Finding Opportunities in Hospitality Lighting

Hospitality lighting is an often-overlooked opportunity for landscape lighting contractors. Hospitality lighting includes lighting projects for hotels, resorts, golf course clubhouses, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Hotels and Resorts

In most cases, you will need to contact the head of the Engineering department of the establishment to talk about potential lighting improvements. The Engineering head is usually the key decision-maker for property improvements (such as lighting). Your goal is to make an appointment with this person, present a portfolio of past lighting jobs, and establish a relationship. Even if your portfolio primarily reflects residential jobs, you can
point out techniques you used that transfer to commercial jobs. Ask your contact to walk the property with you. Make suggestions—paint a picture, discuss safety, and always ask if you can bid the project. Be prepared to break the project up into parts—and to be completed over a year or two, based on the budget of the hotel or resort.

Golf Course Clubhouses

Evening events such as weddings and corporate gatherings happen at clubhouses. Establishing a relationship with the golf course superintendent should be your first goal. The superintendent is usually part of the management team. This person would be a decision maker for future improvements to the property—including lighting.


Customers love ambiance! Properly designed outdoor lighting creates amazing ambiance and can draw customers into the restaurant. Many restaurants have patio areas for use in warmer weather. Meet with the owner/manager and show them how you can help improve their dining atmosphere and draw in even more customers.


High-end nightclubs use qualified interior designers to create a theme and atmosphere that patrons enjoy. Introduce yourself to these designers—lighting can be the final touch to the exterior and interior, and most importantly for the signage.


All venues have the need to illuminate for safety —especially lighting stairways, ADA ramps, entrance/exit doors and parking areas.

Signage & Architecture

Venues need effective sign lighting. A well-lit sign can bring in new business. Of course, properly lighting the actual architecture can make a huge difference. Customers who once drove by may now notice and admire a venue, simply because a professional lighting designer did their job and did it well!


The addition of hospitality lighting to your service offerings can be very rewarding, and set you apart from competitors.

Regardless of the venue, always remember the basic lighting principles and questions:

• Why light?
• What are we trying to accomplish?
• Are we focusing on safety, security, ambiance, or perhaps all?

Listen to your client and make suggestions. You are the professional! You will earn their trust and their business with your expertise.