The Science Behind Candlelight In Commercial Environments

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Why Do The Majority of Restaurants Light Candles?

Have you ever taken a step back and thought, why do the majority of restaurants I visit light candles or use LED candles?

The answer… Restaurants want to create a flattering ambience and want to make you feel like the most charming and attractive version of yourself. It is all in the illusion.

Combined with interior design, dispersal of light sources, angles and type of light all combine together to create that perfect ambience.

“A restaurant without candles always feels incomplete to me, lacking sparkle, flat. And I’ll never understand it, other than as a way to save many thousands a year.”


Candlelight color is the warmest naturally occurring light source; it is akin to the light color of sunrise and sunset.  The golden-amber glow of a live flame has a flattering effect on human skin.  When seated at the dinner table, faces will appear slightly flushed and healthier when lit by candlelight. Overhead lighting can result in harsh face shadows and can be very unflattering.  A table lamp at the dinner table provides ideal illumination to the guests faces.  This light position will soften features, minimize wrinkles and mask blemishes.  Your dining partner will appear younger and more attractive.

Cinematographers refer to sunset and sunrise as the “Golden Hour” and the absolute best time for filming.  The position and hue of the sunlight is simply more flattering for their subjects.  A candle on a table creates this golden hour all night long.

Have You Ever Noticed The Human Attraction To Fire?

Lit a campfire? Sat around it? Ever wondered why?

There is an innate connection between man and fire.  Fire is inviting and soothing.  This spiritual bond to fire dates back to the Stone Age and it is a part of our essence.

Bringing It All Together

Scientifically, our moods are improved because the light quality of candlelight affects the way we see our dining partners and the way that they see us: i.e. healthier and younger versions of ourselves.

Spiritually, we are comforted by the energy field (ambiance) around candlelight.  Our deeply-rooted connection to the aura of fire creates a sense of security, comfort and receptivity.

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