5 Tips for Creating Proper Salon Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important features of any room, especially a salon. It’s an essential tool in achieving proper color calibration and precision, yet it is also a crucial element for creating ambiance and a vibe in a salon that guests connect with.

“The combination of overhead lighting and backlit mirrors in our salon allows for both stylists and guests to view the true definition and tone of color. Everyone is on the same page and expectations can be met promptly,” explains Hannah Longest, managing partner, Salon Jaylee Magnolia Plaza (The Villages, FL). “The lighting truly takes the salon atmosphere to the next level.”

Consider these five tips when planning a light strategy.

  1. Function: A lounge/waiting area can have softer light, possibly table lamps or a statement chandelier, because that light is used to create ambiance and accent areas.  However, workstations, color bars and shampoo areas need natural full spectrum light with the proper Kelvin color temperature so color can be assessed properly. Designed for salon professionals, SpectraLights has the correct combination of lumens, watts, lux and kelvins to create the perfect light for color calibration.
  2. Control: Installing various types of light throughout the salon is the best course of action. And, having the ability to control brightness through dimmer switches, remote controls or three-way bulbs allows the mood to change with the tone and seasons.
  3. Placement: A larger statement fixture in the entrance, a small cluster to accent a corner and light platforms on the ceiling customized to complement décor are some examples of where to place lighting. Overhead lighting does not have to be in the center of the room—a pendant light swaged over from a central ceiling electrical box can look really cool, too. If a second object is twice as far away from the light source as another object, the brightness of the light on the second object is cut down to 25 percent. Awareness of placement and distance that a light source is from its surroundings has significant impact on the light’s effect. Overhead and accent lighting can be hung higher than those on workstations (eight to 10 feet from the floor).
  4. Design: Think pairs or odd numbers. Pairs of matching lamps, sconces or pendants can help define a space, and even make it appear larger or cozier. Clusters of odd numbered fixtures add interest, texture and an unexpected design element. Ceiling light platforms can be set lower to create a more intimate feel or be set up high to make a space feel larger.
  5. Vibe: Warm, inviting light helps create ambiance…whether a salon is dark and moody or bright and minimalist, the light will play a major role in how people feel when they walk into the space.

Plus, Salon Lighting Basics

  • Lumens: The amount of light being emitted from a light source. 
  • Watts: The amount of electricity being used - the higher the lumens per watt, the more energy efficient.
  • Lux: The amount of light hitting an object – between 800 to 1500 is ideal for salons.
  • Kelvins: The color temperature of the light - 3500K is ideal for salons.