Using OLED Lighting to Warm Up Your Hotel’s Environmental Design

November 27, 2019

Prologue: The hospitality industry operates within a competitive landscape. Hoteliers are continuously making an effort to utilize every square foot of a space, to create an experience for their guests. OLED lighting can be an integral part of creating this experience, emphasizing everything a guest sees and feels. Leaders in the hospitality industry can gain a true competitive advantage by being hyper-focused on guest expectations and well-being. From the ability to customize fixture design, to the healthy light it provides, OLED lighting is a great solution to help personalize and reinvent a space.

By Bill McDonnell, Founder of Nadarra Lighting, a luminaire manufacturer that designs OLED luminaires well-suited for the hospitality industry

Over the last five years, the hotel and motel industry has experienced an annualized growth rate of 4%. Increases in travel spending, corporate profit and general consumer spending have driven industry revenue growth in each year since 2014, according to IBISWorld. However, travelers have more options than ever before— from room/home rental services to boutique bed and breakfasts — and the need to differentiate in a crowded market is critical for continued growth. Hotel customers are specifically expecting more from lighting design, as noted in hotel reviews and new research studies.

In response to this, OLED lighting continues to gain traction in the hotel industry space. It is getting attention not only for creating a distinctly designed lighting experience, but also for being an energy efficient solution and producing higher light quality. As guests’ expectations are at an all-time high, it’s time to start thinking about your lighting as an enhancement to the guest experience at your hotel.

Lighting Design that’s Instagram Worthy

According to a 2015 Iowa State University report, customers look for aesthetic design aspects to differentiate products or brands. Therefore, hotel ambience and experiences can be a special characteristic that guests can use to distinguish one hotel from the others. With a competitive advantage, managers can charge higher rates, giving design the power to improve the financial performance of a company.

At the same time, it’s been well documented that travelers are looking for a distinctly local experience when staying at hotels.  Long gone are the days of cookie-cutter chain hotels across the U.S.

Because of the inherent thinness and flexibility, OLED lighting can easily integrate and enhance local design pieces within your hotel, as well as be placed in unique locations to be the center of attention. From lobby lighting that makes a bold statement to ankle height lighting along hallways that illuminate a path forward, there are so many ways to get creative with lighting design. Along with the limitless design options, OLED lighting also emits very little heat, making it a great option if your hotel has historical pieces that you want to preserve. The blend of sleek, modern lighting with unique, local design will instantly make your in-hotel experience stand out.

Make Yourself Comfortable with Warm Lighting

According to a Cornell University study, guests prefer to stay at a place that has the comforts of home.  And while this includes things like having a streaming video service or an in-room coffee maker, it should also be noted that lighting plays a key part as well.

The same Iowa State University report noted that good hotel guestroom lighting should be designed to create an inviting, homelike atmosphere.  OLED lighting mimics natural light in that it falls within the same light spectrum as sunlight and does not contain UV or high intensity blue light found in LED lighting. As traveling, especially across time zones, disrupts sleep patterns, hotels should pay keen attention to how light can help minimize this disruption for their travel weary guests.  By providing OLED lighting in guest rooms, you allow the guest to minimize blue light absorption late in the day to help maintain their natural circadian rhythms.

This warm OLED lighting is a much healthier option than typical LED lighting and as the Iowa State Report concluded, warm light was perceived as more pleasant than cool light among American participants in their study. In all, you will create a guest room experience that helps foster a better night’s sleep and a more comfortable living space through healthier lighting.

The Green Light on Eco Friendly OLEDs

A report from Hilton highlighted that 20 percent of respondents to their survey reported actively seeking out a hotel’s environmental efforts before booking.  Not only is it important to practice green initiatives, it’s equally as important to document and communicate your efforts. Highlighting your use of OLED technology will educate your guests that not only are they experiencing a very healthy and attractive surface light source, but also a particularly green one. OLED lighting lasts over 30 times longer and is up to 80 percent more efficient than inefficient incandescent light bulbs. Outside of the energy benefits, the materials that compromise OLED lighting are highly recyclable. OLED lighting consists of almost 100 percent glass, a recyclable material.


In a crowded marketplace, hotels continue to innovate on design, functionality, and sustainability. The use of OLED lighting technology is a fresh way to check all of those boxes and stand out from the competition. If you are interested in exploring how OLED lighting can make difference for your hotel, please contact us or check out our sustainability page.

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