SALON LIGHTING 101
LEARN THE BASICS FOR YOUR SALON
Salon lighting is everything in a salon interior. You can have the most fabulous finishes and colors yet if the salon lighting is all wrong, you can loose the design direction. In addition, lighting provides the functionality of a space. Here are some basic tips:
SALON LIGHTING SHOULD FLATTER THE COMPLEXION AND COMPLIMENT THE INTERIOR
Salon lighting bulbs come in a variety of temperatures ranging from very warm to cool. A warm temperature bulb (2,700 to 3,500 Kelvin temperature) is the most flattering on the complexion and compliments most interiors. Cool temperatures (4,800 Kelvin) can equate to daylight (a sunny afternoon) and is typically not the most flattering temperature (think about being in broad daylight and how your skin looks in the sun). Daylight/cool temperatures bulbs will grey-out warm interiors as well as wash-out guests.
SALON LIGHTING SHOULD ACCURATELY RENDER COLOR
Have you ever heard stories about guests receiving hair color only to walk outside and the color appears differently? The simple solution is to utilize bulbs in the space that accurately renders color for your salon lighting. How well a bulb accurately renders color is determined by the bulb’s Color Rendering Index which represents the quality of light and its faithfulness to render colors. Always request bulbs that have a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 86 or higher
SALON LIGHTING SHOULD BE POSITIONED TO ELIMINATE SHADOWS
How a guest looks in the salon chair is paramount in the salon environment. If a guest feels good about their appearance, it reinforces a positive experience for repeat business and increased revenues. The easiest way to help eliminate shadows on the face is to position salon lighting at the mirror on either side to directly light the complexion. This too should be a flattering temperature bulb (2,700 to 3,500 Kelvin). Spotty lighting above, such as track fixtures, will also create shadows. In this type of application, wall lighting on the face is even more important.
INVEST IN ENERGY-EFFICIENT BULBS FOR LONG-TERM SAVINGS
Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs have revolutionized energy efficient salon lighting. When possible, request salon light fixtures that support these types of lamps. With a wide variety of color temperatures and high Color Rendering Index options, these bulbs are ideal for the salon environment. Although these lamps are typically higher in cost to purchase, the investment is worth it. LED lamps have long life, use less energy, save on maintenance and replacement costs and provide long term savings.
OVERHEAD TASK LIGHTING AND GENERAL ILLUMINATION
Overhead fixtures provide you with general salon lighting to perform tasks as well as light the overall space. If the overhead salon lighting is properly designed, this will provide enough lighting to perform all of the required tasks for hair applications. Separate “task lighting” is not required if the overhead lighting is properly configured. Proper overhead lighting requirements will vary from space to space. Overhead lighting is dependent upon the ceiling height and type (open, grid, etc) as well as how dark or light the space is. A lighting designer who understands the intricacies of salon lighting can help.
QUALITY LIGHTING COUNTS
As in anything, quality matters. LED and florescent bulbs, while a wonderful source of general salon lighting, can be flat. There are thousands of sources and types for LED lighting and many of them are poor quality. Look for LED bulbs that replicate Halogen bulbs, have a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) and have high quality optics. Quality Led lighting will bring just enough sparkle to the space to show the depth, dimension and shine in the hair that you produce.
Remember, the best salon lighting for your salon combines a variety of lighting to suit its particular purpose. While you do not have to be an expert here, the idea is to be able to effectively communicate the basics. This will allow you to explore all of your lighting options to fit your budget and ensure a successful result.
Here is more information on LED Lighting Benefits.