Bookstore Lighting

Finding the right lighting solutions will always depend on the type of location. A bookstore is a place with its own unique lighting needs to create the inviting atmosphere customers want when shopping for a new book. We break down the best bets and fixture types to help you master bookstore lighting.

books stacked on a table at a bookstore

Use natural light as much as possible

Since a bookstore is a place where people will come to read, browse, and linger, the use of natural light makes sense. Natural light has been proven to help with mood, memory, and comprehension which makes it ideal for an area where people will read books. It is especially great to use natural lighting if you have a café or tables in the store for customers to linger, study, or work, as many bookstores do. Using natural light will also cut down on lighting costs during the day as well which is another benefit for your business.

Mimic daylight in color temperature

While natural light is ideal for bookstore lighting, you will still need fixtures if your location is open at night to provide ample illumination. Even at night, or in areas of the store away from sources of natural light in a large location, you want to mimic natural daylight as much as possible. The key is to stick with a cool color temperature that isn't so cool as to make it harsh or uncomfortable for the eyes. If you go too warm on the flip side of the scenario, it can make people squint their eyes because the appearance feels dimmer making it harder to read and browse. It's a good idea to keep the color temperature higher than 2700k but to not exceed 4500k. This will ensure a light mimicking daylight as much as possible.

Avoid glares

Glares occur when a light reflects off a shiny surface such as window, counter, or mirror. In a bookstore, a glare can be a distraction and downright uncomfortable, especially when trying to browse for a new book to read or having a study session in the sitting area. Glares can be avoided by paying attention to where the light falls from a light fixture, as well as adding diffusers to create less of a harsh illumination.

Use troffers and track lights for general lighting

When it comes to the actual light fixture types, there are a lot of options available on the market for this type of location. While there are many options available, there are two which stand out as the best options over the others. Recessed troffer is ideal for this type of location because it offers a wide light spread with a downward cast in scope. It is also easy to maintain and stays cleaner than suspended options since it is placed inside the ceiling in a recessed mount. Recessed troffers are also shadow free unlike other possible mounted fixtures such as gooseneck or suspended mounted fixtures. Another great option is track lighting. Track lighting provides a directed light spread perfect for highlighting certain areas, but it also provides a nice amount of general lighting as well. You can even mix and match the two types with relative ease for a lighting plan that is functional to the specifics of the bookstore space.

Add wall sconces for ambiance

Another element of bookstore lighting is ambiance. While general lighting is key, ambiance can add to the appeal of this location for customers. A few well-placed wall sconces mounted directly to the wall between shelves or in key areas such as halls leading to the restroom can go a long way in creating pleasing retail space for your customers.

Install timers

When it comes to saving money on lighting, installing timers is a great way to cut some costs. Many light fixtures allow you to install timers which can be set to turn off lights after closing to avoid the unwanted yet all too common scenario of employees forgetting to turn off lights at the end of the business day. The timers can also be set to come on before employees arrive in the morning to avoid the unpleasant scenario of employees walking into a dark store.

Opt for LED when possible

When choosing the right fixture type, LED is the top choice for a few reasons. For example, LED offers the lowest wattage for the lumens produced to help cut down on utility costs. It is also a long lasting solution so you avoid disrupting customers to make frequent lamp replacements or fixture repairs. LED also offers a high-quality illumination free from shadows, flickers, or dimming when the lamps reach a certain point in their life span. Best of all, LED comes in a range of fixture types to make them a reasonable choice for any location and preference.