Shop Lighting Solutions
Retailers and retail designers have a huge number of lighting options from which to choose when creating physical store environments that deliver. In fact, there are so many technologies that the process of choosing can, at times, feel overwhelming!
To help shed some light (pun intended) on the different types of shop lighting solutions, their benefits and most effective applications, we have compiled our knowledge and experience of retail lighting systems in this blog post.
By now, the majority of retailers have adopted LED lighting within their stores, and are well versed in the energy efficiency and cost savings they offer.
However, a relatively small number of these retailers are aware of the full range of functionalities and benefits that LED technologies can offer. Most notably, we have found that there is a general lack of knowledge about how to utilise the customisation benefits that LED lighting systems can offer, from controlling the intensity of the light output to managing the colour temperature of the LED components.
And this is a huge opportunity that is being missed. For example, both Lux Review and the Hamburg University of Applied Science have noted that retailers can dramatically increase the effectiveness and impactfulness of their stores by utilising dynamic, customised lighting systems that have been optimised for the specific environment in which they will be used.
“Results from a study conducted for Xicato by independent lighting researcher Dr Colette Knight found that objects can appear more attractive under a light source that is slightly outside the traditional colour range for white light.” – LUX Review
“People’s eyes were naturally drawn to areas of contrast, rather than the most brightly lit areas.” – The Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
Working with a specialist LED lighting manufacturer, you can ensure the colour, light output and more complement other light sources within your store. This provides retailers with the opportunity to create homogeneous lighting effects where needed, but more importantly, create specific effects surrounding products that help the display stand out.
Although sometimes considered an afterthought, heat management is an important aspect of implementing LED shop lighting solutions, especially within a retail setting. Light-emitting diodes do actually create heat as a result of their light output (albeit less than other light sources) which can affect the lifetime of the lighting display if not managed correctly.
To manage heat distribution, LEDs are integrated into heat sinks – which are usually aluminium extrusions (due to their high heat conductive properties) that are custom-made to distribute heat into separate fins, effectively dispersing heat into multiple sources. This not only prolongs the lifespan of lighting systems but also ensures that unwanted heat energy is not emitted onto the products on display which could damage them or impact negatively on their quality (a real concern for grocery stores or retailers selling perishable goods).
Types of Shop Lighting Solutions
There are multiple shop lighting solutions that are implemented by retailers to achieve different effects. These are generally categorised as one of four types: ambient, task, accent and decorative. Ambient and task lights are used to ensure that a space is functional and that customers feel comfortable and relaxed whilst shopping. Accent and decorative lights are used to attract attention to specific areas of a store, be it a product display or experience, to ensure that they are as visible as possible.
Let’s look at these types in more detail and explore how they are used in retail settings in particular.
Ambient and task lighting
Ambient shop lighting, in its most simplistic form, is the natural light that flows into a space from windows or doors and the light that is supplied to a space to support this. Ambient lighting systems are responsible for ensuring that a space can be used effectively and safely. Two of the most common forms of ambient lighting are track lights and ceiling panel lights.
Ambient lighting fixtures are designed to disperse light over a wide area, meaning they are usually engineered to have wide beam angles or cover large areas of a store’s ceiling.
A current trend within retail and interior environments is to use recessed lightboxes that are mounted into the ceiling, providing diffused light over wide beam angles. By using ceiling-mounted lightboxes as a light source, the LEDs can create a custom colour temperature as specified by the retailer or lighting designer, plus should this space ever need to be used for promotional activities, the fabric graphic can be replaced by a custom printed display.
Another benefit of using LED lightboxes as ambient light fixtures is that they are designed to ensure that every inch of the store is covered in light, resulting in no dark zones or shadowy areas. Moreover, when engineered properly, the lightboxes themselves have a sleek, elegant aesthetic that compliments interior design schemes.
Accent and decorative lighting
Retailers want to draw attention to specific areas of their stores, such as key product promotions, seasonal campaigns, in-store events and payment areas. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through the use of accent lighting fixtures such as spotlights, graphic lightboxes, neon-effect signage and integrated shelf lighting.
By using light to accentuate particular product displays or messages, retailers can capture the attention of shoppers much more effectively than if they were to use non-illuminated alternatives. Why? Because research shows that human eyes are naturally drawn to areas of contrast (e.g. a contrast between light and dark), so creating store environments that have a range of different lighting fixtures and brightness levels is a guaranteed way to have the biggest impact on shoppers.
Shelf Lighting Solutions
Illuminated shelving technologies have developed in recent years, providing retailers with greater flexibility when it comes to shelving displays that can be easily updated depending on the season, products or promotions.
Previously, illuminated shelving was wired into the track system, making it difficult for in-store visual merchandising teams to update displays themselves without outside help.
Systems like Kontakt illuminated shelving provide a user-friendly solution for this frustration. Kontakt is a cable-free shelving system with integrated illumination that exists to provide a user-friendly, ultra-effective way of creating product displays that are guaranteed to make an impact.
Designed with functionality and flexibility at the fore, Kontakt enables the creation of merchandising systems that can be reconfigured to suit different store layouts and customised to suit brand-specific design briefs. LED luminaires switch on automatically when shelves are placed in position on supporting brackets, making for speedy installations and updates. Kontakt is supplied as a kit of parts to allow for easy on-site installation and is available in a range of different colours, finishes, sizes and LED options.
To learn more about our retail display solutions or for advice on how to integrate lighting into your displays, contact our team here.