How To Choose Lighting for Barber Shop: The Ultimate Guide

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Find the ideal lighting solution for your barber shop among our professional-grade lights. Enhance your clients’ experience by choosing the perfect lighting setup.

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In barber shops, the success of your business relies on the quality of service and the overall client experience. Many proprietors often make the mistake of opting for vibrant colors and intense lighting, assuming it enhances the ambiance.

Contrary to this belief, such choices can diminish the overall experience, leading to unattractive lighting and undesirable shadows. In this guide, we delve into selecting the proper lighting for your barber shop, ensuring you achieve the best possible outcomes for your business.

barber shop light

Barber Shop Light

Importance of Right Lighting in a Barber Shop

The significance of lighting in a barber shop is profound, given the nature of this business. When clients visit a salon or similar establishment, their primary objective is to enhance their appearance and experience a positive and uplifting atmosphere. While exceptional services can contribute to aesthetics, creating a sense of well-being is a distinct consideration.

Adequate lighting in a barber shop is not merely a functional aspect but a pivotal element that significantly contributes to the overall ambiance and functionality of the space. Beyond providing visibility for intricate grooming tasks, well-thought-out lighting plays a crucial role in establishing the aesthetic appeal of the establishment. The proper lighting can highlight the architectural features, accentuate the interior design, and create an inviting atmosphere. It sets the tone for a comfortable and welcoming environment, making it an essential aspect of the overall design and branding of the barbershop.

Studies indicate that thoughtfully designed and aesthetically pleasing lighting remarkably impacts people’s moods. Therefore, mastering the art of lighting design in a barber shop can lead to satisfied customers, repeat business, referrals, and an influx of new clients. Beyond the visual appeal, the proper lighting contributes to the overall experience, making it a crucial element for the success and reputation of a barber shop.

Thoughtfully designed lighting can create a positive and relaxing atmosphere, enhancing the customer experience. Properly illuminated spaces facilitate the barber’s precision in their work and contribute to the client’s sense of well-being and confidence. On the contrary, inadequate or harsh lighting can lead to discomfort, eyestrain, and an overall negative perception of the services offered. Therefore, choosing the proper lighting solutions ensures a positive and memorable customer experience in a barber shop setting.

8 Things to Consider While Choosing The Barber Shop Lighting

1. Types of Lighting

A. Natural Lighting

  1. Benefits: Natural lighting is an indispensable element in the design of a barber shop, offering numerous advantages. Firstly, it provides a visually appealing and warm atmosphere, contributing to a positive customer experience. Natural light also helps showcase haircuts and styles more accurately, allowing barbers to work with precision. Additionally, exposure to natural light has proven health benefits, promoting well-being and reducing eye strain for barbers and clients.
  2. Considerations: While natural lighting is highly desirable, specific considerations must be considered. Factors such as the shop’s location, window placement, and the potential for glare or shadows need careful evaluation. The strategic use of window coverings and supplementary artificial lighting may be necessary to address specific challenges and ensure consistent illumination throughout the day.

B. Artificial Lighting

1. Traditional Lights

Historically, barber shops favored using fluorescent bulbs, incandescent lamps, and halogen lights. Fluorescent and incandescent lighting, though once popular, are considered less efficient due to their suboptimal Color Rendering Index (CRI) and color temperatures.

On the other hand, halogen bulbs emerged as a practical choice, boasting the highest CRI value and optimal color temperature. The warm, yellowish tint produced by halogen lights proves advantageous in concealing imperfections and providing a smoother appearance to human skin, making them particularly well-suited for salon settings.

However, the drawbacks of halogen bulbs are notable. They generate substantial heat, necessitating proper ventilation. Additionally, their life cycle is relatively short, requiring frequent replacements. Despite these considerations, the continued use of halogen bulbs persists due to their high-quality illumination and cost-effectiveness.

2. Modern LED Lights

LED lights represent a contemporary and highly versatile lighting solution, gaining favor for energy efficiency and adaptability. Many barber shops are transitioning to LED lighting systems for their numerous advantages. These lights can emulate halogens’ warm, yellow temperature characteristics and maintain a high CRI without the drawbacks of excessive heat generation.

Comparatively, a 10W LED bulb can produce the same level of illumination as a 50W halogen bulb, showcasing the efficiency of LED technology—moreover, the longevity of LED bulbs with a lifespan of up to 50,000 hours. The financial benefits are also evident, as the energy savings and reduced need for frequent replacements contribute to significant cost savings over time. Embracing LED technology enhances the lighting quality and offers substantial economic and environmental advantages for barber shops.

3. Task Lighting

  1. Importance for Barbers: Task lighting is essential in a barber shop environment, as it directly influences the precision and quality of the work performed. Adequate illumination is crucial for barbers to execute intricate cuts, detailing, and styling with precision. Well-designed task lighting contributes to a comfortable and productive workspace, enhancing the overall efficiency of the barbershop.
  2. Placement Tips: Strategic placement of task lighting is critical to its effectiveness. Positioning fixtures directly over workstations or mirrors minimizes shadows and ensures consistent lighting across the barbershop. Adjustable and focused task lighting fixtures enable barbers to direct light precisely where needed, facilitating detailed work without compromising overall visibility.

4. Accent Lighting

  1. Enhancing Ambiance: Utilizing accent lighting proves to be a potent method for establishing a visually enticing and welcoming atmosphere within a barbershop. By highlighting specific features such as artwork, decor, or unique architectural elements, accent lighting adds depth and character to the space. This type of lighting contributes to a well-curated and aesthetically pleasing environment, leaving a lasting impression on clients.
  2. Selecting Appropriate Fixtures: Choosing the right fixtures for accent lighting involves considering the barber shop’s design theme and desired atmosphere. Options such as track lighting, wall sconces, or adjustable spotlights offer flexibility in directing light to accentuate specific areas. The color temperature and intensity of the accent lighting should align with the overall design concept, contributing to a cohesive and visually appealing setting.

2. Choose a Theme

A barber shop or salon theme is an amalgamation of lighting and decor that mirrors your creative inspiration. Selecting the appropriate theme is of paramount importance for the success of the business. A lighting theme comprises several essential features, including:

  • Color Scheme
  • Light Color Temperature
  • Intensity
  • Color Rendering Index (CRI)

We will delve further into these features shortly. Unlike older luminaires such as fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen lamps, modern LED lights have revolutionized this aspect, which lacked flexibility for experimenting with different features. With many features and virtually no limitations, LED lights offer a versatile and dynamic platform for creative expression in lighting themes.

what is color temperature

Color Temperature Chart

3. Determine the Necessary Lighting Needs

Ensuring proper illumination in the barbershop is crucial, especially considering the precision work with sharp scissors. Let’s categorize your shop into three distinct areas to streamline the process.

Firstly, the cutting area is where the main hairstyling activities unfold. The second area is the washing section for hair dyeing and shampooing. Lastly, we have the general area where customers wait and are greeted by the receptionist.



The unit of measurement for the light emitted by a lamp is Lumen (lm). Start by gauging your shop’s length and width, then multiply these measurements to ascertain the overall shop area. For instance, a 20 ft by 10 ft shop would result in a total area of 200 sq. ft.

Consider measuring the area of the cutting station separately, as workstations necessitate brighter lighting compared to the rest of the shop.

Next, multiply the total area by the recommended lumens specified in the table. The calculation for a 200 sq. ft general area is 200* 50 = 10,000 lm per sq. ft. for proper lighting. Each luminaire indicates a lumen rating on its packaging, allowing for the determination of the required number of bulbs using the formula:

No. of bulbs = Total Lumen required per sq. ft / Lumen rating

For example, a typical 10 W LED recessed light emits 950 lm. Thus, we would need approximately 10-11 LED lamps (calculated as 10000/950) for the general area to achieve the recommended illumination level. This method provides a straightforward and reasonable estimate for determining the lighting requirements of your barbershop.

4. Proper Install Placement

The pivotal factor here is the avoidance of “shadows.” It is imperative to eliminate shadows at all costs, as even with excellent lighting quality, inaccurate placement can lead to undesirable outcomes.

Avoid positioning a light bulb directly above the workstation. Instead, placing track lights approximately 2 feet away from the working station and directing them toward the mirror is recommended. This arrangement allows for a reflection that produces a pleasing, soft light effect.

Maintaining a 2- to 3-foot distance between overhead lighting fixtures also ensures a well-distributed and even spread of the light beam across the designated area.

Position the lighting source approximately 0.8 to 1 foot above the seated customer, using a down-rod extension if the ceiling height is substantial.

Consider situating warm temperature lighting adjacent to the mirror for a heightened sense of professionalism. This strategic placement directs light horizontally toward the customer, eliminating shadows and contributing to a more polished and refined look.

barber shop lighting ideas

Barber Shop Lighting Ideas

5. Brightness Levels

1. Illumination Requirements

Achieving optimal brightness levels in a barber shop is essential for creating a conducive environment for precision work. The illumination requirements vary across different areas within the establishment. For workstations with detailed hairstyling and grooming tasks, a higher illumination level is crucial to ensure accuracy. Conversely, softer ambient lighting in waiting areas can improve customer experience. Striking the right balance between these varying illumination needs contributes to a well-lit, functional barbershop space.

2. Avoiding Glare

In the pursuit of appropriate brightness levels, it is equally important to address the issue of glare. Discomfort and eyestrain may arise for barbers and clients due to glare from excessive brightness or harsh lighting. Implementing anti-glare measures, such as strategically placing lighting fixtures and diffusers, helps create a visually comfortable environment. By carefully managing glare, a barber shop can ensure that the lighting serves its purpose without causing unnecessary discomfort or hindrance to the work. Striving for a harmonious balance between brightness and glare avoidance is paramount for a professional and visually pleasing barber shop setting.

6. Enhance the Appearance of Your Customer

Individuals visit the barber shop seeking personal grooming services with the desire to feel good about their appearance. Adequate lighting plays a crucial role in concealing blemishes and uneven skin tones, complementing the impact of a professional haircut and contributing to the success of your business. Here’s a guide on how to achieve this:

Color Temperature

The optimal choice for barbershops lies in warm lighting, falling from 3000K to 4000K. Deviating below or beyond this range can lead to inadequate lighting conditions. Warm temperature lighting camouflages imperfections effectively and establishes a more relaxing ambiance, fostering a positive and comfortable environment for your clientele.

color temperature of light

Color Temperature of Light

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

The Color Rendering Index (CRI) indicates how accurately colors are perceived under a given light source. Natural sunlight boasts the highest CRI rating of 100. This metric becomes particularly crucial for establishments offering services like hair dyeing, where accurate color representation is paramount.

Customers who undergo hair dyeing often encounter the following situations: perceiving colors differently in artificial lighting than in daylight. To mitigate this issue and ensure consistency for loyal customers, installing lights with a CRI rating surpassing 85 is imperative.

Halogen bulbs inherently offer a commendable CRI close to 90; however, comparable ratings can also be identified in LED bulbs. These vital specifications, including the lumen rating, color temperature, and CRI, are typically mentioned on the luminaire packaging, enabling informed decisions in selecting the most suitable lighting for the desired color accuracy.

Color Rendering Index Comparison

7. Leverage Lighting Design for Marketing Purposes

Utilizing lighting strategically can serve as a potent marketing tool, creating an atmosphere where customers feel relaxed and thoroughly enjoy the ambiance during their haircut. Incorporating LED lights into your setup is a highly effective approach. Diverse lighting options such as ring lights, pendants, recessed lights, and LED strips can be artfully employed to captivate and attract customers.

Furthermore, incorporating LED signboards and neon lights adds an enchanting allure, particularly appealing to a younger customer base. Consider the introduction of an LED barber pole, providing your establishment with a retro and vintage touch that is bound to resonate with your clientele. This thoughtful integration of diverse LED lighting elements enhances the overall customer experience and is a compelling visual marketing strategy for your barber shop.

8. Increase Your Investment Now for Future Savings

We recommend integrating LED lights with a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) into your barber shop. While the initial investment may seem significant, the efficiency of LED technology, coupled with its low maintenance and replacement costs, allows for a rapid cost recovery within the first year of use. Subsequently, you can anticipate substantial cost savings from the following years onward. Among the popular LED lighting options are recessed, spotlights, track, and downlights.

Creating distinct lighting setups tailored for different areas within barber shops and salons is a prudent approach to avoid unnecessary resource wastage. For instance, consider implementing high-intensity task lighting specifically for the working stations, despite the potentially higher upfront costs, as it significantly enhances illumination in these crucial areas.

Similarly, reserve high CRI lights solely for dyeing and washing sections. Although these lamps may incur higher costs, restricting their application to specific areas yields optimal results. Normal-rated lighting suffices for the general areas where the stakes are comparatively lower.

By strategically implementing these lighting choices, you can achieve visually appealing and budget-friendly illumination throughout your shop.

Final Thoughts

Devoting a modest amount of time and investment into the lighting design of your barber shop can yield significant success. This comprehensive guide outlines actionable steps you can take independently to enhance your shop’s visual appeal.

There’s no need to engage a professional designer; you can kickstart the transformation by assessing the necessary lighting requirements and considering the critical considerations discussed earlier. Doing so lets you enjoy a rewarding experience revitalizing your barber shop without needing external assistance.

Upward Lighting Offers Top-Quality Luminaires for Barber Shops

Upward Lighting is a premier LED light manufacturer, distinguishing itself in the market. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities leverage top-tier materials and cutting-edge technology to craft lighting products of unparalleled quality.

With an extensive range encompassing outdoor and indoor LED lights such as recessed, panel, track, and spotlights, our catalog prioritizes performance excellence and elevates aesthetics. The dedicated team at Upward Lighting ensures that each product adheres to stringent international standards, maintaining an unwavering commitment to quality. Remarkably, our products are competitively priced without compromising on their high standards.

But our commitment is different. We offer round-the-clock customer service, empowering you to customize your order for guaranteed success. Don’t hesitate any longer – get in touch with us now and experience lighting excellence!

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