Let there be light! Salons are always visual environments and often emotional ones, so make sure they both look good and feel good with skillful lighting. This is NOT the area in your design plan to be cutting corners; you want to be able to see every corner.
Temperature: Just right.
It’s all about clients’ complexions; flattery will get you everywhere. Bulbs are made in a range of temperatures from warm to cool.
• Warm bulbs (2,700 to 3,500 Kelvin) is the most flattering to clients’ faces – and to your spaces.
• Cool bulbs (4,800 Kelvin) are similar to sunlight on a bright afternoon and are less flattering and tend to grey out interiors and wash out guests.
(Kelvin is the base unit of temperature in the International System of Units that is equal to 1/273.16 of the Kelvin scale temperature of the triple point of water or having a thermometric scale on which the unit of measurement equals the Celsius degree. Got that? Neither do we. Just know the numbers.)
Specialists will usually recommend simulating natural light, such as “natural white” or “daylight white.” The color temperature should vary between 4000 and 6000 Kelvin.
You can see clearly now.
It’s a colorist’s nightmare: The work looks great in the chair but completely different in the light of day. Choose bulbs that accurately render color: The Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures quality and accuracy. Always choose an Index of 86 or higher – 100 is that of natural daylight.
The shadows know.
In our busy, sleep-deprived lives, dark circles under the eyes don’t need to look any darker. Overhead lighting is the major culprit, so soften shadows faces by adding diffused lighting on both sides of mirrors with a temperature of 2,700 to 3,500 Kelvin.
Save your energy.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs have set a new standard for energy efficiency with a wide variety of temperatures and CRI options. Although they are typically more costly, their long life, low electricity use, and low maintenance and replacement costs will save you money in the long run.
Look up, shine down.
Good overhead lighting provides enough to see what you’re doing (keep an eye on those shadows). But it depends on the size of your space, the height of your ceilings, and the amount of dependable daylight. Additional “task lighting” may not be required if your overhead lighting grid is properly configured.
Flatter, don’t flatten.
LED and (eek) fluorescent bulbs can both have a flat effect. For every good option on the market, there is a poor one. Look for LED bulbs that replicate Halogen bulbs, have a high CRI and have high-quality optics that showcase the depth, dimension & shine you give clients’ hair.
See the light.
Your public areas can have more subdued lighting than the workspaces, but be sure they’re bright enough to navigate safely and don’t require the eyes to adjust uncomfortably when moving from one space to another.
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Remember, the best lighting for a salon is a combination of a various sources so that your clients look great and and your work looks fabulous.
The Minardi Perfect Lighting System uses three fixtures to create full-spectrum lighting that is “perfectly balanced and harmoniously blends the warm and cool tones of natural daylight.” Their eco-friendly system also saves money on electricity, produces far less heat, and lasts a long time.
Peter Millard Salon Lighting is a response to the demand for affordable and accurate color evaluation tested by a team of Redken and Pureology experts. Partnering with LED experts, Peter created a reasonably priced light that can be easily installed in tracks and ceiling fixtures. Emitting only 20% of the heat associated with halogens and incandescents while using only 20% of the energy, these 21-Watt LED bulbs have an average rated life of five to seven years.