Salon Lighting Ideas in 2023

Whether you’re designing a new salon or just giving a fresh look to some aspects of your business’s interior, hair salon lighting ideas should be foremost in your mind.

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What You Will Learn

In this article, we’ll explore a variety of salon lighting solutions and ideas you can use, as well as some design requirements and dos and don’ts that salon owners should keep in mind.

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  1. Why Is Good Lighting Important in a Salon?
  2. Types of Salon Lighting
  3. Salon Lighting Requirements
  4. Hair Salon Lighting Dos and Don'ts
  5. Hair Salon Lighting Ideas
  6. Conclusion

Why Is Good Lighting Important in a Salon?


Finding the best lighting for hair salon stylists to do their job easier, while still providing light that will flatter your clients when they look in the mirror and creating a welcoming environment that suits your salon interior design and layout can be a challenge, but it’s really essential.

On the one hand, good task lighting is critical for any business to prevent eye strain and help employees do their work. This is especially true when you have many stylists working to cut, style and color their clients’ hair.

At the same time, light and shadows help to shape the interior design of any space. Whether you use natural daylight, bright overhead lighting or warm quality light from multiple fixtures, it will all have an impact on how each customer looks and feels while they’re with you.

Creating the right atmosphere is an essential part of salon lighting design and can add a lot to your business. You should definitely consider the right lighting solutions before you open a new salon or remodel your existing one.

To learn more please check out our post on Salon Selfie Wall Ideas.

Types of Salon Lighting


Different types of lighting can serve a variety of purposes in a salon space. The best salon lighting design will take these functions into account and usually include a variety of fixtures, depending on each area’s purpose.

These include:

General Overhead Lighting

Usually suspended or mounted on the ceiling, these luminaries provide ambient light in the salon. Their main function is to give off enough light for people to comfortably move around and see each other well.

Depending on your decor, you might choose warm or cool room lighting. Warmer lighting temperatures (less than 3000 Kelvins) will make a room appear cozy, soothing or inviting. Lighting on the cooler end of the spectrum will cause a space to look clean and crisp.

The higher the CRI (color rendering index), the more natural colors in your hair salon interior will appear. Most LED bulbs produce a rendering index of about 80 or 90, which is faithful to how colors will appear outside in normal daylight.

Consider whether your lighting will compliment everyone’s complexion when they visit, especially in areas where clients could look in any nearby mirrors. You want to put your best “face” forward and make every client feel gorgeous with warm lighting near a mirror.

Task Lighting

Different quality light is necessary to do a variety of tasks in different areas. This may mean having a table lamp in the salon’s reception area or lights mounted above each styling chair and mirror.

Task lighting is very efficient and focused on a particular space or work station. Try using a flexible LED salon lighting fixture or pendant lights over specific work areas to concentrate light for detail-oriented tasks like styling or cutting hair.

Decorative Lighting

Here’s a chance to get creative and select lighting that’s eye-catching and compliments the interior of each room in your hair salon.

This can include personal touches like pendant lights, wall mounted fixtures, vintage lamps or modern design elements like mirrors to diffuse the light and even a colored bulb or two. It all really depends on the theme of your salon and the mood you want to create.

Accent Lighting

Salons use this lighting to make an interior look dynamic, highlighting certain features or decor elements and providing visual contrast to draw customer’s attention.

An example of effective accent lighting (and a good business strategy) is to mount ceiling or wall lighting fixtures near the salon retail display section. This will make the products stand out and cause each color to “pop,” drawing the customers’ eyes.

Salon Lighting Requirements


Each aspect of lighting will influence both client perception of the salon space (whether they see it as inviting, modern, cozy or too harsh), as well as your team’s ability to do their work well.

To make the most out of your salon’s lighting, be sure to pay attention to the following:

Illumination Level: This should be 300lx for general ambient lighting and 500-700lx in work areas.

Color Rendering: The average LED or fluorescent bulb is 80-90. Generally speaking, the higher the better because it compliments people’s complexion and makes colors pop. For hair coloring closer to 100 is best, you don’t want your client to get outside and see a completely different result than in the salon.

Color Temperature: This should be between 2700-4000K. Higher ranges may beel bluish and make your face and complexion look unhealthy, and lower will be too warm like an endless sunset.

Hair Salon Lighting Dos and Don'ts


When considering lighting design solutions that work best for your salon space and layout, there are still some guidelines that you’ll want to follow.

Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help your business look its best:

Hair salon lighting dos
Hair salon lighting dos


  • Remember that each salon is a workplace. Your staff needs enough light to perform every task safely and efficiently.

Make sure that each space has effective lighting that will prevent accidents or eye strain. Compact fluorescent bulbs and halogen lights both work well for this purpose, although LED light bulbs are often the most energy-efficient solution.

  • Use energy-efficient LED light sources. Energy-efficient led bulbs are better for the environment, last longer than traditional bulbs and will save your salon a lot of money. The lifespan of an average LEDbulb is between 1.5-6 years, and they can produce a full temperature spectrum, depending on your needs.

  • Use different lighting to zone your salon. Lighting is a great way to divide your space. Along with design elements like seating, various floor types/ colors and plants used to screen off areas, varying your lighting is useful to divide a room.

Try using warm, welcoming lighting in the reception area and brighter, easier to focus lights in treatment areas.

  • Match colour temperature to your design. Lighting temperature can either complement or clash with a salon design. The type of bulbs that you choose is just as important as the fixtures in your lighting design.

If your salon decor favors cozy earth tones, keep your lighting warm. Likewise, if your decor is crisp, airy and modern, you can make the lighting cool and use bright bulbs to match this.

  • Illuminate retail as you see it in a good shop. Make sure to draw attention to the retail product displays in your salon. Start with good illumination in the sales area, such as salon track lighting, then build on this with pendant fixtures of wall lighting to keep the displays looking bright and inviting.

  • Provide some contrasts - monotonous light can be tiresome. When you’re looking for hair salon lighting ideas, design your space with variety in mind.

It’s true that your team of stylists will need even light for hair styling and cutting tasks, but you can still create a welcoming salon space with various types of fixtures, such as accents on the walls or fixtures placed to draw attention to artwork, etc.

Make your client reception area feel welcoming and unique by using lamps or taking advantage of natural daylight from windows, but keep the light levels high in working areas and around retail displays.

  • Consider the maintenance while choosing and placing lights. Every type of fixture that you choose will need to be cleaned and maintained, and this can be easier with some than with others.

Replacing bulbs on hair salon ceiling lighting and dusting it regularly will take more time depending on the type that you choose. Recessed hair salon light fixtures for example, are a perfect solution when it comes to eliminating most dusting, but can take more time to change. Lamps and pendant lights are easy to change but require regular cleaning.

LED lights will need to be replaced less frequently than halogen bulbs, and many companies are moving away from manufacturing incandescent or halogen bulbs in favor of longer-lasting, energy efficient LED’s, which could make it hard to replace these in the future.

Whatever solution you choose, investing in good-quality bulbs and having a maintenance plan (and a ladder) ready to go will save you a lot of time and stress, similar to your salon equipment.


Hair salon lighting don'ts
Hair salon lighting don'ts


    • Don’t overdo it. Salons should have enough light to seem inviting and help staff to work, but too much harsh light will drive people out, and cause headaches for your staff.

    • Don’t allow for strong or heavy shadows. Use more lights from multiple angles to eliminate shadows or dark areas.

    • Don’t skimp on color rendering. Bulbs that have a strong rendering index CRI produce more truthful light that’s closer to natural daylight and make everyone’s complexion look better. This also allows customers to select hair colors that will keep looking great outside in natural lighting.

    • Don’t forget to consider daylight. Natural light sources such as windows and skylights are a wonderful (and inexpensive) way to eliminate shadows and brighten your interior. You can even place a mirror strategically to reflect natural lighting.

If you do this, though, make sure to invest in blinds or a way to block out the sun when it becomes too bright, hot or uncomfortable.

  • Don’t put strong overhead lights above washing areas. Stylists need good lighting for cutting and applying hair color, but you don’t want your clients to go blind or have it in their face when they’re looking up.

Hair Salon Lighting Ideas


Employ Vanity Lighting

Especially inbuilt mirror lights. These are great for clients who want to take selfies and keep shadows off their faces, smoothing out their complexions.

Use Track Lighting Solutions

Don’t rely only on spotlights. Track lighting is an easy way to fit all your lighting on one flexible system and allow you to change the position of the bulb and individual fixture quickly, which can come in handy if you rearrange your layout at all.

Create Different Scenarios

Since many modern luminaries can be dimmed or even change color temperature, you can vary the lighting throughout the work and client zones in your salon. Also you can install more luminaries for different scenarios- for example during rush hour, for a private client, a party, etc.

Separate Functional and Decorative Lighting

Each type of lighting has its own purpose, and using different lights for these two functions will give you more freedom of choice for each. Start by making a salon lighting diagram to determine where you need task and ambient lighting, then add decorative elements afterwards.

Go for Recessed or Indirect Lighting for Low Ceilings

A bright ceiling will feel higher if light fixtures aren’t hanging down and drawing people’s eyes towards them.

Hair salon lighting ideas
Hair salon lighting ideas

Be Creative at Reception

This is the perfect area to get creative, have some fun and go for that wow effect without messing with the working area. As your first point of customer contact, this is the place to make a great impression.

Also, a sophisticated chandelier or vintage lamp will simply stay cleaner here, away from hair color products, dust and debris.

Look for Collections

Using a single line or style of modern salon lighting will help to tie everything together, even when specific fixtures vary.

Many producers offer their whole series in one design: pendant, wall mounted, and floor lamps. This continuity will harmonize different areas and maintain a single theme throughout your salon.

Additionally, some distributors will run sales or discounts on larger orders, so don’t be afraid to shop around and contact them about this.

Opt for Pendants

These can be both decorative and functional overhead lights, making them good for open ceilings or large spaces.

Highlight the Retail

Having strong accent lighting for your shelves will draw customers to them and make products stand out. Keeping everything clean and brightly lit makes your retail stock seem more inviting.



People often ask “what is the best lighting for a hair salon?” Although there are definitely some guidelines that each salon should follow, many salons will have their own unique lighting needs, depending on their brand, style and layout.

What works well for a large salon with high ceilings and a cool, modern decor may not be right for a small and cozy salon with warm and natural accents, for example.

When searching for salon lighting ideas, the best place to start is often by diagraming the space that you have and determining where you need ambient and specific lighting, then choosing the type of fixture and temperature that works best with your decor.


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