Accent lighting for retail stores can help highlight certain parts of a store or provide a specific mood. LED lights in particular make excellent accent lamps with their longevity and color options.
Need help to get started? Here are several ideas to help you plan out your accent lighting.
Visibility or Appearance
When first picking out proper accent lighting, you need to make a choice between visibility and appearance. In other words, what do you want accent lighting for? Do you want to make it easier for people to see the details on products or marketing materials, or are you using accent lighting primarily for its aesthetic effect?
This choice will affect every other decision you make down the line, so it’s important that you start with this. Grocery stores and hardware stores, for example, may prefer visibility and plain white LEDs. Clothing and décor stores may prefer appearance and colorful blues and reds. It’s all about your brand.
Direction Lighting is Key
Accent lighting is almost always directional lighting, which means you need spotlights and track lighting to use it effectively. The exception is using LED backlighting and other lighting effects. This is best accomplished by designers who professionally balance all the elements of proper lighting.
Generally speaking, you need the space and lighting products for directional lighting, so start here. Directional lighting requires the right space and lighting product. A lighting professional can prevent costly mistakes.
This may seem obvious, but if you think your store could be improved with accent lighting, then start by looking at your products. You don’t want to highlight random shelves or corners when there’s nothing there to see. Instead, focus your accent lighting on real products, preferably large products or product selections where you want to draw attention.
Have a special deal going on? Highlight it. A particularly large product or display? That’s where you need accent lighting. Not every product in your store needs to be accented with its own lights, but using a few accent lights here and there can make a big difference in your product displays choices. Be careful by putting too many LEDs on your products – you don’t want to dazzle the customer so much they don’t look at the product itself!
Another common goal for accent lighting is to lead customers. The course is created by using accents lights to pull customers from one area to another through signals and contrasts.
This works if you want customers to take a specific path through your store. Perhaps not as useful for a grocery stores (which use other methods of customer leading), but many retail businesses can make use of this tactic to draw customers on through specific areas to encourage cross-selling and impulse purchases. LED backlighting and color shifts are particularly useful here.
Subtle is Better
Yes, spotlights were mentioned above, but that doesn’t mean that you should use burning-bright spotlights as your accent lighting for retail stores. The “accent” part of the lighting means that these LED lamps should provide subtle, quiet illumination, possible in different shades for effect.
Many LED lamps can switch colors according to set patterns if necessary, without creating too much glare. Bright spotlights may do well at a concert, but they do nothing for your products except give them too much glare and annoy or blind your customers. Use a light touch.
Follow the Price
Still want ideas about how to use accent lighting? Think about your prices. Your high-end products and feature products make great targets for accents and various types of spotlighting. This encourages attention and makes it easier to sell these items, no matter where you need to place them.
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Image Credit: By Colin Rose (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons