A restaurant’s mood and vibe can be changed dramatically with something as simple as lighting. A darker room gives a more intimate and romantic feel where a well-lit space has a happy and casual vibe.

Changing lighting is often a lot of work and requires time that most eateries just don’t have. A restaurant in the USA is currently testing out a lighting platform that uses LCD and solid-state technology to control focus point, shape, colour and other aspects of light through a smartphone app or device that can be plugged into a computer or tablet. The company behind this technology is LensVector and would allow restaurants to choose different light settings for every table. Light could be easily changed, for example when the menu came it was brighter. Dimmer switches have been widely available but directing light in a simple fashion hasn’t.

“What we haven’t been able to do yet is change the shape of the beam of light, change the distribution and do it dynamically, this is the last mile,” said James Benya, who runs Benya Burnett Consultancy, a lighting firm based in Davis, California, that is working with LensVector on its technology.