4 Reasons to Focus on the Best Lighting Design for Your Business Remodeling Project

Employees and patrons spend countless hours in your business space, and its lighting, though one of the most obvious features, may too easily be overlooked when it’s time for a commercial remodel

Having a good handle on the lighting needs for each area of your building in the redesign phase will save a lot of trouble down the road, and improve the final result of your commercial remodel. Good commercial lighting provides so much more than illumination. 

1. Safety

The primary reason to upgrade your business lighting will always be safety. The lighting requirements will vary for various areas in the interior and exterior of your office or commercial building. Before your remodeling project has begun, it’s best to determine the level of light needed in specific areas to ensure safe traversing and operating for employees and visitors. 

This can help you narrow down your light fixture options, so you can have a clearer idea of the budgetary requirements this part of the remodel will require. Then you can drill down, within this predetermined level of lumens, to what type of lighting will address your remaining lighting design considerations.


Even if your commercial space has frequent walk-in clients or customers, your employees spend far more time in your space than patrons. Proper lighting can prevent accidents by making hazards more visible in areas where heavy machinery or forklifts are operated. 

In an office setting, micro-assembly space, laboratory, or any space where employees need to do fine work or look at a monitor all day, need adequate lighting to improve visibility and prevent eye strain. 

There are also OSHA lighting requirements to consider, such as properly illuminating exits, stairs, and walkways.

Areas to pay special attention to, with regard to safety lights, include: 

  • Entries 
  • Walkways
  • Stairways
  • Hallways
  • Storage Rooms
  • Warehouses
  • Manufacturing Plants


During a remodel, when adding lighting to your entries, exterior, grounds, and parking lot, think about first-time visitors to your building. Illuminated emergency exits are crucial for your visitors, who are unfamiliar with your building. This will ensure everyone can safely navigate their way, and can help visitors feel safe and welcome.

In a storefront, lights meant to get attention can dissuade customers from entering your space, or cause them to leave prematurely. When adding attention-getting lighting to a retail space, consider that some visitors may be adversely affected by lights that are too bright or too stimulating with colors and strobing. These lighting effects can even set off seizures for a certain percentage of your clientele. In the design phase, it’s important to take these potential issues into account and adjust accordingly. 

2. Atmosphere

Your business lighting design can also set the tone for your space, be an extension of your brand, and make your space feel even more welcoming. Here are just a few examples of how you can achieve all three with your lighting choices. 


well lit empty restaurant, light shining off wood floor

Restaurants offer more than a meal. Diners make their choices as much on ambiance as they do on the quality of the food. Each restaurant has its own particular vibe. With restaurants, as with most establishments, lighting comes in layers. 

The ambient light sets the tone and provides safety for moving about. Bright lighting works for a casual dining establishment, but something closer to candlelight may be more appropriate for fine dining. Adding dimmable LED track lighting can even change the atmosphere from the business lunch rush to the elegant dinner seating. The lighting fixtures over the tables can speak to your brand and style. 

Bookstores and Coffee Shops

For places like bookstores and coffee shops, you’ll want good lighting over the bookshelves and coffee shop tables, but for those who linger, you may have an area for reading or visiting with more subdued lighting, with spotlights over the chairs. 


Starting Strength Columbus gym narrow storefront with ample ceiling lights

Storefronts typically require bright ambient lighting with several areas that need accent lighting. Places to add accent lighting with spotlights or track lighting include: end caps with sale items or other impulse by racks close to the checkout line and over items displayed on walls. Many retail stores use the walls for branding as well, so those branding signs will need proper illumination as well. Track lighting works well for added light on the walls. For small establishments, ceiling panels can make the space feel bigger and more open. 

Office Building

Ameriprise Financial Commercial Remodel Office Lighting

For an office building, there’s nothing more cheerful than natural light, but during the winter months, that may not amount to much. Providing lighting that simulates natural light is calming and welcoming. What art might you display on the walls? You’ll need some track lighting over those, and over your brand sign behind reception. 

3. Productivity

Setting the right mood isn’t just for visitors and customers. Sufficient, welcoming lighting will have a positive impact on employee mood and overall morale. As they say, a happy employee is a productive employee.

In addition, providing the right lighting for each area of operations and access paths will increase productivity by improving visibility and reducing the number of worker injuries.

4. Energy Efficiency

Taking the opportunity to upgrade to LED lighting, as part of your commercial remodel, will save energy and expense. These bulbs use far less energy and last far longer. You can also have special LED dimmer switches installed to increase brightness when it’s needed and save energy–and money–when it’s not. 

Is It Time for New Lighting with a Commercial Remodel? 

Whether you own a retail store, hair salon, or restaurant, many businesses in Sonoma County can benefit from a commercial remodel. Not only will fresh upgrades make a difference in the atmosphere inside your location, but renovated spaces prove to attract and retain more new customers and clients.

At DRF Builders we understand the integral part that good lighting plays in the success of your business. Our design-build team can help create the lighting that’s just right for your business while keeping your commercial remodel project on time and on budget. 

If you would like to learn more about our commercial construction services, call us at 707-888-0713 or contact us online today.