An essential element of in-store retail marketing is innovative lighting and design that applies all the principles needed to draw in customers and keep their interest and attention, as well as create the comfortable atmosphere needed for customers to make purchase decisions.
Altering the lighting design can drastically change the mood and atmosphere of an entire store, which means that with an updated, redesigned lighting system, you can revitalize a store and enhance its brand.
The Elements of Good Design Must be Applied to Lighting Systems
Applying the principles of good design to lighting systems means finding the right balance between unity and variety:
- There must be some repetition for harmony and unity.
- Alteration of light patterns, styles and intensity are needed to provide interest.
- Contrast focuses attention.
These principles must be applied to the ambient, accent and task lighting of the store:
- Ambient lighting is the general lighting of the room or entire store. Uniform lighting is important.
- Accent lighting is directional, indirect, recessed, colored or color-changing lamps used to create atmosphere, draw attention and add drama. Accent lighting includes perimeter, display and showcase lighting as well as window display lighting.
- Task lighting is used to illuminate small, specific areas such as cashier locations, fitting rooms, work areas and sales areas, and must be strong enough to be effective without creating glare.
Design Elements Must be Geared to the Type of Store
There are three major categories of retail outlets that determine the type of lighting design around which various components are featured:
Small – High-end, or boutique shops usually feature subtle ambient lighting to establish atmosphere and intimacy, and add drama with a variety of accent lighting. Buyers are looking for specialty and one-of-a-kind items.
Medium – Neighborhood grocery stores, hardware stores, and clothing stores require higher and brighter ambient lighting and use accent lighting for display cases and featured items. These stores attract browsers who like to be comfortable while they take time to assess goods.
Large – Department stores, discount and wholesale outlets with high ceilings use industrial types of lighting systems with bright, vertical uniform lighting, and customers want an efficient, fast shopping experience.
Lighting Designs Must Consider Psychological and Physiological Effects
For functionality’s sake, lighting should allow people to see and assess their surroundings, view and evaluate products and perform tasks comfortably.
Considerations are the intensity, quantity, placement and the color of lights. Examples are:
- Too little light or too much glare can cause eye health issues and irritate staff and customers.
- Small strip lighting and cove lighting can be shaped to fit small spaces, and add sparkle to jewelry displays.
- Downlights deliver light exactly where it is needed and create dramatic shadows as well.
- Warm white lights create an atmosphere of intimacy and also work well for fitting rooms as they enhance skin tones; cool white lights are best for illuminating large areas.
Save Costs with Innovative LED Lighting and Efficiency Controls
Use innovative light-emitting diode (LED) lighting for energy and cost savings:
- LED lamps contain no mercury, have no glass to break, have an extremely long life, can be directional, and some will work with dimmers.
- New LED downlights are efficient and cool to the touch unlike old-fashioned halogen lamps.
- The initial cost of LED lamps and fixtures—if also needed—will be recaptured with substantial electricity savings over time and can be phased in gradually, if desired.
Incorporating lighting controls with dimmers, sensors, time clocks, and use of daylight when possible are an essential part of innovative lighting and design and should not be overlooked when outfitting or updating a retail lighting system.
Good retail lighting is essential for the ability of customers and sales staff to comfortably view their surroundings and to perform tasks. Innovative lighting and design, however, not only satisfies these basic needs but also enhances a brand, establishes and maintains a cost-savings lighting system, and creates a mood and atmosphere that generates sales.
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