Great Ways to Illuminate The Exterior of a Hotel

Your hotel should be an inviting and welcoming place where guests feel safe and secure. A well-lit hotel interior is important for this, but so is exterior hotel lighting. In this article, we’ll explore hotel exterior lighting ideas that you can use on your own property.


Why Does a Hotel Need Good Outdoor Lighting?

Perhaps the most important element of hospitality exterior illumination is the feeling of safety and security that it can bring. If a guest is arriving at your property in the middle of the night, they don’t want to walk up to a dark and intimidating-looking building.

From an accessibility standpoint, this is particularly important. Well-lit outdoor areas allow guests with mobility issues to navigate the space more easily and comfortably by providing clear visibility.

Hotel façade lights and hotel grounds lights give an easy look at the hotel and the path to its entryway. This prevents accidents such as trips and falls, but it also is more likely to deter crime.

If you have adequate hotel exterior lighting, you are less likely to have shadowy areas for criminal behaviour to take place. Theft, unauthorized access, vandalism and other crimes have no place to occur that is not highly visible.

Hotel outdoor lighting also makes a first impression on your guests, since it is the very first thing they see about your property. Modern hotel exterior lighting that is stylish, eye-catching and welcoming is key to attracting guests by increasing its kerb appeal.

Thoughtfully applied exterior lighting designs for hotels can also set the mood for the guests. Using different styles of lights and shadows for visual interest, you can communicate the vibe of your specific brand or property.

Hotel exterior lighting showing a modern swimming pool with decorative lighting

How To Light the Façade of a Hotel Building

Hotel façade illumination is one of the most important elements of hotel exterior lighting design. Hotel façade lighting refers to the illumination of the walls of a building, often including a large wash of light that covers most, if not all of it.

Façade lighting is instrumental in creating that welcoming and inviting atmosphere that will make a first impression on your guests. It can also show off any unique architectural details that your hotel may have, attracting even more attention to it.

Below are some hotel outdoor lighting ideas for getting the façade right.


Light Up the Recesses

If your hotel’s exterior has niches and recesses, installing hospitality outdoor lighting fixtures there can work wonders with façade lighting. Doing so will create a lot of visual interest thanks to the shadows and light that you can play around with to make it look dynamic and interesting.


Light the Soffits

Eliminate any shadows toward the roof area by installing soffit lights. Soffit lights line the underside of the roof’s border and eliminate any shadows that might fall in the overhang. This will help define the shape of the building itself.


Install Wall Lights

Adding wall lights to a hotel’s façade will allow you to emphasise the symmetry of the building while also shining light on any unique wall textures. Commonly, up and down lighting is used here to provide an even wash of illumination along the wall.


Ground Lighting

By shining hotel outdoor feature lighting from the ground up, you can make an even more dramatic statement with your lighting. Ground lighting far from the wall will create a wider wash of illumination along the wall while lighting close to the wall will be better for showing off wall textures and other small details.


How To Illuminate Hotel Pathways 

Landscape lighting for hotels plays an important part in the overall exterior lighting. When it comes to pathways, ensuring they are well-lit will make it safer for guests to approach and depart the building at night.


Quality hotel pathway lighting can be accomplished with a variety of fixture types, including:


  • BOLLARD LIGHTS – Bollard lights are a popular way to light up pathways. They take the shape of short poles and sit lower to the ground, lighting up a larger area of space directly onto the pathway.


  • WALL LIGHTS – Hotel exterior wall lamps on the building that are pointed toward the ground can shine light on pathways to guide guests towards your entryway. Quality hotel outdoor wall lamps can contribute both to the aesthetic and the accessibility of the space.


  • SPOTLIGHTS – Spotlights placed in the ground shining upwards are good for lighting up pathways, as well as any nearby features like shrubs and trees.


When you are directly lighting the path, placing the fixtures at the right distance is crucial. Be sure that you place them far enough apart to naturally guide visitors down a path. That said, don’t put them so far apart that your guests lose sight of where they are going.

There are a few things you should be mindful of when designing outdoor lighting for pathways.

Generally speaking, you should not install pathway lights any closer together than six to eight feet. If you do, you run the risk of making the pathway look more like a runway, which can be a detriment to the outdoor lighting scheme.

Maintaining even spacing throughout is not the only thing you need to consider. You should also try to position them in such a way that they do not cause glare. This is just as important to the visual comfort and overall safety of your guests.

Work them in well with the rest of the hotel landscape lighting and garden feature lighting for hotels by choosing fixtures that are similar in appearance. This will limit disruptions to the visual appeal of the area and even prevent clashing with the rest of the environment.

You can incorporate pathway lighting seamlessly into the rest of the landscape. Around the path, you can use other types of lighting to illuminate garden features or walls along the path to blend in effortlessly.


Advice on Lighting Hotel Car Parks

When designing your commercial outdoor lighting scheme, you cannot overlook the importance of car park lighting. Much like the rest of the outdoor area, guests will need to feel safe parking and leaving their cars overnight.

Having a well-lit car park makes it easier for guests to move through the lot. They can more easily see the rows of cars to find their vehicle and navigate to and from the exits without getting lost.

A lot of the time, people feel nervous about getting out of their car at nighttime due to the potential for getting accosted. Make the car park safer for them by ensuring it is well-lit.

This will give guests a heightened sense of security and make your property memorable. While they are away from the car park, the well-lit area will deter criminals from trying to break into them.

When it comes to lighting car parks, there are numerous ways you can accomplish this:


  • POLE MOUNTED LIGHTING – Pole mounted lights are perhaps the most popular way to light up these areas. These tall fixtures provide greater ambient lighting and are more likely to cover larger areas of the car park at once. Similarly, you can use adjustable floodlights to cover more ground.


  • ENTRY AND EXIT POINTS – Using overhead canopy lighting in covered areas ensures that guests have plenty of light to see as they enter and exit the car park. Gateway lighting such as this improves visibility both for foot traffic and for cars that are coming and going.


  • SECURITY LIGHTING – If you have a CCTV system set up in the car park, you’ll need to be sure the areas that the cameras watch are well-lit. Doing so will improve the efficacy of your surveillance.


  • MOTION-SENSOR LIGHTING – Installing lights that turn on and off depending on movement is an energy-efficient way to illuminate the car park. This is particularly effective in deterring criminal behavior.


  • PARKING SPACE LIGHTING – Lighting up the parking spaces themselves will go a long way toward making your guests feel secure parking there. Not only are they more likely to feel safe leaving the car, but they will have more faith that nothing will happen to their vehicle overnight.

hotel swimming pool and exterior illuminated at night

Why LED Lighting Is the Best Option for Hotel Outdoor Lighting

From large areas like car parks to smaller, individual spaces such as hotel patio lighting, LED bulbs will serve your needs the best. LED lights stand out from traditional halogen bulbs for many reasons, making them the clear and obvious choice.


  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY – Since LED lights use up to 80 percent less energy than halogen bulbs, the strain on your electricity resources is significantly diminished.


  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY – With less energy being consumed, you can reduce your carbon footprint.


  • SUPER LONG LIFE – Since LED bulbs are rated to last tens of thousands of hours, you won’t have to replace them nearly as often as you would halogen bulbs, which only last an average of 1,000 hours.


  • COST-SAVINGS – A combination of fewer replacements and lower electricity consumption allows LED bulbs to save you money both in the short and long term.


  • VERSATILITY AND FLEXIBILITY – With a variety of colour temperatures and lumen counts to work with, you can dictate exactly how the end result will look.


Considerations for Designing Effective Hotel Outdoor Lighting

As you design your lighting scheme, there are several considerations you’ll want to keep in mind.

Chief among them is the safety and security the lights can provide. As mentioned, having even, balanced lighting across the outdoor area will make guests feel more comfortable navigating your property at night.

Entryways, car parks and pathways especially deserve attention. Be sure that the lighting is uniform and does not create shadows. If you want to take it even further, you can install motion sensor lights around the property. These will ensure the lights are always on and ready when guests walk by them.

Keep in mind the ways that lighting can enhance the aesthetics and visual appeal of the hotel. Everything from small hotel terrace lighting to façade lighting plays a big role in the appearance of your space.

Use exterior lighting to highlight architectural elements and other features you want to draw the eye to. It is particularly useful for illuminating sculptures, unique landscape features and other areas that you want to turn into focal points.

Blending the lights into the existing environment can make it look seamless and stylish. Take care to install lighting that works in harmony with the landscape around it to avoid clashing appearances. Some lights, like pathway lights, can also double as a way to light up shrubs and trees nearby to further blend it all together.

Of course, you should keep in mind local lighting codes and regulations when planning your lighting. Be sure that you are in compliance with local safety codes, environmental standards and general lighting regulations. If you’re unsure what those are, it’s a good idea to check with local authorities.

Hotel outdoor lighting is too important not to give the proper attention to when planning the lighting on your property. As you sit down to sketch out your lighting plans, keep all of this information in mind to ensure you make the most well-informed choices to achieve the best results.


How To Light a Hotel Pool Area

The pool at a hotel can be one of the main draws when a customer is choosing a property. Hotel pool lighting, therefore, plays a big role in your overall hotel lighting design.

Since hotel pools are humid areas, whether that be outdoor pools or indoor pools, perhaps the most important thing to consider before all is its IP rating. IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, will tell you how protected any given fitting is against moisture and solid debris alike. Typically, it is recommended that you choose an IP65 rated light, especially if the lights are very close to the water.

You can also set a nice mood and atmosphere for guests to relax poolside with low level lighting in a warm colour. While doing this, you should keep in mind the brightness and placement of the lights in order to ensure the guest’s safety is still a top priority.

If there are any fountains or other unique architectural elements, you can use the opportunity to highlight them with spotlights or uplighters. If there are walls surrounding the pool, you can accent its perimeter by installing uplighters there as well.


What Is the Best CCT for Hotel Exterior Lighting? 

CCT, or colour correlated temperature, is just another way to talk about a light’s colour temperature. The colour temperature of a fixture refers to the coolness of the illumination or the warmth.

The temperature in terms of colour is represented by units Kelvin on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. Colour temperatures closer to the top of the spectrum will be a cooler colour, while colour temperatures nearer the lower end of the spectrum will be warmer.

Warm and cool lights each have their place. While warmer lights tend to be recommended for the inside of homes, restaurants and hotels, cool lighting is often used outdoors. Cooler lights can make the surrounding areas seem more crisp and provide easier viewing of paths and other important elements.

Even so, sometimes warm lights are preferred such as when lighting paths and seating areas. For hotel exterior lighting, you can expect to see lights anywhere between the range of 3,000k and 6,000k.

Infographic showing an explanation of LED colour temperatures

Ideas for Exterior Hotel Lighting


  1. LWA399 40 Watt Black LED Outdoor Up and Down Wall Light

LWA399 40 watt large black up and down outside lights

Perfect for illuminating patios in a courtyard or the walls along a path, the LWA399 40 Watt Black LED Outdoor Up and Down Wall Light is an eye-catching wall light. It features a black cylindrical light fixture that shines onto the wall behind it. The wide angle beam creates a triangular wash of light just beneath and above it, outputting 3200 lumens of 3000k warm white light.


  1. LWA415 18 Watt Black Up and Down LED Outdoor Wall Washer

LWA415 18 watt black up and down outside lights

The LWA415 18 Watt Black Up and Down LED Outdoor Wall Washer is a sleek and modern wall light that can make its home on any exterior hotel wall. It has a sleek rectangular shape that shines a soft beam of light above and below it. This black fixture works well on any exterior wall of any colour and outputs 1800 lumens of 3000k warm white light.


  1. LWA493 10 Watt Twin Black Outdoor LED Wall Spotlight

LWA493 10 watt twin outdoor LED wall spotlight

This LWA493 10 Watt Twin Black Outdoor LED Wall Spotlight is perfect for highlighting any beautiful features in your outdoor space. It features two heads, each with its own lightbulb. They work together to shine a total of 860 lumens of 3000k warm white light from within the stylish black fixture.


  1. LFL010 9 Watt 450mm Tall Black LED Bollard Light

LFL010 9 watt 450mm tall black bollard lights

Light up your hotel pathways using the LFL010 9 Watt 450mm Tall Black LED Bollard Light. This short bollard light features a black cylindrical base that hosts the opal acrylic diffuser on top. The diffuser emits 800 lumens of 3000k warm white light, making it ideal for path lighting and seating areas as well.


  1. LFL062 12 Watt 600mm Tall Twin Black Spotlight LED Bollard Light

LFL062-1 12 watt twin head spotlight design outdoor bollard light

Illuminate pathways with ease when you install the LFL062 12 Watt 600mm Tall Twin Black Spotlight LED Bollard Light alongside it. The light fixture has two light heads that shine light down onto the pathway below, outputting 1000 lumens of 3000k warm white light. Its black hue blends in well with any of its surroundings.


  1. ODL030 12 Watt 316 Stainless Steel Recessed LED Ground Light

ODL030 12 watt stainless steel LED Ground lights outdoor

If you want to take a more modern approach to your path lighting, you can install the ODL030 12 Watt 316 Stainless Steel Recessed LED Ground Light. The light recesses into the ground and shows off a silver-toned finish. It shines 900 lumens of 3000k warm white light.

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