The perfect light
Lighting enhances the visually appealing areas in a hotel and creates the desired mood and ambience. Thus, hotels need to exercise utmost care and caution while selecting lights for a particular area.
Prashant Vaidya, director of engineering, Sofitel Mumbai BKC is of the opinion that light influences people’s emotions. “After a long day of meetings, or an exhausting day of vacation, our guests look to feel as comfortable as they possibly can. Lighting can energise, soothe and help people interact, making guests feel at home in a hotel environment.”
Summit Joshi, marketing head, Philips Lighting India, agrees “lighting helps transform a place and gives a feel that one is aiming for. LEDs make it possible to personalise lighting as per mood and requiremint with the many options that they offer.”
While proper lighting can make a dramatic difference to the decor and aesthetics in a hotel, it is not aesthetics alone that a hotel seeks.A definite purpose has to be achieved depending upon the area of the hotel. For example, the lobby, banquet space and other public areas, as well as restaurants and guest rooms have different lighting requirements. Vaidya quips, “Individual areas in hotel need differently tailored lights for specific applications which help them create a particular ambience. A hotel lobby requires warm lighting which gives guests a feeling of being welcome, while neon lights or dim lighting are suitable at the bar.”
Mohammad Labban, general manager, Hyatt Regency Pune, says that “For a complete guest experience, we have paid undivided attention to the ambient lighting. The lighting at the reception and lobby area creates the first impression of a welcoming ambience combined with a hint of excitement and professionalism. Banquets are illuminated with a more refreshing luminance during the day, while it is more intimate and laid back in the evening. It is essential to give a feeling of luxury and personal comfort. Hence, functional and mood lighting in guest rooms serve the purpose. All in all, the lighting in a hotel provides our guests with an unparalleled ambience and sense of opulence.”
Anup Dey, chief engineer, The Westin Mumbai Garden City, feels that flexibility is more needed in the ballrooms, meeting rooms and conference areas where rearranging seating, partitions, and lighting schemes are important. Hotel ballrooms, restaurants and bars with stages are designed with both architectural lighting and performance lighting systems.
If the requirement of hotels varies from area to area, lighting companies today have several options to cater to these diverse needs. Ankush Agarwal, director, marketing and business development, Harman Professional India says, “There is a broad range of solutions that satisfy the many lighting requirements of hoteliers, ranging from interior and exterior to entertainment and informational. Lighting solutions for banquet venues or other entertainment settings typically require a range of moving head fixtures, wash lights, fog machines and a lighting console for control. Depending on the occasion, this type of solution can be manipulated to provide dynamic moving light. For lobby areas, restaurants, or meet- ins space, image projectors can be used for dynamic logo projection.”
So much to choose from and with newer trends coming in, the hospitality industry too has made a deliberate shift in lighting. Dey states, “There has been a discrete change in the style of hotel lighting system over the years, where people want to see more individuality when it comes to design. We witness a much more eclectic mix in terms of both styles and fittings especially in the guest rooms; colours are bolder and shades are becoming more vibrant with stripes and different trims being at the forefront, leaving behind the ‘coordinated’ style that was popular previously.”
Labban opined that “The development in the digital lighting technology has changed the entire lighting experience. The primary advantage of taking a digital approach is that it can perform much more than just the power management and lighting. The innovative features such as power factor correction (PFC), temperature sensing, and communications are significantly more cost-effective and easy to implement compared to analog lighting.”
LEDs are transforming the nature of lighting by opening up new possibilities. “LEDs being semiconductor by nature, offer countless possibilities to customise and digitise lighting controls. Digital lighting solutions offer versatility and options in terms of colour, dimmability, design and offer freedom of control. Lighting controls managed through remote and handheld devices have become the latest trend in hospitality industry,” Joshi added.
“The lighting industry as a whole has seen a shift from incandescent toward more energy efficient technology, with LED leading the way. The adoption rate of LED technology will continue to rise as hoteliers recognise that LED lamps are more cost-effective due to longer average lifespan and lower energy consumption,” anlayses Agarwal.
Thankfully, hotel operators have moved with the times. Vaidya said, “Every year we see innovative designs and features coming in market. Earlier hotels used to have manual switchboards to operate lights, but these days you have digitalised technology where lighting can be configured through a computer.”
Energy efficiency is of paramount importance when it comes to choice of lighting in a hotel. Dey admits, “In order to meet our energy demands in the future, we have to consume less energy by adopting energy efficient products in our lives and turn to more renewable forms of energy that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.”
Echoing his sentiment Labban said, “In addition to creating a welcoming experience, we are particular about energy efficient lighting. Digital lighting solutions that we use render substantial cost benefits, provides intelligent lighting controls, requires low maintenance costs and is environment friendly.”
Agarwal appreciates hotels trying to conserve energy through lighting. “With lighting taking a large portion of a hotel’s electricity consumption, hotels should be taking energy consumption seriously, when specifying a lighting solution. Implementing digital systems not only allows for better power consumption management, but also the capability to easily control advanced features such as colour mixing and dimming. Despite a more significant investment initially, intelligent digitally controlled LED lighting, such as Martin’s architectural solutions, is more cost-efficient in the long run due to simplified installation and lower maintenance costs.”
Keeping the requirements in mind, chief engineers in hotels along with the General Manager, generally take decisions regard- in lighting brands. “Osram, Philips, GE, and Bajaj for lighting on account of their quality and latest technology, are some typical choices,” Vaidya said.
A lot of attention is paid to lighting inside a hotel, outdoor lighting too should be consistent with the overall architectural style. External lights help to exude the grandeur and elegance of a hotel and well-placed accent lighting can make a hotel building stand out. “Lighting solutions for exterior structures and landscapes require weatherproof fixtures that can produce powerful colour washes or white light over great distances,” recommends Agarwal.
Whatever be the type of lighting a hotel selects, and the impact it strives to create, sustainability is something hotels now need to bear in mind.