The science behind retail store lighting is always changing. Every year, we invent better technologies, come up with new lighting designs, and develop a stronger understanding of what customers want from store lighting.
Over the last few years, a few clear trends emerged for retail store lighting. These trends are shaping up to have a significant impact on how businesses set up their lighting designs. By making these adjustments, you can keep your store one step ahead of the competition.
A Greater Focus on Accent Lighting for Retail Stores
A store has two main categories of lighting: accent and ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is the general lighting of the entire store. Accent lighting targets a certain product or part of a store. Which do you think is most important?
Traditionally, store managers focused mainly on ambient lighting. The logic was to keep the entire store at a decent brightness so clients could look around the store more easily. However, over the past few years, stores have begun using more accent lighting.
Accent lighting brings more attention to an important section and also makes the product look more attractive; strong ambient lighting can make merchandise look washed out. In addition, accent lighting uses less energy than ambient lighting, so this switch also saves money. Your store, of course, needs some ambient lighting. However, when you review your lighting design, it would be beneficial to initiate ways to shift your lighting balance to more accent lighting.
The Green Shift to LED Lights for Retail Stores
As energy prices continue to increase, stores are under additional pressure to switch to green, energy efficient lighting. This shift has made LED light fixtures much more popular. These lamps only use a fraction of the energy of an incandescent lamp. A recent Washington Post article calculated that a store using one LED lamp would spend nearly 70% less on energy than if it had used incandescent lighting instead.
LED lamps also last about 30 times as long as incandescent lamps. This cuts down both on labor costs for replacing lamps and on pollution. The downside of LED light fixtures is that they are still quite expensive, but they are getting more affordable every year.
LED Lighting for Retail Stores is Safer Lighting
Researchers have also discovered that LED lighting can create a safer store environment. Since these lamps give off a clearer light than most other options, stores that use LED lighting are easier to peruse. This prevents accidents and makes it easier for staff to focus on their work.
Researchers found that LED lighting works particularly well outdoors. LED lighting comes off at a different wavelength than other lamps. Our eyes pick up this wavelength especially well at night. This means, with a fraction of the energy, LED light fixtures create a bright outdoor environment. This will also make customers feel safer walking around your store.
The science of retail store lighting never stands still. Neither can your business. By focusing on these current trends, you should see a sizable improvement to your store’s lighting.
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