Retail Lighting

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Retail Lighting

Commercial-Grade Retail Lighting

The perfect retail environment makes the most of light. A properly illuminated product commands the customer’s attention. This occurs within an active floor plan featuring proper placement of lighting fixtures as well as correctly attuned brightness, color temperature and Color Rendering Index (CRI), ideally with LED lighting.

Commercial-Grade Retail Lighting

Retail Lighting Q & A

See All FAQ

What are the main factors for retail lighting?

To economize the use of space and also to expedite, showcase and accentuate goods and services. This means drawing attention to certain products, minimizing shadows, dark spots and using light to create a welcoming, glare-free environment.

What are some differences in retail lighting to consider?

Whether you’re designing a space for a fast, contactless shopping experience or a setting in which the customer is invited to browse, linger and interact with the merchant, staff and product, consider the basic elements of lighting design, the quantitative and qualitative.

Can I break retail lighting into more specific categories?

Yes. There are four main lighting types: general, task, accent and decorative. Use general lighting to foster a warm, comfortable, inviting environment. Task lighting is focused to illuminate certain areas for a specific task, such as entrances, checkout and products. Decorative lighting is less functional and more about projecting a branded or themed aesthetic.

Can you give an example?

LED track lighting — often used for lighting art — provides choices in color, design and style without separate lighting systems. Track lighting can provide general lighting throughout a space and can also be maneuvered to afford task or accent lighting — even adding a touch of decoration. Track lighting won’t take up a lot of space. LED track lighting is also known for its easy installation and can lower replacement costs and use less energy.

Can you give more examples?

Sure. Dressing rooms or fitting rooms are extremely contingent on good lighting for retail success. Most dressing rooms use harsh, glaring downlighting that can make a customer feel like being in a dentist chair or a police interrogation. The ceiling-mounted lighting can cast unflattering shadows on a face and body, overemphasizing flaws. Fluorescent lighting in a dressing room can flicker light on the face and be too harsh, too, so it’s better to avoid low color rendering index (CRI), fluorescent or halogen lighting. Instead, install LED lighting with a high CRI — a 90+ CRI with a warm, pinkish hue and consider shining LED strips from dressing room mirror sides to eliminate unflattering shadows and yield soft, evenly distributed lighting, making you look like you. Read more about the best practices for fitting room lighting.

Are there best practices for retail lighting?

Yes. First, envision the space as a whole. Proper retail lighting contrasts a variety of services and/or products and allows the customer to focus on doing one thing at a time. Too much lighting overwhelms the senses. Contrast ambient and accent lighting but don’t contrast too many color temperatures. Use ambient lighting, which helps the customer investigate merchandise. If lighting is too dim, customers can’t see and shop and they’ll be less likely to buy. Third, think about the unique needs of lighting a space. Avoid randomly placed lights, which can cause visual chaos.

What are some specific areas to address for lighting a retail space?

Shadows and dark spots generally should be minimized. It’s usually better to provide varying degrees of direct light for creating a properly illuminated, glare-free environment. Lighting is crucial, so choosing the right type of lighting can help you make impressions, sales and repeat business.

Any other retail lighting tips?

Yes. Vary brightness levels. Texture matters, too, so avoid black ceilings. Use matte finishes to minimize glare. Also, choose the correct color temperature, 3500 Kelvin or higher light color temperatures increase color rendering. But don’t go too high on the kelvin scale if you wish to create a warmer mood in your space. Designers deem 3500K-5200K as the optimal range for display lighting.