that is well lit both internally and externally.

Now, we will take a look at the specifics and analyse the indoor and outdoor lighting solutions for a hotel.

1. Indoor


When it comes to decorative lighting for hotels, hospitality comes first. This is why close attention to the lighting at the entrance of the hotel is essential to impress visitors. For the hotel lobby, we prefer chandeliers that provide directional light to the reception, which shine with personality (but without clashing with the rest of the lighting fixtures) and create a sensation of warmth, which is the most important.

In this regard, Le Trulle could be an excellent choice. We are talking about suspension lamps in ceramic and white metal wire , with a simple and delicate look, able to fill the rooms with intense light and give the observer a sense of intimacy.

Or you might be interested in the effect created by Plancton, another suspension lamp, which gives the room a soft and welcoming light gradation.


PLANCTON Decorative lighting for hotels


Instead, if you are looking for a decorative chandelier with a traditional style but with a touch of creativity, Déjà-Vu could be the lighting solution you’re looking for. They are suspension lamps in glossy white or opaque ceramic, hung from the ceiling at staggered levels, forming a dynamic and impactful composition.


Beyond the entrance, we find the reception, the check-in point where the staff interacts and welcomes customers. This place needs decorative lighting lamps that can offer both task lighting and ambient lighting.

In this case, you have several options: your choice of style will vary according to the functional needs of the area to be illuminated. Do you want to illuminate the environments in an intelligent way and without wasting energy? You could install recessed LED lamps.

These lamps can illuminate environments efficiently, created in the image and likeness of the traditional light bulb, but with a modern touch: frosted glass in different colours.

This model of suspension lamp has the ability to store and direct the light in a vertical direction thus illuminating surfaces impeccably. Moreover, the galaxy-shaped incisions on the white metal lampshade filter the light and allow small luminous waves to disperse through the atmosphere, making it intimate and comfortable.


Choose a type of decorative lighting that can give a comfortable and familiar look to the bedrooms.

Visitors, even if away from their homes, want to feel at home. Therefore, the goal is to recreate an atmosphere of comfort within the bedrooms, always ensuring maximum functionality.

You could place wall lamps above the bedside tables for focal points with warm tones around the bed.

In addition, if there is a desk in the room, place one or more table lamps on it to ensure proper lighting for work and reading.


WORK IN PROGRESS Decorative lighting for hotels

Work In Progress


It is a small space, but even the bathroom needs specific and functional lighting due to its size . Choose a brightness level suitable for each location and make this environment a small corner of relaxation.

A wall lamp like Make up, placed above the mirrors, for example, could decorate and bring functionality to this corner dedicated not only to relaxation but personal care.

Use sources of indirect light and soft tones , avoiding the placement of lamps directly against the mirrors and above the bathtub and shower, both to maintain a certain intimacy of space and to avoid blinding the guests.


Hallway lighting is often overshadowed in lighting projects designed for hotels. The corridors lead to the rooms and outside areas of the hotel, which is why they need optimal lighting to facilitate the orientation of the guests.

To ensure customers can move around more easily, you could install wall lamps, such as Amarcord, along the passage areas to decorate the walls and give the spaces homogeneous and directional brightness. The clean and essential design of Amarcord reinterprets the lines of old oil lamps in a modern way.

Alternatively, to guide guests in more intuitively and singularly, you could apply wall lamps like Quarantasei next to the bedroom doors. In this way, y ou will indicate the number of rooms and add light sources to the passage areas.

Bar and restaurant

Guests entering the refreshment areas should immediately perceive an atmosphere of conviviality and relaxation. Adjust the lighting of the bar and restaurant according to service hours.

During breakfast, let in natural light; let the guests enjoy the morning light to start the day. For lunchtime, focus on dynamism and a gradation of light that stimulates your guests to consume quickly . At dinnertime, instead, play with lights and shadows, giving the environment a quiet and formal appearance.

Choose lamps that can optimally illuminate tables and workstations. In doing so, the focal points created by the lamps will not only guide the guests to their table, but once accommodated will allow them to read the menu in comfort and savour the dishes visually before tasting them, and the staff will be able to work with more ease.

As for the bar, you could create a stimulating atmosphere by installing 24 Karati suspension lamps, positioned above the counter. The colour of this lamp and the polished forms of the layered glass give the light a vaporous and suffusive aspect.


24 Karati Decorative lighting for hotels

24 Karati

Spa and wellness centre

Make space for warmth and relaxation in this area of the hotel. Here the customer should reach a peace of mind and feel completely at ease. Try to imagine an atmosphere with accentuated shadows and small sources of soft and indirect light , scattered here and there to give the eye points of reference.

A sphere of soft light like Braille, proposed both as a wall lamp and as a floor lamp, is a suitable choice for a relaxed and intimately charged atmosphere.

Conference room

For this common space, used for meetings, workshops and formal work events, energetic decorative lighting is needed, able to stimulate the simple design. Ceiling lights placed on various points of the ceiling will give the room a practical, non-excessive decorative appearance.

2. Outdoor

The illuminations used to decorate the exterior areas of the hotel should reflect the mood of the lamps installed inside. We know that first impressions count and, for this, taking care of the exterior of a hotel should not be underestimated.

The exterior image of a hotel is of vital importance, as it is the first preview of the climate inside, and deserves careful attention.

Satisfying customer expectations and convincing them that the hotel you are designing can offer a unique experience is not easy, but if you choose the most suitable lighting systems to enhance the outdoor areas that make up the hotel, then you are already several steps ahead.

External courtyard

Being able to take advantage of the hotel’s outdoor spaces will make the guests’ experience unique. If you are planning to have anoutdoor patio, choose decorative lighting solutions that act as a continuation of the internal atmosphere.

Even outdoors, guests want to feel like they are in an intimate and warm space, so choose a lamp with a soft and light luminosity like Kimono that creates soft and relaxing tones. The fibreglass texture of this lantern filters the rays of light and allows them to dissolve into the environment in a suffusive way.


Enhancing the green spaces outside the hotel with the right lighting will enhance your visitors’ stay. You could create paths by installing lamps that will guide and accompany guests on their walks.

Via Lattea is an interesting choice of outdoor decorative lighting. These are real wells of intense light radiated upwards, which guide guests outdoors.


The pool is often used in the daylight, but it is also an element of decoration and not common to all hotels. If you are dealing with the lighting of a hotel that owns one, we suggest you take advantage of a type of decorative lighting suitable for this architectural element that already in itself decorates and enriches the space it occupies.

Choose floor lamps for the edge of the pool to highlight the outline.

Don't touch could be the appropriate lighting solution for this specific case. These lamps illuminate the edges of the pool and frame it. Moreover, the white elements that surround the lamp direct the light upwards, creating an impactful visual effect.


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Decorative lighting solutions in harmony with the location and type of hotel

The choice of the decorative lighting system, as well as being specific for each interior, must also be suitable for the location and type of hotel. If you are designing a lighting project for a luxury hotel, keep in mind that in an environment already rich and enhanced by important furniture, you should not exaggerate.

On the other hand, it is necessary to select luminous solutions capable of illuminating the environment neutrally without obscuring the other decorative elements present and thus losing its splendour.

You could also find yourself designing the lighting for a villa-hotel located in the countryside or even in the mountains or at the beach , and not be able to find a lighting solution that meets both the stylistic and functional needs.

As a first step, take a cue from the environment that surrounds the structure in question and re-propose it through the style of the lamps that will decorate its interior.

In the case of a mountain hotel, set between hills and green areas, you could be inspired by the landscape and, why not, maybe even by the fauna that populates the nearby woods. Suspension lamps like Sherwood and Robin could be a unique and original solution.

Alternatively, if we are talking about a hotel along the coast, opt for lamps with a look able to evoke an exotic atmosphere in tune with the external environment. For the lobby of your seaside hotel, you might choose a lamp like Blackout for the reception desk, for example. Whether as a suspension lampor a floor lamp, Blackout will be able to illuminate the spaces with unique patterns of light, thanks to the effect of the fibreglass.


Black-Out Decorative lighting for hotels

Black Out

On the contrary, is it an elegant villa in the countryside? Then choose a rustic lighting style with a refined design.

For hotels located in cities, lamps with minimal and sophisticated taste are in step with the most modern trends.

Give personality and character to the decorative lighting of the hotel

All you need to know about decorative lighting for hotels is that personalisation is the key to the success of the project. Creating and proposing a concept of interior and exterior light, with a unique and functional design for each area, will make the hotel your customer’s first choice.

Lighting is the factor that makes the difference in generating above all memories in visitors, a strategic and key point in the growth strategy of each accommodation.

Outlining the mood of a hotel and personalising it with a singular taste, choosing decorative lighting solutions well designed for every need, means giving guests a unique and enjoyable experience.

Each hotel environment requires appropriate decorative lighting that keeps with its uses. However, it is often difficult to identify the most suitable solution for each case, as many types of lighting cannot embellish and illuminate an environment in equal measure.

Start from the type of hotel and evaluate which type of lighting can best blend with the environment without clashing or even becoming transparent. Choose lamps with a character design that help define the profile of the hotel. Then focus on the stylistic line you want to keep for each of the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Even if you choose different lighting models for each area of the hotel, remember that the customer should not perceive profound gaps in mood between one environment and another. This is why the design of the different lamp solutions should be combined with awareness and taste.

If the structure were to host a large number of rooms and areas with different characteristics and moods, the secret lies in grasping these aspects and re-proposing them in several points through recurring decorative lighting.


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For more information, support and assistance in correctly selecting the right lamp models and impact for the hotel or accommodation you are designing, do not hesitate to contact us at this link. We are at your complete disposal.

Camilla Rossi


Camilla Rossi



Karman, an Italian company, was founded in 2005 in Fossombrone. The company's world moves itself with simplicity towards an original and personal decorative use of lighting in both private surroundings and public spaces.