Shine A Light

Sophisticated lighting is crucial to a salon's success, says Michele Pelafas, owner of Chicago-based Michele Pelafas Salon & Spa Interior Design, who has been designing salons and spas for more than 15 years. Here, she offers a few tips for getting the lighting right in your salon.

At Infinity Day Spa in Cary, IL, Pelafas used floor lights to add visual interest.
At Infinity Day Spa in Cary, IL, Pelafas used floor lights to add visual interest.

1. APPROACH EACH AREA OR ZONE OF THE SALON SEPARATELY. The goals for each zone (cutting, retail, color, skincare and makeup) are unique, so the lighting should be unique to each zone, as well.

2. USE HALOGEN AND REFLECTOR-TYPE BULBS TO MAKE THE RETAIL AREA "POP." Enhance products and draw attention to them with directional lighting that is flexible and can adjust to changing displays.


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3. CHOOSE LIGHTING THAT IS FLATTERING TO THE INTERIOR, AS WELL AS THE COMPLEXION. Both color temperature and Color Rendering Index (CRI) should be considered to make sure the light renders color accurately.

4. SELECT LIGHTING FOR PURPOSES OTHER THAN FUNCTIONALITY. Fixtures and lamps come in exciting finishes, colors and sizes; entertain and impress with innovative ideas and add visual interest by placing lighting in unexpected areas.

5. SPECIFY LED (LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE) OR FLUORESCENT LIGHTING WHENEVER POSSIBLE. Both are energy-efficient, which minimizes operating costs, and offer a broad array of both creative and functional applications.