The General Principles of Designing Your Retail Store Lighting

There is no doubt that lighting is crucial to showcase a retail space. It isn’t only a matter of making sure that your goods are visible; the type of lighting you use, the fixtures, where you locate them, the colour of the light itself and its intensity convey information about your brand. While an underlit space will make your shop look neglected and uninviting, lighting that is too bright will have a tendency to cheapen your shop as that type of utilitarian lighting is more common in warehouses.

But designing the lighting in your store isn’t as simple as it may sound as you need to find that balance between luminosity, cost efficiency and functionality. Here are a few tips to help you.

Types of lighting

There are four types of lighting in a shop: general or ambient lighting, task lighting, accent lighting and decorative lighting, each of them with different roles.

General lighting is the basic light source for your shop. It will ensure that it isn’t gloomy and that customers can walk around safely. Task lighting is more focused and used to illuminate areas playing certain roles such as the entrance, the checkout area or the fitting rooms. Accent lighting, you guessed it, is used to attract customers’ attention to specific areas such as displays of seasonal items for example, or your front windows. Decorative lighting’s function is to add a touch of luxury to your shop. Elaborate wall lights, chandeliers, designer lights, all will contribute to express sophistication.

Choose your light colour well

With LED bulbs, it is possible to choose how warm or cool your lighting will be. Bulbs around 2,700-3,200 Kelvin are warmer; those around 4,000-4,500K closer to natural light.

Another VERY important consideration is the Colour Rendering Index (CRI).  If you want the colours of your products to REALLY POP, then you need to have a CRI above 90. Ask us for more information.

However, it is essential to choose your light colour according to the nature of the goods or services you sell in your shop. Fruit, vegetables and food products will look very different depending on the bulbs lighting them for example so you need to make sure that your solution makes them look appetising.

Use the reflective power of mirrors

Mirrors not only make a space look bigger, they also make it look brighter by reflecting light. So position them strategically and you can save money by having to purchase fewer bulbs.

Use dimmer switches

Dimmer switches give you the ultimate flexibility. They will enable you to save on your energy bills by controlling lighting but they also allow you to change the mood in your shop. For a more intimate feel, lower the lighting – it will also make your store look more upmarket.

Spend your money wisely

If you are working to a budget, prioritise accent and task lighting as the former will draw attention to your products and the latter will be quite useful for you to see what you are doing! Cost-effective solutions for general lighting have improved a lot in terms of appearance and energy efficiency and it is an easier area to find cheaper alternative for.

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