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Landscape and Garden Lighting in Hospitality Venues

Lighting plays a pivotal role within hospitality venues. First impressions and a captivating atmosphere make the venue inviting and memorable.

Lighting should therefore be integral to the overall design and planting of the landscape. Whether it is a boutique hotel in the countryside or a city hotel or spa, the artful application of light can transform the space and the enjoyment of guests and their lasting memories.

This article examines the significance of lighting in the hospitality industry and how it can enhance the overall ambience and guests’ experience of the venue.

Swimming Pool with underwater lighting surrounded by palm trees

Swimming pool surrounded by palm trees

Lighting Entrances and Pathways

Correct lighting at the entrance is key to setting the scene. The entrance may have signage guiding visitors to various areas within the venue and these need to be both clear and clearly illuminated. Pathways and changes in direction need to be well lit especially in rustic settings where pavings can be uneven.

It is particularly important that changes in levels are illuminated as well as entrances to buildings within the venue. A layered lighting approach can be adopted using a combination of ground lighting, handrail lighting or wall mounted luminaires.

The light needs to be sufficient to provide safe illumination without overwhelming the landscape by being too bright and glare should be avoided wherever possible.

The lighting should be seamlessly controlled to gradually come on as dusk falls.

Stone paving edged with bollard lights to house entrance

Creating Tranquil Retreats

The landscapes and gardens of hotels and resorts are extensions of their interiors and should enhance the sense of relaxation and leisure long into the evening especially in the warmer months when people may wish to enjoy the outdoor spaces.

Carefully positioned fixtures accentuate seating areas, fire pits, and lounges, inviting guests to unwind in a serene, intimate setting. Spotlights, in wall and in ground lights can form the background lighting whilst rechargeable lanterns and lights combined with real candles provide atmosphere and ambience.

We feel that colour lighting should be avoided for most applications and warm white - 2400K to 2700K - are the most flattering and comfortable and in tune with human rhythms during the evening.

Outdoor covered seating area with sofas, fire pit and sofas

Highlighting Architectural Elements

Architectural features give interest to a hotel’s design and floodlights, wall-mounted sconces and spotlights can be used to highlight and add depth and dimension to the overall structure as well as creating an inviting atmosphere through the interplay of light and shadow.

Modern metal sculpture on pebbles with spotlights

Embracing Natural Beauty

Trees, shrubs and flowers are the integral elements of the landscape and gardens within a hospitality venue. These elements demand lighting in different ways. Trees can be under lit casting shadows and light that will be accentuated in a breeze. Trees with coloured barks or gnarled trunks can be spot lit within the tree to enhance the colours and textures of the trunk and branches.

Lighting interspersed amongst shrubs and flowers enhances their detail in the evening light - spot lights, well lights and in-ground fixtures are often used for this purpose.

Hotel garden with flowerbeds and lighting on pathway

Framing Water Features

The addition of water features within a landscape or garden adds a further element of interest both visual and auditory. Whether it is a simple rill, a pond or a swimming pool, the landscape or garden will be enhanced. However, such features need careful lighting for best effect.

There are technical challenges around water but with quality luminaires, it is possible to use submerged lighting within wildlife ponds, swimming pools or fountains. The movement of water combined with light creates interesting effects where the light can appear to dance in an ever changing pattern. Whilst we always prefer white light, coloured light used carefully and sparingly can be dramatic. The secret is to not over do it.

The overall effect of water and light is not only a visual delight, but a sensory experience that resonates deep within, creating moments of tranquillity within the outdoor space.

Infinity swimming pool with underwater lighting and lanterns surrounded by palm trees


Landscape lighting within hospitality venues transcends the merely functional: it is an essential aspect in creating memorable and immersive guest experiences.

Skilful lighting elevates the outdoor spaces into enchanting realms that captivate and inspire all those who enjoy the spaces. Welcoming entrances, enhanced architectural details and trees and plants transformed by imaginative lighting create impressions that will last.

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