Salon Lighting

Achieving the perfect salon lighting plan is a crucial accomplishment. As the space where guests come to unwind and be pampered, lighting should be flattering and compliment a salon’s style. At the same time, lighting must accurately represent color to help stylists skillfully meet a guest’s expectations. Striking a balance between functional lighting and creating a soothing atmosphere for guests is the core task of salon lighting. There are three main points to keep in mind to create effective salon lighting:

  • Bulbs with a CRI of at least 80 will best render color
  • Choose bulbs with a color temperature between 3000K and 4000K
  • Avoid lighting that creates unflattering shadows on a guest’s face

Lighting that accurately renders color eliminates the risk of hair color or makeup applications looking different outside of a salon. Using bulbs with a CRI of at least 80 guarantees that a guest will be satisfied with their hair color or makeup in and out of your salon.

Color temperature and overall ambient lighting choices are two other components to be mindful of. Spotty overhead lighting creates shadows on customer’s faces, detracting from what would otherwise be a positive experience. However, using bulbs with a color temperature higher than 4000K in an effort to avoid shadows causes another issue. Bulbs with a high color temperature create harsh lighting, which can wash out a guest’s complexion. With this in mind, choosing bulbs with a color temperature between 3000K and 4000K results in a balance between warm and cool. Along with this, choosing a combination of fixtures can provide consistent, flattering lighting for guests and effective lighting for stylists.

Track and Monorail Lighting

Track or monorail lighting are solid options to create ambient lighting in a salon. Though both allow flexibility to best fit your specifications, the table below explains some main differences between the two. This earlier post on track lighting also provides a good overview on track lighting specifically.

Track Lighting Monorail Lighting
line-voltage, 120-volt system – can be simpler to specify because of this low voltage, 12-volt system – will require some calculation between your chosen
light fixtures and the transformer running the system
generally easy to install and fit into the specifications of your space may be more challenging to install due to the limitation of the transformer, but has
more potential for personalization through decorative fixtures and freer adjustment of rail
track lighting kits are fairly cost-effective if you are on a budget monorail kits are more of an upfront investment, but their lower voltage makes their operating costs lower over time

Though track lighting is the more utilitarian choice of the two, it can create the foundation for consistent lighting. Choosing to add other fixtures can both further illuminate a space, and display a salon’s style more effectively. The examples below illustrate how track and monorail lighting can fit within uniquely styled spaces.

Pendant Lighting

Pendant lighting can round out a salon lighting layout and add eye-catching compliments to a salon’s overall style. Though pendant options are dependent on ceiling height, the wide variety of styles and options available make it possible to find the right choice for a given space. Using the appropriate bulbs can combat overhead shadows and also provide task lighting for stylists.

Chandeliers can also serve as a statement style piece, if ceiling height and budget permit. With styles ranging from the traditionally ornate towards contemporary minimalism, a chandelier can become the centerpiece of a salon’s unique style.

Wall Lighting

Though bulb choices affect how guests’ faces are lit, wall lighting, or lack thereof, can make a difference. Placing wall lighting alongside mirrors ensures that a guest’s complexion is appropriately illuminated.


LED lighted mirrors can be an alternative to wall lighting. Their higher cost pays off in the long-term due to their energy efficiency and longevity. LED lighted mirrors can also add an upscale feel to a salon, making them a good fit in a modern-styled space.

The process of choosing the right fixtures for your salon lighting plan may be challenging, but these guidelines can serve as a map to help you on the road towards making your ideal salon a reality.

If you need more assistance or have further questions on this topic, contact us at
Commercial lighting