The Future is Familiarity

If you Google the most common complaints about a hotel guestroom, not being able to switch off the lights is probably on the list. It’s understandable. Hotel guestrooms are unfamiliar spaces and guests often arrive weary or jet-lagged, but the situation isn’t helped by unintuitive control panels that cause confusion rather than comfort.

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Image © The Westin

Smart lighting shouldn’t be there to outsmart us, so we must find a way to design out the complexity of guestroom lighting. People expect a home-from-home experience, so hotel lighting should feel familiar and intuitive. It’s something we need to address quickly as we move to a more complex world:

Connectivity is increasingly present in our lives.

Guests expect a personalised experience and are more likely to have an automated system in their home.

Wellbeing is everything.

We’re seeing a rise in the use of circadian lighting systems that transition illuminance levels through the colour spectrum.

Global travel has changed.

Guestrooms are now more multifunctional and require pre-programmed lighting scenes that change the mood and functionality of a space.

Sustainability is the core of a hospitality brand.

Operators are looking at ways to run their businesses in a more efficient and considerate way.

The challenge we face is how to marry intelligent lighting control with an easy-to-use interface. A simple step we can take in the short term is to recognise that intelligent hotel lighting isn’t a place to cut corners. It’s easy to justify the cost of the tangible things in a guestroom over the lighting, especially when you only really see the hardware, but the benefits of investing in a quality system will justify the initial outlay over time.

A high-quality management system will be responsive to guests, adjusting the intensity and colour temperature of the lighting according to the time of day and enhancing their experience for the better. It can also use daylight harvesting and dimming controls to make a building much more energy efficient.