5 Lighting Rules of Retail

5 Lighting Rules of Retail

As any business owner knows, the right lighting is an important aspect of a retail space. The lighting in a retail location should achieve certain goals all while ensuring a pleasant lighting experience for the customer. Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 lighting rules of retail to make sure your business achieves these goals.

1. Stick to a consistent color temperature

When looking at the top 5 lighting rules of retail, color temperature is a key component of a well-designed lighting layout. Color temperature is essentially how warm (yellow) or cool (white to blue-white) a light is to the eyes. Why does color temperature matter in retail spaces? For starters, color temperature plays a role in customer perception of a space with warmer colors creating a cozy vibe and cooler temperatures inspiring a more alert vibe. Color temperature also plays a role in the willingness to buy. If your location is perceived as too warm in temperature, consumers are less likely to buy from your location. The right color temperature will obviously depend on the type of retail space. The key is to stick to a consistent color temperature throughout the space. You shouldn’t have warm lights and cool lights in the same space since it creates a startling and unpleasant contrast for the eyes.

2. Layer light sources

The illumination of a space should come from several different light sources to be effective and look pleasing to the eye. For instance, you don’t want to create all of the lumens in the space by simply using overhead troffer fixtures and leaving it at that. Not only is that incredibly outdated for the retail field, but it leaves the space looking a bit washed out. When you layer lighting by using several fixture types with multiple light spread directions, it is easier on the eyes while playing up to the attractive quality the modern consumer expects nowadays.

3. Utilize windows but don’t rely on them solely

Windows in a retail space can help create a natural light source that saves on lighting costs during the day. While you want to utilize this natural light source as much as possible because natural light is the most pleasing to the eyes of the consumer, you shouldn’t rely on it too heavily. If the location is open at night or there is a stormy day, that light source will not be enough without artificial lights to compensate. Make sure you utilize windows but don’t rely on them too much when planning your lighting layout.

4. Choose the right CRI

The color rendering index, not to be confused with color temperature, is the ability of the light fixture to differentiate colors to the naked eye. The CRI is important in most locations, but especially in a retail space where there are likely multiple colors for a consumer to consider. A higher CRI rating offers more differentiating between colors so opt for a CRI of at least 80 + or higher for most retail spaces.

5. Safety first

A lot of retail spaces will light key areas, such as where merchandise or registers are located but leave other areas surprisingly dim. One of the most important rules in retail lighting is to make sure safety is a top priority and this factors into where you place lights. You want to make sure that any area where a lack of visibility is an issue, such as walkways, stairs, or entrances are properly lit at all times to avoid any safety concerns.