With an LED light guide, retailers can achieve their goals with effective, energy efficient lighting designs that attract customers, guide them through the store, help them evaluate merchandise and assist them in making purchase decisions.
Whether the retail outlet is a low-end warehouse, a middle-size department store or a high-end specialty boutique, there are LED lighting solutions geared to enhance the store image, attract the target market and contribute to task performance in various areas of the store.
Balance can also be achieved between the architectural design, human needs such as comfort and safety, the all-important economic concerns of the retailer and the environmental objectives of the regional and federal governments.
LED Provides a Perfect Combination of Light Quality and Energy Efficiency
LED (light-emitting diode) lighting systems and CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) are the replacements for general service incandescent lamps that have been banned by the federal government because of their inefficiency and high-energy consumption. Once the existing retail supplies of these traditional light sources have been depleted, they will be no longer be imported and sold.
Fortunately, there are numerous advantages of using LED lighting, in particular, and retailers are flocking to replace their outdated systems to realize these benefits: substantial savings on electricity, a reduction in maintenance costs, non-hazardous materials including 100% mercury-free lamps and low operating temperatures and the resulting savings on air conditioning.
The drawback is the initial cost of LED lamps, but the electricity and maintenance cost savings offer a return on investment (ROI) averaging less than 12 months.
Important LED Information Helps You Make Good Choices
In order to understand LED lighting sales information and to understand the recommendations provided by your lighting designer, it is important that you learn some of the key lighting terms and how they apply to your retail business.
- Beam Angle – Degree ˚: – This term refers to the angle of the light emitted at source and is generally described as Spot Light, Narrow Flood Light, Flood Light and Wide Flood Light. As the beam widens, the light loses intensity but a larger surface area is lighted.
- Color Temperature – Degree Kelvin (K): The Kelvin measurement refers to the temperature, or appearance, of the light’s color produced by the wavelength of the light. Note that halogen lamps and incandescent lamps produce a warm white, but LED lights can produce all shades of white, including warm, cool, natural and day:
- Warm White generates feelings of comfort and makes skin tones look great, which works well in change rooms, for example.
- Cool White reveals true colors best and makes a room appear spacious.
- Natural White improves customers’ feelings of well being.
- Day Light is suitable in a work area such as offices and storage rooms.
- Color Reproduction – Color Rendering Index (CRI or Ra): CRI measures the ability of the light to accurately reproduce color on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 as the rating of natural light. A CRI of 65 is poor and 80 is good, and recommended is 80-100. The higher the CRI, the better, and the more natural the colors appear.LED lamps are also rated on the chromatic effect of the light over a scale of 14 standard colors (R1-R14), which is useful when choosing lighting for particular stores. In supermarkets and clothing stores, for example, reds are predominate colors, which makes ratings of R9-R14 preferred choices.
- Illuminance – Footcandles (fc) or Lux (lx): This is the measurement of the density of the light falling on the surface (Lux levels). It is used to choose the number and types of light sources needed to provide the illumination desired for the area or display.
- Light Flux – Lumen (lm): This term refers to the total quality of light emitted in all directions and is important to know when comparing sources with different beam angles.
- Light Intensity – Center Beam Candela Power (CBCP) or Candela (cd): These terms refer to the brightest point of the beam, which is usually at the center, and is used with the beam angle to judge the intensity of directional lighting.
This LED light guide can help you make the right lighting decisions for your retail outlet—or at least help you understand why your lighting designer is making specific recommendations for you!
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Retail Lighting and Design and a clickable link back to this page.