As hotels across the world prepare to move on from the disruption of the pandemic, the key development priorities will be to make venues more attractive to guests in order to get revenues back to normal. With little or no custom over the previous year, they will want to do this cost-effectively and reduce long-term costs at the same time. For many, adopting the latest lighting trends helps tick all these boxes: not only do they improve the customer experience; they can also drastically cut energy costs. Here, we’ll look at the latest trends in hotel lighting.

1.     Smart lights for tech-loving millennials

Millennials are an important market for hotels. Young, experience-led, and always online, they are the generation that prefers to spend their money on a weekend away instead of buying the latest appliance. Succeeding with this generation, however, means bringing the hotel into the 21st century. As digital natives, millennials expect hotels to use technology that enhances their customer experience.

Today, millennials already use their smartphones to book rooms, check-in and out, unlock room doors, order services, and pay for things. When it comes to lighting, they also want their phones to create personalized atmospheres and moods in their rooms. With the smart LED lighting systems now able to communicate with smartphones, this is a real possibility and offers the ideal way to enhance customer experiences in line with the needs of this tech-savvy generation’s expectations.

2.     Vintage lighting – with a twist

The lighting trend of the day is the use of old-fashioned Edison bulbs. In case you haven’t seen them, they look very much like the original electric light bulbs of the late 19th Century, with fancy bulb shapes and fully transparent glass through which you can clearly see the glowing filaments inside. Their unique design and warm glow have made them highly sought after and they appeal to those who like nostalgic settings and those with retro and industrial tastes.  

The twist, of course, is that these are not the incandescent bulbs of old. Those are extremely costly to run and have a very short lifespan. Instead, hotels are creating the look using more modern LED lights of which there are hundreds of different designs and which come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, fitting types, and wattages. Lasting 40 times longer and using 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs, these LEDs are transforming hotel interiors while helping to keep costs to a minimum.

3.     Integrated lighting

Anyone who has ever visited an Ikea store will have seen a masterclass in how effective lighting can be used to bring furniture and interior design to life and create irresistibly attractive spaces. The way this is achieved is to integrate lighting into the design so that it works perfectly with space, its architecture, and interior design.

Increasingly, hotels are adopting integrated lighting when upgrading their interiors, so that they can enhance the look and feel of the space, extend functionality, and by using LED lighting systems, significantly bring down the cost.

4.     Lighting for conferences and meetings

Aside from catering for people taking personal trips, many hotels provide business facilities. These large-scale conferences, smaller meetings, and training days can be very lucrative and bring in substantial revenue.

While a great deal of effort has gone into equipping conference and meeting rooms with wi-fi connections, USB charging points, overhead projectors, and touchscreen TVs, many businesses are now wanting more control over the lighting of these rooms. Uncontrollable overhead lighting, for example, might be too bright to keep on when using an overhead projector but turning it off might make it too dark for attendees to make notes. Similarly, as more attendees bring laptops and tablets to conferences, lighting glare and unwanted reflections might impact their use. At the same time, today’s conferences will also include a mix of in-person attendees and those who attend via video-conferencing, and the lighting needs to ensure all attendees can clearly be seen by everyone else.

The solution hotels are choosing is LED lighting systems. These provide business guests with total control of the lighting within the room. They can adjust brightness, color, and color temperature as and when needed, to suit the activity being undertaken.

5.     Cost-reduction

While many hotels want to improve the lighting within their venues, they also want to do it cost-effectively. At the same time, loss of income during the pandemic and the increasing prices of energy means there’s a need to keep energy costs to a minimum long-term.

As a result, many hotels are now adopting LED lighting systems. LED bulbs, in themselves, are far more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. As they convert most of their energy into light, not heat, they can cut the energy used for lighting by up to 80%. When incorporated into a modern LED lighting system, the savings can be even greater. LEDs can incorporate sensors that the systems use to automate lighting so that it adjusts to the amount of natural daylight in a room or only turns on when a room is occupied.

Additionally, LED systems can automate the changing of lighting schemes at particular times of the day while giving control of lighting color, brightness, and color temperature. They also enable lights within a room to be controlled individually or in groups, so that larger spaces can have various lighting zones, depending on the purpose, need, or task.

6.     The sustainable hotel

When an LED system slashes a hotel’s energy costs, it significantly reduces its carbon footprint at the same time. An 80% reduction in lighting energy consumption equates to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions caused by lighting. Not only does this help hotels work towards the UK government’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050; it also makes them much more appealing to the growing number of sustainable travelers. So, too, does the fact that LEDs are also free of environmentally toxic materials, like mercury, that are found in other forms of bulbs. 

As travelers become more aware of the impact that their journeys have on the environment, they are increasingly looking for more sustainable ways to travel and places to stay. Hotels that have increased their sustainability through the adoption of LED lighting systems are more likely to attract these environmentally-friendly guests.


LED lighting can play an important role in helping hotels recover from the downturn of the pandemic. It can transform interiors, create the perfect atmosphere and mood, provide the trendy styling that guests admire and bring the sustainability that attracts the modern traveler. It also provides the functionality and control that appeals to both tech-loving millennials and tech-dependent businesses. Add to this the huge savings it can make in energy costs and you can see why it’s the ideal solution for hotels.

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