Case Studies


Hotel lighting design refurbishment projects are always fascinating due to the numerous challenges that seem insurmountable at first, but can be overcome with smart design ideas that transform the space.

The client’s brief was to redesign the lighting schemes in the suites and ballroom in the luxury resort of the Mina Al Salam Hotel in Jumeirah, Dubai. The key was to create a more inviting environment in the hotel’s suite within a given budget and to ensure flexibility to accommodate all types of events within the ballroom. Lighting Designer Suraj Francis shares how the hotel lighting design was achieved for this project.

lighting designer suraj alongside image of lighting in dressing room

We relished the idea of transforming the hotel’s suites as we knew that lighting would play a critical role in transforming it into a stunning and attractive space. The client was keen to move away from the previous lighting and dark finishes so we approached the design with care and precision, knowing that the right lighting could make all the difference.

hotel bedroom with decorative pendants and backlit arches

The interior designer had chosen a light colour scheme, so we carefully selected the right colour temperature for each light fixture, aiming to create a warm and welcoming ambiance that highlighted the room’s unique features and artwork.

Mina A@Salam Royal Suite living room lighting

We used warmer colors for the decorative lamps with a color temperature of 2500k. For the architectural lighting, we used low glare Polespring downlights with a color temperature of 2700k creating a cohesive design that brought the space to life.

Bathroom with floating effect under feature bath

In the bathroom, the entire space was redesigned by the interior designer. This gave us the opportunity to coordinate and create the optimum lighting design solutions without any limitation. We used a mixture of Polespring 50 downlights with medium and wide beam angles and to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere throughout. For the shower area, IP rated Waterspring downlights, ensure that the lighting was safe and effective in a damp environment. Small changes to the skirting details for the bathtub allowed the addition of Contour HDX27 LED strip around it to achieve a floating effect. This creates a centerpiece to the ensuite with its soft glow underneath. For the niches, Lucca 30 downlights provide additional layers of light that enhanced the design and functionality of the space.

before the refurbishment of the bathroom and after with the lighting changed

To add a touch of luxury to the bathroom, carefully selected decorative lighting fixtures that complemented the overall design. This attention to detail with an emphasis on high-quality helped to create a space that felt truly indulgent. All low level lights are turned on automatically with the PIR (motion sensor), allowing the lights to turn on automatically when detecting movement. This provides a beautiful dimmed night light effect preventing the user from having to search for the switch in the middle of the night. Our careful coordination with the interior designer has resulted in a space that is not only functional but also beautiful and luxurious.

Before and after of ballroom refurbishment with chandeliers and lighting details

Within the ballroom, the scheme is designed to create different atmospheres for all types of events from conferences, to evening dining and dancing. With a ceiling redesigning outside the scope of work, we were unable to replace the old glarey downlights. We approached the solution in a sustainable way by suggesting painting the reflectors of the downlights within the existing wooden ceiling a matte black to reduce glare and upgraded the LED engines to more energy efficient luminaires. This also helped us to stay within budget too. The previous LED engines were wide beam, which resulted in an inefficient illumination on the floor from the 8-metre height. This lead to dark spaces.  Our solution was to utilise medium beam angle engines. This made a significant difference in brightness expanding the sense of space. For the more flexible areas with gypsum ceiling, we were able to use the compact, efficient Polespring 50+ downlight instead.

To create another layer of lighting within the space, we made use of the existing ceiling cornice and cove. We added Contour LED strips with optic grazer profiles which wash light sideways to highlight the beautifully textured wooden ceiling and create the feeling of depth. Limitations included the amount of circuiting and cabling that we could use along with ensuring that the existing home automation system was not overwhelmed with the additional lighting. Careful and strategic planning was required to ensure flexibility and functionality worked hand in hand.

Refurbishment of ballroom lighting

The old Moroccan styled chandeliers were replaced with a contemporary styled chandelier that compliments the new interior and provides more illumination and a decorative focal point within the space. Wall grazer Contour linear strip lights were carefully placed inside the cove detail at floor level which hides the light source discreetly. The mashribia wall details were highlighted with Lucca 60 narrow beam uplights recessed into the floor. Thanks to its deep recessed LED light source technology there is minimal glare from the fixture even without using any additional  accessories.

The final schemes for the suites were a magnificent achievement, bringing to life several layers of lighting that highlight key architectural features and create an inviting space. The dimmable luminaires allow for easy adjustments to suit any event. The transformation was a testament to the team’s ability to turn obstacles into opportunities and to create a space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

The end result for both the suite and ballroom for this hotel lighting design project was a breathtaking transformation that exceeded the client’s expectations. The improved lighting design not only brightens the space but also creates a sense of comfort and sophistication that makes each room truly special for the guest.

Mina A’Salam Hotel

Interior Design – La Bottega

Photography – Seb Bottcher


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