Lighting your bakery
While there are really no rules when it comes to lighting your bakery, it would be no fun if this remained a theoretical conversation on lighting theory. Instead, let’s stick to some small tips and takeaways.
You’ve purchased a nice display case, it’s well lit, you keep it clean inside and out. You’ve put a lot of time into the case. You love your case.
Your showroom, the production room, the patio, etc., are all like display cases that contribute to your business and your brand. Each space should get as much thought and attention as your display case.
You did thorough research when purchasing your cases, now it’s time to focus some attention into lighting the other spaces of your bakery. There are two things that are helpful when considering lighting any space in your bakery.
Light has color. Sunlight and LED lights have a blue cast. Lamplight has a yellow cast. Fluorescent lights have all sorts of color casts, although you’ll most commonly find them to have a green-yellow or magenta cast.
The most important thing to remember is consistency. Try to keep case lighting even by using the same type of bulb throughout all your cases. This presents a clean look for all the products you display. Inconsistent case lighting breaks down an items ability to reach its full visual potential.
If you’re positioning yourself as an upscale bakery and your cases are all illuminated with slightly different colors, LED lights are a growing and promising technology. The daylight balanced bulbs and fixtures illuminate at a blue-ish color that is similar to that of the sun coming through your windows.
If you have nice windows already, then adding some daylight balanced LED fixtures to your cases is a great start to color consistency. Stay away from fluorescents if you can. You spent all that time smoothing out that white buttercream and fluorescent bulbs might give it a slightly green tint.
Is your lighting bright or is it dim? No one really over-lights their bakery. Problems are usually due to your east or west facing windows. If the sun shines directly through your windows at any point during the day, some curtains or shades provide a quick and easy fix.
Not only will customers be able to take their sunglasses off while sitting down, some light-weight curtains or shades will diffuse that sunlight and leave your bakery looking movie-set ready.
Don’t forget about your production area when it comes to lighting. Sometimes these areas get overlooked in a bakery.
Walk into any art studio and observe the lighting design. You’ll notice that artists typically work in well-lit and evenly lit spaces.
More often than not, spaces with lots of windows. When you deal in a visual medium it’s important to set up the studio in a way that’s conducive to the art being produced.
Bakery production is a visual medium. The production area is your studio. Your pastry chefs, bakers and decorators need lighting that provides the best environment for their work.
Straining your eyes in order to see detail work with a piping bag or taking Tylenol daily to relieve your fluorescent lighting headaches while molding concha dough are not necessarily formulas for success, or a happy staff. Ideally, give them windows. If windows are not an option for your production area, the daylight balanced LED bulbs and fixtures will give you a head start on making the production area a better lit environment for your employees.
Create an environment through good lighting that is not only conducive to the output of your employees, but also to that of your customers’ experience.