Lights are a crucial aspect in any retail store and knowing how to use them in your interest might put you way ahead of your competition. The sun rays are very beneficial to our bodies and, in moderation, they were shown to lower blood pressure, stimulate vitamin D production, boost weight loss and immune system and even disinfect wounds. When the sun goes down, a hormone named melatonin is produced which helps us fall asleep.
It is a really powerful antioxidant and helps combat inflammation and has amazing anti-aging benefits and fights cancer cells. All these facts show that our bodies have a really tight connection with light and we are heavily influenced by it. If we have such a reaction to it physically, it must affect us psychologically too, right? The answer is yes. We have the most fun in the summertime, when the sun shines bright, our skin is tanned and the days are longer because our energy levels and vitality are higher than ever. In the dark winter days we are prone to experience seasonal depression, stay inside and protect ourselves from the outside world.
These reactions that our body and mind have to the sun can be induced by artificial lights as well, we just have to know how to manipulate them. Direct light creates that stimulation and excitement while indirect light creates calm, suspense and balance.
A study revealed the fact that that there is a change in the heart rate due to change in lighting conditions resulting in increased adrenaline levels. That’s exactly what we want from our customers: shopping while being high on adrenaline. For that, bright warm lights are the best because they imitate the sun and give people that happy feeling.
Now, enough theory, let’s talk about how to make use of this knowledge and elevating our earnings. There are four types of lights used in stores: incandescent (the ones that are normally round), halogen (a more modern version of the incandescent), fluorescent (normally spiraled or ‘pig-tailed’) and LED (the tiny, bright bulbs). The first two have a warmer, ‘yellowish’ tone and they consume more energy while the others spread a bright, blue light and are more eco-friendly and budget-friendly at the same time.
The incandescent isn’t used anymore in stores but the halogen one could be used for illuminating small areas. Fluorescent light is the best option for general use and a viable option for all purposes, making it the retailers favorite. LED is the most expensive but it’s also the most efficient light source. However, more and more retail stores started using them because they last the longest and lately, with the evolution of technology, the harsh light they used to spread was replaced with a warmer, cozy light and this is a work in progress.
Another important part of this topic is where should we place the lights and what should we illuminate first? It’s all about what we want the clients to see first and what we want to flaunt the most, but we still have to be professional and illuminate all parts of the store. That brings us to the 4 types of retail store lightning:
- Ambient lighting
This is the main source of light in your store and shouldn’t be too bright nor too dim, just enough so the products can be properly seen and clients can feel comfortable walking around the shop.
- Task lighting
This is used to better illuminate certain key areas in the store and help make the shopping experience easier. These could be placed in the dressing rooms, near the entrance, checking areas, etc.
- Accent lighting
When we really want to emphasize something visually, this is what we use! In this case, the light is directly pointed to the product and draws attention to it. It could be used for the newest collection, displays, placed above the mirrors or even art works which, in general, make stores look more stylish and fancy.
- Decorative lighting
These lights could be the pieces of art we were talking about. You can use different lamps, chandeliers or LEDs to create a pleasant setting that brings sophistication to the store. Here, the setting is usually more important than the light itself, but you can also play with light intensities or colors. There are designers who do this kind of work but light settings can be easily found in supermarkets or other stores. Remains, of course, the option to DIY but unless you really like to arrange lights I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s time-consuming.
Tips and Tricks
Buy all the lights at the same time and from the same brand in the beginning and buy more than you need. This way you make sure that all the colors and intensities are even and that you have spares when something breaks and needs fixing.
Try to have a warmer tone light because it gives people that sensation of freedom, happiness and will to spend money in your store. You can use halogen bulbs for ambient lighting and cooler tones for a task or accent lighting to save a little bit of money.
When setting up lights, start with the decorative and accent ones and work your way to general lighting. This way, at the end you will know exactly what areas in your store need to be emphasized and you will not add unnecessary bulbs that consume money and energy.
Invest in task and accent lights as much as possible because these are the most important for attracting clients and keeping your business running smoothly. Incandescent lights are perfect for this as they are not that expensive and are more efficient than they used to be.
Use mirrors as a way to bring even more brightness in your store. They reflect light without consuming any energy and give your store a high-end, sophisticated note if they are well integrated into the décor.
Finally, experiment as much as you can and don’t be afraid to take risks. After all, practice makes perfect and there isn’t a recipe for perfect store lightning. You, out of all people, know your business better than anyone and your style so see what works best.