A Strategic Approach to Lighting – Hotel Conversions

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In the ever-changing world of hospitality, hotel conversions are the current darling. As operators seek to tap into this thriving market in an otherwise difficult development environment, the good news is that there is much that can be done to transform experience without a full-scale internal demo.

In fact, LS Group has been brought into a number of these conversion projects in recent months and advised on phased approaches that offer a menu of options to meet different appetites and budgets – from strategic FF&E swaps to total overhauls. Through a detailed lighting audit, we’re helping our hotel operator clients create strategic updates that provide quick value generation as a conversion is taking place.

Lighting Audits: Shedding Light on Opportunities

Before embarking on any lighting upgrade project, it’s important to first understand, comprehensively, what you’re working with. This is where the lighting audit comes into play – a close examination that reveals both the strengths and shortcomings of the current illumination setup.

All too often, operators pour significant resources into cosmetic finish updates but overlook the critical role that lighting tone and quality play in shaping the ambiance and guest experience. So, our approach begins with collaborating closely with operators and their engineering teams to conduct a thorough assessment of their lighting needs and constraints. By understanding their budgetary limitations and future aspirations, we can tailor a tiered roadmap to guide cost-effective changes that better align a property with a desired experience.

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The Phased Approach: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Most hotels follow refresh cycles spanning seven to 10 years, during which time consumer preferences, design trends and technological advancements continue to evolve. As such, there's a heightened awareness among operators of the need to continuously enhance their spaces to meet the evolving expectations of guests.

We embrace this shift with phased lighting plans and an iterative approach that aligns with the natural refresh cycles.

This approach allows operators to prioritize areas of greatest impact while maintaining momentum and relevance in an ever-changing industry landscape, helping operators future-proof their properties and ensure continued alignment with evolving guest expectations. And it's not just about keeping pace with the competition; it's about leading the way and setting new standards of excellence in hospitality lighting design.

Putting Theory into Practice

Faced with the challenge of reviving a dated space while staying true to its brand identity, we recently conducted a lighting audit for a lifestyle-brand-turned-hotel operator after they’d acquired an existing property. The audit revealed untapped potential for enhancing the guest experience, beginning with a baseline update to the lighting in the lobby, exterior and restaurant space. By providing a tiered approach that let them choose the level of investment that matched their goals, we were able to help them envision a plan for both immediate and long-term value.

Similarly, our work on the Kimpton Monaco Seattle is another great example of the power of thorough audits in realizing the full potential of hotel spaces. We were able to identify areas for improvement that aligned with the operator’s vision for creating immersive guest experiences. From the lobby to the guest rooms, our recommendations were informed by a deep understanding of both aesthetic aspirations and technical requirements, resulting in lighting solutions that captivated guests and exceeded expectations.

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Planning for Your Conversion

When existing properties require a facelift, but it isn’t time for a fully funded remodel or conversion (and it’s not in the budget) this tiered approach to lighting and lighting control upgrades can be quite impactful. So, what are some of the key categories we consider when recommending impactful investments in a hotel conversion? First and foremost, we’re looking at fine-tuning aspects of lighting that can be adjusted immediately: even things like aiming, dimming or turning off fixtures can make immediate impacts on the ambiance of a space. The next step might include enhancements like integrating dimmers, installing a new chandelier or upgrading tapelighting. These types of incremental updates will net immediate impact, particularly in communal spaces, such as the reception area, bar, restaurant and lobby.

Regardless of where you start, lighting can truly be one of the most impactful first changes you make in a hospitality conversion. At LS Group, we strive to be a true partner in the process, offering tailored solutions that elevate guest experiences and drive operational success. Have more questions? Reach out now!