There are valuable resources that can help you find affordable, top-notch retail store lighting ideas so that you can choose the best for your business. Like all retailers, you want to find lighting ideas within your budget that can be incorporated into your store both inside and out. Attracting your target market while supporting your branded image enhances your store’s function, style and customers’ decisions to purchase. Updated lighting is the most cost-effective way of revitalizing your store.
Analyze Your Store
If you are moving to a new location, or your premises and displays have become outdated and out of style – even shabby – or you have to contend with new competitors, it is time to analyze your store so that you know how to tackle the lighting issue. All the following factors must be considered when selecting the best lighting for your store:
- Function – discount, warehouse, department, furniture, clothing, grocery or specialty.
- Size – very large with high ceilings, large and two or three story with low ceilings, middle size, small or very small.
- Architecture – contemporary, brick and stone, western or rustic.
- Location – downtown, residential area, large mall, strip mall, small town, or rural.
- Target Market – fast and efficient shoppers, browsers, looking for individual service; mostly male or female or youth or young adult or family shopper or elderly.
- Image – upscale, middle income, bargain; specialty sports, hardware, electronic, clothing or baby and toddler.
- Lighting budget – low, moderate or high.
When planning for ambient (general) lighting, task lighting and accent lighting for your individual store – no matter the categories into which it falls – the elements of good lighting design are always required. This means finding the right balance between unity and variety, the alteration of light patterns and styles and attention-focused lighting contrasts. Consideration must be placed on lighting intensity, quantity, placement and color; overall, you must design lighting that makes people comfortably able to assess their surroundings and the merchandise offered.
Analyze Your Target Market
Attract the customers who are most likely to buy your products by analyzing your target market and learning what shopping experience they want to have and what kind of lighting attracts them. For example:
- Discerning customers with money to spend expect individual service and look for luxury stores and boutiques. They shop for expensive jewelry, designer clothing, specialty electronics, upscale baby wear and products, antiques and one-of-a-kind gifts, and are attracted to non-uniform, multilayered, colored mood lighting and special effects.
- Customers of all ages looking for a wide variety of tested, reliable, name-branded, competitively priced products are drawn to department stores. They like uniform vertical lighting with medium high light levels that enable them to find their way through the store without help, examine merchandise, read labels, prices and instructions, and expect eye-catching accent lighting to direct them to featured specialty items.
Review Your Lighting Budget
A general budget analysis will help you determine how much money you can spend on new lighting and lighting systems. You may have more money for this than you realize.
A major factor is to identify your monthly costs of energy and lighting expenses. Check lighting systems, cooling and heating systems and refrigeration costs. Factor into your budget the money that is routinely set aside for replacement lamps, the cost of physically replacing burnt out lamps and the cost of replacing or repairing damaged and worn out fixtures. Include also the amount you spend on refrigeration (if used) and on air conditioning and maintenance.
Cutting down on energy use and lighting expenses can release money to spend on lighting upgrades.
Determine the amount of money you can save by upgrading to energy saving light emitting diode lamps (LED) and compact fluorescent lighting (CFL), and adding dimmers, timers, motion sensors and light sensors. Note the amount of money you can save by using cool LED lamps in refrigerator and display cases, and how their use can reduce the use of air conditioning, too.
Check Out these Lighting Design Resources
If you haven’t shopped for new lighting recently, consider consulting popular resources to get a sense of what is out there that may work for you.
- On Pinterest there are beautiful boards with great ideas – for example, check out: https://www.pinterest.com/toshibaledltg/retail-lighting-ideas/
- On the Internet, try some of the big search engines – for example, search on Google for good retail lighting and design ideas: http://retaillightinganddesign.com/
- Apps from commercial lighting companies are another great resource – for example, search for ideas from GE Lighting and Philips Support tools.
- Professional help – Nothing beats professional input, of course, to take the worry and decision making off your shoulders. You can receive help in choosing the most appropriate lighting for your store and for your target market with recommendations that adhere to building codes, lighting standards and safety regulations, all within your budget.
Effective retail store lighting ideas are excellent marketing tools, encouraging shoppers to take the time to make purchase decisions and to return to your store again and again.
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