Much consideration goes into the world of retail lighting. The objective is not only to create a specific lighting ambience in the place of business, but also to address the actual lighting needs of customers who will be frequenting the store. Lighting needs and thus the overall interior store design become extremely important when you are discussing the needs of individuals with physical and mental challenges.
Seizure-Inducing Physical Disabilities
There are many types of seizure disorders greatly affected by lighting. One of the most common of these is photosensitive epilepsy. This is a seizure condition in which certain types of lighting can bring on an epileptic attack. In most cases the attack is triggered by flickering or strobe lights. However, individuals with very sensitive photosensitive epilepsy must be very careful as to what type of lighting they can be around.
Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome
Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are also mental conditions that can provoke a negative reaction to powerful, bright lighting in a store. While not every autistic or Asperger’s individual is diagnosed the same, ranging from high- to low-functioning in their lifestyles on the spectrum, some autistic children or adults may find the way store lighting strikes their eyes to be strange, or bright enough to upset to their sensitivity levels. Their reactions to overwhelming lighting can range from temper tantrums to full-out panic attacks.
Other Disorders with Ultra-Sensitive Reactions to Lighting
There are also other disorders which include simple light sensitivity symptoms such as traditional photosensitivity. In these cases, very bright or strobe lights in displays or in the store can give these individual customers headaches, migraines or even panic attacks in the most extreme cases.
How Retailers Can Accommodate Disabled Shoppers
In order to address the need of customers and potential customers, retailers can avoid some of the triggers for individuals with light sensitivity issues. The most obvious triggers are very bright lighting, flickering lights or multi-colored lights.
Traditional, calm lighting is generally suitable for most of your customers. If a customer comes into your place of business and requests a change in lighting to accommodate their needs, by all means make necessary, temporary changes to suit the needs of those customers while they are in your store.
Why It’s Important to Consider When Planning Interior Store Design
Lighting considerations can affect the comfort and even health of your customers. Not everyone has the same level of light sensitivity and so reactions may vary from customer to customer. However, you should also keep in mind that if a lighting choice in your store does have a negative effect on a customer, you could be held liable. This is good motivation for special consideration to your lighting while you are planning your interior store design.
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