Using Lighting to Enhance the Guest Experience

At the Hotel Xcaret Mexico, the guestroom solution is guest-friendly and easy to use while it monitors devices including lighting, temperature, and shade controls, providing data on room use and trends.
At the Hotel Xcaret Mexico, the guestroom solution is guest-friendly and easy to use while it monitors devices including lighting, temperature, and shade controls, providing data on room use and trends.

This has been a tough year. Moving forward, hotel leaders will need solutions that respond to challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic while still differentiating their properties and welcoming and reassuring guests. Light is a powerful design element that can shape ambiance and mood and give guests a sense of comfort. Below are three areas where lighting can be used as an amenity to enhance the guest experience.

Personal Lighting for Guestrooms

As travelers acclimate to a new normal, the guestroom experience is even more critical to customer confidence, loyalty, and repeat business.

With today’s guestroom solutions, one system can control shades, draperies, lights, and automatically adjust room temperature as well. Greet guests with a preset welcome scene, then give them simple, intuitive controls to personalize room settings for the rest of their stay. Touchless occupancy sensors ensure guests never have to enter a dark room, and when that guest leaves the room, an alert can notify staff that the room is ready to be cleaned.

Convenient bedside controls provide a simple, one-touch option for guests to turn out all lights at once without getting out of bed. While new protocols may eliminate some familiar touches in the guestroom—like decorative pillows, robes, and quilted hangers—lighting control can offer a little luxury without adding time and risk to the cleaning routine.

Transformative Light in Public Areas

A first impression is a one-time thing. As guests start to travel again, lighting can help transport them into a place where comfort and cleanliness are the highest priorities.

In the lobby, dynamic light and shades work in tandem to create warm morning light, midday blue light, and back to a soft, warm glow as evening arrives, and blend seamlessly with radiant daylight streaming in from the windows—a welcome distraction from the outside world. Touchless lighting and shade solutions create the right light with no human intervention, ensuring one less area susceptible to potential contaminants.

Lighting can transform outdoor patios, ballrooms, and even night clubs into versatile spaces that meet the immediate demands of today’s pandemic-altered environment and then easily return to their original purpose.

For many hotels, patios that once went largely unused are being reimagined as outdoor restaurants, cocktail venues, or meeting areas. Adding light to outdoor spaces and controlling settings via an app expands functional, revenue-generating space especially as indoor areas continue to operate under restricted capacity rules and guests are more comfortable in open-air venues.

With digital lighting control and some creative thinking, lighting in ballrooms can be reconfigured for socially distanced gatherings, and night clubs can shed their sultry atmosphere to accommodate a business meeting or sales presentation. Reprogramming can be simple, swift, and immediate with an app-based control solution.

Reopening Hotel Restaurants and Bars

Perhaps nowhere is the right light more important than in a hotel’s restaurant, lounge area, or bar.

A positive experience largely depends on making sure patrons feel relaxed, the music is right, the seating is comfortable, and the food meets all their expectations. Lighting can be the maestro in the background bringing it all together, orchestrating the experience unobtrusively and with no extra work for staff.

Color can be a difference-maker. Bright light is lovely in the afternoon, but at dinner time guests, are attracted to warm, relaxing light in tranquil hues that encourage them to stay for a nightcap. The lighting can help drive revenue at any time of day.

A better guest experience leads to a better bottom line.

Travelers recognize that every detail matters as they evaluate how to spend their dollars. Sophisticated lighting and control solutions simplify property management while enhancing the overall guest experience, cultivating loyalty, and managing property costs. From luxury five-star retreats to downtown boutique hotels, lighting is an amenity that makes a difference for every guest and every hotel owner.

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Olivier Perrigueur is the Vice President – General Manager of Commercial Architectural Business at Lutron Electronics.