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Why mood lighting might be ruining your dinner

Why mood lighting might be ruining your dinner

Thursday 22 October 2020

Have you ever considered the effect lighting has on how much you enjoy your dinner? Ambient light luminance is a tool frequently used in restaurants to enhance the ambience, but now we know that it impacts much more than just the atmosphere…

Research by the Maastricht University of Business and Economics in The Netherlands has explored how changes in a restaurant’s ambient brightness influence the ‘taste intensity’ that diners experience throughout their meal.

Participants in the study were served a specially created dish in both bright and dimly-lit conditions, and the outcome shows that guests exposed to bright ambient light perceived the overall flavour of the dish to be more intense than those exposed to dim light.

‘The results thus show that modifying the ambient illuminance level in a restaurant does not only affect the overall ambience but also changes the overall taste experience of the food being served,’ says the research team responsible for conducting the study.

It has long been said that we ‘eat with our eyes’, which is why we so often see chefs create such beautifully presented dishes, but now it’s clear that lighting can play a major role in how much we enjoy our meal too.


  1. Science Direct.


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