Energy saving is a well-known advantage of LED lights, as they are 90% more efficient than conventional lighting. Although it is beneficial to homes, nowhere are they more of a blessing than in retail, where shops need to be lit almost constantly and energy bills can be high.
But this isn’t the only reason why retailers have been adopting them. They can also be used as a design element, creating moods and structuring large spaces.
German optician chain Mykita, for example, used LED lights in both ways. Their eyewear is contemporary and they wanted their shop to reflect their minimalist style. They chose LED spotlights specifically angled to diffuse light on the walls, as well as highlight the product displays and sales counters. They also experimented with the different kinds of white light, using warm white for the shop area, and neutral white where they conduct eye tests for which clarity is crucial.
LEDs can play a great role in the food industry too. In a previous article, we saw how LEDs slow down the discolouration of meat, but it can also enhance food colour. Chocolatier Maison Pierre Marcolini in Paris, for example, used LED lights with a high CRI (Colour Rendering Index) to preserve the rich tones of their luxury chocolates. By using a mixture of downlights and linear LEDs, they created the understated ambience that befits a luxury brand.
Department stores are also the ideal place to use LED lights as they are so versatile. They can create light sculptures as a design element, guide customers’ journey throughout the stores, and be programmed to change colour throughout the day.
Car showrooms need very specific lighting to flatter their models, as well as a flexible solution that can be adapted to suit different layouts for various events.
In the UK, BMW had a lighting scheme developed for two of their branches to display their electric and hybrid cars which, obviously, had to be energy efficient! It was created with The Environmental Network (TEN) using a combination of downlights, LED panels and a Neogrid base light. Not only did it look futuristic and clean, but, according to TEN, it also cut the showrooms’ energy and maintenance costs by more than 70%
Bentley’s Hero Light is another perfect example of how design and practicality come to life with LED lighting. Bentley wanted a light feature to illuminates their ‘hero’ car and reflected the high-end brand. The Hero Light designed was a 6-meter diameter LED light feature, looking a bit like an upside down flying saucer and with a linear flexible strip LED on the outside of the ‘halo’. The 250-kg luminaire also had high CRI to show off the paint of the cars.
If you haven’t yet switched to LEDs, look at our products, we have a wide range of LED lighting suitable for businesses and shops such as LED tiltable downlights, LED highbays and LED Shopfitters.