Owners of boutiques and specialty retail outlets who wish to attract a discerning clientele know that high-end lighting and luxurious surroundings are used to project the image of quality products and services.
Gear Lighting Design Goals to the Target Market
The object of any good lighting design is to emphasize the store image, attract the target market, to which the store caters to, and create an environment conducive to enhancing the shopping experience. For the upscale market, three layers of appropriate lighting can achieve these goals.
The first is ambient or general lighting and, as well as being luxurious, it must take into consideration the building design, the function and size of the illuminated area and the safety and comfort of the customer. High-end ambient lighting is always softer and less intrusive than what’s chosen for shoppers who frequent department and discount stores.
The second layer is task lighting, which must be functional as well as high-end. Choose designer fixtures, making sure they provide good illumination for such actions as examining products and evaluating color, texture and style, and for making the purchasing experience enjoyable and comfortable.
The third is accent lighting, and the generous use of decorative accent lighting should be used throughout the store to heighten the visual appeal of all products, specialty items in particular.
A Quality Lighting Design Enhances the Store Image
Strategic contrasts in light and dark areas help create atmosphere, enhance store personality and reflect brand identity for fashionable establishments. A high-end store with expensive merchandise will utilize a complex, non-uniform lighting design with light levels lower than most stores. Cool lights, warm lights, colored lights and shadows are all used to create special effects.
Subtle, ambient mood lighting is achieved using indirect lighting with a combination of downlights, up lights and dimming controls, as well as recessed ceiling and wall lamps, and perimeter and valance lighting. Popular cove lighting infuses an area with warm, even light. These ambient lighting effects produce feelings of intimacy and portray a personal, subdued and sophisticated environment.
Illumination of products for the upscale shopper relies heavily on accent lighting with brightness ratios usually falling within the range of 10:1 to 20:1. Rope lights, strip lights, spot lights and colored lights are used for dramatic effect to highlight featured items and display cases.
Outdoor lighting and window display lighting also attract customer attention and must be attractive and inviting to the upscale target market.
Measure the Effectiveness of Your High-End Lighting
Lighting design success will be reflected in increased sales and repeat business. However, the bottom line not only mirrors sales, but also three other important components of your lighting system:
- The cost of the system
- Its sustainability
- The cost of energy
LED and CFL lighting can reduce the cost of a lighting system appreciably. Not only is the government restricting the use of expensive, energy-consuming halogen and fluorescent lamps, but also you will realize you are saving costs as soon as you introduce them into your lighting system. The initial cost of new fixtures and lamps is soon recouped by the savings in electricity.
High-end lighting in an upscale retail outlet is an opportunity to couple business and creativity in order to both enhance your store’s image and its ability to attract desirable clients.
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