Whether it’s a boutique shop, department store, or big-box retailer like Walmart or Home Depot, lighting matters. Lighting, or lack thereof, can make someone to do a 180 right out of the retail space or entice them to stop and stay awhile, maybe even buy something. While considered an energy saving measure, the right lighting also serves as a strong marketing tactic.
Retail Lighting Creates Personality
Retail lighting creates a store personality based on a blend of contrast, color, and energy efficiency. The right mix can:
- Attract customers and provide a safe environment for shopping.
- Define a brand’s identity and quality of products.
- Provide a comfortable space for customers to enjoy, not simply consume.
- Highlight store features, exhibits, sales, and displays by drawing attention in a strategic manner.
- Show off the merchandise in general by enhancing colors and textures.
Lighting Contrast by Design
Making customers feel physically comfortable within a retail space is one the most important aspects of lighting – and simply flooding the space with light isn’t the answer. Increasingly bright stores not only cause unnecessary eye strain, but excess glare, and serves as a colossal waste of energy. A lighting designer generally considers layering 4 different forms of light to create a contrasting and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.
General (ambient) lighting: This is the main source of light in a space and can easily become the focus of energy reduction, especially by using LEDs. Perimeter lighting helps define the retail space and vertical lighting will make the store feel larger and guests feel better oriented.
Accent lighting: Accent lighting enhances the appeal of displays, drawing the right amount of attention to specific products and promotions. In fact, focusing accent lighting on the lower third shelves of a retail space can boost sales and merchandise exposure.
Task lighting: When used as a supplement to general lighting, task lighting can eliminate shadows and prevent glare. In retail, task lights should be placed at or near the point of sale, enabling employees and customers to quickly and efficiently complete the transaction.
Decorative lighting: Decorative lighting can enhance the look of the space by bringing in additional elements of design, complementing the overall lighting plan. Pendants, scones, chandeliers, and floor lamps are all examples of decorative lighting. In fact, EarthTronics has its own line of decorative filament LEDs perfect for any retail space.
Choosing a light with the right color temperature and color rendering index (CRI) is essential to convey the perfect look and feel of the store. (Check out this post to learn more about a light’s color temperature and CRI score.) Light temperatures that fall between 3000-5000K(Kelvin) is the ideal color range for retail stores. A high CRI with a score of 80+ complements the color temperature ensuring even, consistent illumination throughout the store.
Big Box Best Lighting Practices
Good lighting and sustainable design has become common practice for many of the big box retailers. Many have begun relying on daylighting as their primary lighting source. Daylight leads to a naturally brighter, more visually appealing store interior. Implementing daylighting practices can also greatly reduce the use of electric lights during the day, cutting down on utility use during peak times.
Top lighting strategies (such as sky lights and general lighting ballasts) can be applied throughout many single story big box retail stores using LED linear tube lights to uniformly illuminate merchandise. Ambient lighting combined with skylights and windows support a sustainable energy strategy that positively impacts for the user experience and energy consumption bottom line.
Discover Energy Efficiency with EarthTronic’s LED EarthBulbs
When selecting the right kind of general, task, accent, or decorative lighting for your next retail project, LED lightbulbs should be at the top of your list. Two True Value Hardware stores in Michigan switched out their existing T8 fluorescent lamps in favor of 18-watt, 2200 lumen, 4000k T8 LED linear tubes made by EarthTronics. To them, making a full conversion just made economic sense. “When we combined EarthTronic’s products with a rebate incentive from our utility provider it became a cost cutting solution that would make a measureable impact to our business,” said owner and CEO Bob Rosenburg.
The EarthTronic LED linear tubes have a CRI score of 80 and have a 50,000-hour life span. In general, that equates to a 10-year replacement timeframe. By switching from T8 florescent tubes to linear LEDS, the True Value locations were able to decrease the number of lamps used in the overhead fixtures from four to two, reduce more than 10,500 kilowatt hours, and drastically cut their energy bills over the summer.
By adopting good lighting design practices such as illumination layering, contrast, conscious color selection, and LED lighting, retail stores can reduce their own operational costs while enhancing the shopping experience for their customers. EarthTronics LED lighting inventory can help create a well-lit environment with just right amount of contrast and color balance. Environmentally friendly, they can also provide a quick return on investment and extended energy savings in the long term.