Among all the selling points related to upgrading old-fashioned lighting fixtures and systems to new, light emitting diode lamps (LED) and systems, retailers should take note that one of colored LED lighting benefits is improved health, among the many other advantages.
Lighting is Important to Retailers
Lighting supports the retailer’s image, affects sales and impacts the bottom line. Retailers understand that lighting performs important functions in their operations:
- Lighting attracts customers and contributes to the identity and brand of the store.
- Good lighting enables customers to evaluate goods.
- Suitable lighting adds comfort and appeal to the shopping experience.
- Focused lighting can highlight featured products and draw customer attention.
- Ideal lighting helps shoppers make buying decisions and finalize the sale of products.
The business case for upgrading to LED lighting systems is very strong. The initial investment will be recouped by the savings in electricity as well as by lower maintenance costs. LED lighting uses less energy, which reduces pollution and saves our natural resources.
Colored light is produced more efficiently by LED lighting than by any other system. In addition, LED lighting systems are the easiest to control to provide multiple colors and intensity of light.
The Color Features of Lighting Outweigh Other Lighting Considerations
Recent surveys of lighting designers by The National Lighting Product Information Program revealed that the most important features of lighting for retailers is the color appearance and the color rendering properties. Color appearance was ranked as very important more often than any other feature for merchandising.
The ideal light source is daylight and artificial lighting that most closely approximates daylight. This lighting enables the buyer to see true colors and textures and facilitates purchase decisions.
The color of light is not a physical property, but rather a human perception of it and is evaluated by the industry with these measurements:
- Color temperature (CCT), which measures the color appearance of the light.
- Color rendering index (CRI), which measures how natural a lighted object appears.
- Gamut area index (GAI), which measures how “vivid” colors appear.
Testing by the Lighting Research Center of Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, measured the visual appeal of two extremes of the spectrum—red and blue—as well as white. The results were:
- Red captured attention best but had less appeal than white for visual appeal and for seeing clearly.
- Blue captured attention better and had more visual appeal than white, but was not as good for seeing clearly.
These factors should be kept in mind when retailers make their choices for general, accent, and task lighting.
The Color of White Light Does Have an Effect on Health
White light can be natural white, which is most like daylight; warm white, which has a yellow tone and creates a warm, intimate feeling; or cool white, which has a blue tone and creates an antiseptic or sophisticated look.
When choosing lighting for institutions, office buildings, and work areas of retail outlets, the choice has an interesting impact on health. In all instances, daylight controlled by window blinds, light shelves or reveals, or artificial light that most approximates daylight are the preferred choices for normal viewing.
Eyestrain from poor lighting can be disabling and reduce worker productivity. Poor lighting can also cause irritation of the eyes with side effects of headaches and indigestion.
Exposure to daylight and sunlight are effective treatments for sleep disorders, which is important in seniors’ residences and long-term care homes. Studies have shown that children in classrooms well lit by daylight perform better on standardized tests for reading and mathematics.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is alleviated by exposure to bright light, especially normal daylight. When daylight is not an option, natural white light is the preferred substitute.
There are numerous LED lighting benefits when this lighting system is introduced into the workplace, and its effect on health is just one of many. Lighting should support the retailer’s image, save money, and combine with all the other elements of good design to promote sales as well as a happy, healthy work and shopping environment.
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