Retail lighting is important. You can’t just plug in any light source and hope for the best. In fact, there are several studies that suggest lighting is a prominent influence on the shopper in regards to making a purchase. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right department store lighting applications for your location.
1. Consider Temperature
One of the biggest mistakes retail locations make is choosing bulbs that are all the same color temperature or choosing the wrong color temperature in the first place. It all depends on the type of atmosphere you are trying to create. If you are a larger store, but looking to create areas that are more intimate and warmer, you would choose warmer temperatures. If you are looking to create a large, open space, cooler white lights are better. The goal should be to balance it out according to the space and what your customers expect in a shopping environment. For example, using lights all of the same cool, white temperature can come off as harsh so playing up certain areas with warmer temperatures can be nice change.
2. General vs. Task Lighting
Another key to choosing the right department store lighting applications is to mix it up between general and task lighting. When we say general lighting, keep in mind that the goal is shopping so you want to obviously use your brighter lights in areas of high traffic where items for sale or high-end goods are located. Task lighting in this sense means areas such as entrances, dressing rooms, checkout areas, and customer service desks. Task lighting should be bright enough to allow for visibility and a confident reassurance when purchasing, but it can be slightly warmer or lower in lumen output than your general lighting to encourage a feeling of intimacy.
3. Use Back Lighting
Another mistake many people make when choosing department store lighting applications is to choose only one type of light. For example, overhead lighting is a great way to ensure proper visibility, but backlighting is a better way to highlight the goods you are trying to sell to consumers. With backlighting, you create illumination that is not directly in the customer’s eyesight, which avoids harshness, while the shadows help draw the eye to the product being highlighted. In fact, shelf integrated lighting has been proven to cause consumers to linger longer in a specific area which may encourage a purchase.
4. Know the Light Types
• Incandescent bulbs are the cheapest initially, but they offer the least efficiency in terms of energy consumption converted to illumination output. They also have higher burn out rates because they use a filament as the operation source. These are the least commonly used option in retail lighting.
• Halogen lights are a better choice than incandescent because they last a little longer. They are not used as often as other modern options, but they are still an option for many locations.
• Fluorescents are a more cost efficient and longer lasting solution than incandescent or halogen. They were once the standard for all types of retail lighting, but the LED has edged them out in most areas. However, they are still a popular option because they are a lower cost upfront and are still considerably long-lasting and efficient.
• LED lights are the more expensive upfront solution. They are also the longest lasting and give the best efficiency with lower wattages and higher lumen outputs than other lights available on the market. They also operate at much cooler temperatures so they won’t add heat or burn up the internal elements of the fixture.
When choosing the right lighting for a department store, there are many factors at play. Focus on what is most efficient cost wise and creating a comfortable lighting environment for your customers, and successful lighting is a given.