10 Coffee House Lighting Tips For The Perfect Cafe Ambient Lighting

Article by BlissLights LLCFri, Apr 29, 22
coffee shop from above

Although some coffee shop customers will grab their cup o’ joe and head out, many others bring their laptops and stay a full workday. Others might hang around for a few hours at night if your coffee house hosts events that bring back patrons outside “typical” caffeinated hours. Great coffee house lighting can set a mood that keeps every kind of customer coming back and gets new customers in the door. Below are 10 coffee house lighting tips to create a relaxing, inviting space.

10 best coffee house lighting tips

Create a comfortable and memorable atmosphere in moments with these coffee house lighting tips.

1. Use natural light as much as you can

Your coffee shop can be a hub for your neighborhood. It can be a space for your local work-from-home types and students to focus on work or homework. Other people might use it to catch up on their favorite novel or catch up with an old friend. All these things go better with natural lighting, which is the interior design term for sunlight coming through your windows. Invigorating and inspiring, you should consider leaning on the sun as the main light source in your cafe when it’s sunny and bright outside.

This principle is why your coffee shop likely has large windows with tables – that’s a great study light arrangement. Large windows, mirrors, and skylights together are another great option for letting more light into your space.

coffee shop with natural lighting

2. Avoid glare

Natural light can be gorgeous in cafes, but it can also be a source of eye-straining glare, especially when the sun sets. Proper ambient lighting and window shades can help.

Ambient lighting is just one of three layers you should use to counter glare in your coffee house. You can highlight corners it might not reach with task lights and accent lights such as desk lamps or a few overhead light fixtures. Pull the shades down, turn on the lights, and you’ll set the right mood without any glare. Plus, this can help reduce the amount of heat generated in your coffee shop that natural lighting may produce.

Try to look for coffee house lights that you can easily brighten or dim as the sun’s angle overhead shifts. Your choice of furniture plays a part too. Matte tables and chairs won’t reflect light, which can be an issue with shiny surfaces.

espresso bar with ambient lighting

3. Choose the right color temperature and brightness

Color temperature is key to creating a cozy coffee shop aesthetic. Your choice of warm or cool lighting can completely change the vibe. While the sun is up, set the color temperature of 5000K to 6500K to match the daylight. This color temperature range can boost creativity and focus. At night, you’ll want a relaxing atmosphere, which means warm tones ranging from 2700K to 4000K.

woman drinking coffee in warm lighting

Full color temperature control means your coffee shop can promote relaxation, creativity, and excitement at different times of day. The BlissRadia is a smart ambient mood light that can cycle through the whole range of color temperatures. This unassuming orb can immerse your entire coffee house in gentle, colorful daylight, relaxation light, and everything in between. It includes a “sun” mode that replicates natural light and a dusk-to-dawn timer that sets the right mood at the times you choose.

blissradia smart mood light in warm yellow

blissradia is an led ambient light with app control that shines in multiple colors

BlissRadia Smart LED Mood Light


From desktop to bedside, light the way to concentration, stimulation, or relaxation.

4. Keep lighting consistent throughout your coffeehouse

Your lighting should be the same in every part of your coffee house. You can change your lighting over the course of the day, but if you do, you should keep the same color temperature across the room. That’s because customers who walk from warm into cool tones or vice versa might strain their eyes to see properly. Dimmable incandescent bulbs and smart light bulbs can give you additional flexibility on this front.

coffe house lighting

5. Highlight important areas and features

There are a handful of especially important spots in your coffee house. Most likely, these areas are the barista bar, the restrooms, and the entrances and exits. These areas may call for different lighting than the rest of the space.

For example, at your barista bar, you may want to add accent lighting to showcase your menu board and baked goods. Restroom wall sconces or pendant lights that emit soft white light are a popular choice at many coffee houses. If the hallways toward your entrances or restrooms are a bit dark, track lighting can make them easier to navigate.

barista bar with pendant lighting

6. Use under-cabinet lighting

Adding under-cabinet lighting to your shelves can highlight your baked goods and merchandise. This type can showcase what you’re selling in a bright and exciting way that can catch your customers’ eyes – and keep them there.

7. Provide ample task lighting for baristas and other team members

Good lighting can make the difference between your baristas fully cleaning a machine and leaving behind buildup. The best lighting for your baristas is typically fluorescent lights or overhead lamps. Their cool temperatures are great for focus, and they’re bright enough for your baristas to never miss a thing. You should install this lighting above your espresso machine, barista bar, and cooking station.

overhead lighting for baristas

8. Mix and match lighting types and colors

Most coffee shops have a bit of an artsy vibe. If that’s the case with yours, mixing and matching lighting types and colors can elevate your surroundings from top to bottom. Mixing and matching can create a layered look that breaks the room apart and makes it easier on the eyes.

For example, daylight and overhead fixtures are a perfect lighting foundation, but they’re not the full picture. You should also add accent lighting such as wall sconces and lamps to get the full layered effect. Try installing light fixtures in different colors to add a bit more color and uniqueness to your space. But remember to keep your lighting temperatures and colors consistent – your different fixtures and layers should still align.

9. Install accent lighting for your wall art and other decorations

Wall art and other decorations can give your coffee house a dash of personality. These decorations stand out more strongly if you add accent lighting to make them focal points in the room. For example, let’s say you brighten up your neutral-tone furniture with colorful floral paintings. To breathe life into each painting, you may want to install accent lighting that dazzlingly sets it apart. Whenever you have something to highlight, accent lighting can lead the way.

coffee shop with varied lighting sources

10. Use lights with timers

One great thing about your cafe’s abundant natural lighting is that you don’t have to keep your bright lamps running all day long. And when you choose fixtures with timers, you’ll never again have to turn the lights on and off yourself. Set your timer once, then sit back and relax – or keep running the show behind the barista bar – as your lights automatically change.

You can set timers to turn off your lights as the sun rises and slowly turn them on at sunset. This way, any customers who are sticking around a while will continue to enjoy adequate lighting as they work or relax with a book. You can also set your lights to turn off after closing so you don’t keep them on all night when no one is around. Some BlissLights include timers you can set from your phone to make this automatic lighting especially easy.

coffee shop with timed lights

Illuminate your coffee shop with BlissLights

The right coffee house lighting is key to making it a spot where customers stay instead of a grab-and-go shop. With BlissLights, you can elevate your coffee house lighting through accent and ambient lighting options that fully transform your coffee shop. You can cycle among these lights’ color temperatures to make your space a calming safe haven or a top-notch spot for focusing on work. Browse the BlissLights collection now to see your cafe in a whole new light.

About BlissLights

BlissLights has been a leader in the laser lighting industry since the company was founded in 2006. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians helped create award-winning special effect lighting for major theme parks before minaturizing ourpatented technology for home use. BlissLights is dedicated to laser safety and education, and is registered with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

View all articles by BlissLights LLC

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