There are many factors involved in successful lighting designs. Top in the list is quality and quantity. It also includes effects on the looks of small shops together with the impression it establishes about products. Owners, managers, designers, and visual merchandisers should take into account primary attributes before creating their lighting design plans.
There are several factors such as:
- Lifespan of the fixtures
- Efficiency of techniques
- Maintenance of lights used
- Distribution of brightness
- Color rendering
- Focal points of interest
Lighting design solutions depend mainly on target consumers, branding, and store theme. However, it is excellent lighting techniques that will make a distinction between competitors.
Superior lighting quality can result in higher revenues for the small store owner. Employees can become more efficient due to the right lighting level and glare. In nearly all retail outlets, eye-catching lighting designs can entice more shoppers and increase sales.
Glare is deemed as the most vital factor with regards to quality of illumination. This can be described as an impression made by the strength of light in the visual domain. It often causes uneasiness and irritation that leads to reduced output among workers. Vibrant items are not solely responsible for causing glare. It is the vivid object at the front of a gloomy background that normally produces some glare.
On the other hand, contrast is described as the relationship between an object’s brightness and the corresponding backdrop. The visual effects become more appropriate because of contrast but too much of it generates unwanted sparkle. It makes the display look unpleasant. Lighting experts need to minimize the glitter or proportion of luminance in two ways. One is to keep light levels minimal. The other is to use equipment that takes away some shine.
Louvers can obstruct direct viewing of light sources. Indirect fixtures or up lighting ensures lower glare by illuminating the ceiling evenly. Likewise, the correct positioning of lights can moderate glare on surfaces. A Visual Comfort Probability (VCP) Index of 70 is ideal for retail stores. VCP indicates the percentage of occupants in a particular space.
Retail stores utilize a variety of lighting fixtures. Each one possesses advantages. Choice of the source should depend on installation, color quality, desired effects, and cost of the life cycle. The common lamp types include the following:
- Incandescent bulb
- Fluorescent lamp
- Metal halide
- High-intensity discharge
- Mercury vapor
- Low-pressure sodium
- High-pressure sodium
The consistency of illuminance or measure of incident light is another quality concern that tackles the uniformity of light diffusion over the selling area. Average illuminance may be correct but a couple of factors can adversely affect consistency. These are the inappropriate installation of fixtures as well as lights which are installed with reflectors that limit the dispersal of light.
On the other hand, uneven illuminance brings about various issues such as insufficient lighting levels in certain areas; visual inconvenience if the task calls for looking at over-lit from improperly lighted areas; and, dazzling or patches of lighting on walls and flooring that distracts customers and produce low-quality look.
Rendition of Colors
The capacity to perceive different shades is an equally important facet of illumination quality. Lighting sources differ in terms of capabilities to reflect genuine colors. Color Rendition Index or CRI scale is employed to put side by side effects of the light source to the color form of its background. High CRI implies better rendition and less swing in colors. This is between 75 and 100. 55 to 65 are considered average while 0 to 55 is classified as poor. Good CRI makes colors look clear. It also enhances aesthetics of the store. Higher CRI build an impression of higher illumination.
Light Sources Characteristics
Electrical sources of lights have also the features of color temperature and efficiency. Certain lamps are more effective in transforming energy into visible light. Efficiency is measured by the number of lumens as well as required wattage. This is manifested in lumens for every single watt. A second characteristic is color temperature. It is the amount of coolness or warmness that the light provides. People favor a cooler source in well-lit areas like retail stores.
The volume of illumination involves three elements which are light output, light level and brightness. Output is usually determined by the lumen or luminous flux. All sources of luminosity are categorized with output mark in lumens. Lumen output declines as lamps become old and dirty. The reason is depreciation takes place. The majority of lamp ratings are founded on initial lumens if the fixture is still new.
Light levels refer to the intensity of lighting. This strength of light is measured on a level surface at a particular area is known as illuminance. It is measured in foot lumens or work plane lumens per square foot. It is possible to measure this with a light meter on the surface where products are displayed, transactions are made, and checkout counters where customers make their payments.
One more measurement of lighting is called luminance or brightness. It measures luminosity and leaves a plane in a specific direction. It takes into consideration the illuminance on the surface as well as a reflection of the surface. Eyes see luminance but not illuminance. Thus, the volume of light transmitted to the space and reflection of said surface affects the customers’ capability to see.
It is not easy to plan and implement lighting designs. This requires the help of professionals and careful thoughts on all the X factors listed above. The key for small retail outlet owners is to review each one carefully and make sure they understand each one well.