How important are lighting and colors in retail? Foot traffic is important for all stores regardless of brands and commodities. There are several ways to achieve this goal and one is through the use of appropriate colors and lights.

Lighting and colors in retail can spell success or failure for business owners. The assortment of shades must work right across the entire facility. It needs to match with other elements like merchandise displays. Retail designers say the basic rule is to create a beautiful and harmonious shop.

Colors and Balance

The use of colors is crucial to balance or coherence. Customers are reactive to it. The human brain is sensitive to colors so contemporary retailers should understand both physiological (relating to functions) and psychological (emotional or mental) stimulus. People respond to colors since these help them perceive their environment. In short, it makes consumers more at ease if shades remind them of familiar things.

The success of retail enterprises is not shaped simply by lighting and colors in retail but how these cause target consumers respond to the sales environment. For example, older folks prefer subdued shades compared younger persons who choose bolder colors. In essence, customers cannot relate to the brand if they do not get colors correctly.

Some shop owners use fixtures such as carpets in influencing walking patterns around their establishments. This starts usually from the crucial or transition zone which is the area near the entrance. The idea is to have subliminal pathways that draw consumers inside. Retailers are more capable of producing feelings of comfort and warmth by recognizing how colors affect their potential customers. The use of more colorful palettes causes more excitement.

Lighting Depends on Colors

Design experts maintain the implementation of proper lighting in retail depending on color schemes. The majority of customers make an involuntary decision about your merchandise and retail surroundings within 90 seconds upon walking into your outlet. More than 60 up to 90 percent of initial impressions depend on colors.

More than 50 percent of shoppers do not come back if the visual appearance is bad. Meanwhile, around 85 percent refer to colors as the principal reason for buying a certain item. Colors also play a big role in signage. Colors boost comprehension 40 times more than black and white signs. Color is an important aspect that affects people consciously and subconsciously. This is the fundamental logic for proper lighting in retail depending on color schemes.

How does a retailer make color work for his or her store? The preference for color schemes will have a considerable impact on the kind of consumers retailers can attract. And, lighting will influence these color formats.

Analyzing Colors in Retail Environments

It is necessary to analyze the use of colors for you to understand better the concept of lighting and colors in retail.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Be careful about the use of spotlights, skylights, track lighting, and neon signage. All these shape color decisions.
  • Never look at any color for more than five seconds at one time while making your analysis. The human brain balances color distinction perceived by the eye after several seconds.
  • Refrain from standing under direct sunlight because it affects the capacity of your eyes to see further than the luster of any matter to the color.
  • Colors that match under natural daylight and indoor luminosity can have attributes of Metamerism. In colorimetry, Metamerism refers to harmony of noticeable colors without complementing their ethereal power distribution. Shades that will have issues in Metamerism include blue, gray, lavender, beige, pale green, and, tan.

The use of incandescent lamps (standard household bulbs) can be advantageous. Take the case of customers who buy goods in stores using white fluorescent lights. Some of them express dissatisfaction the following day. An incandescent lamp gives the buyer a practical idea of how the color looks like while ordering and before the product is brought home. This is a good example of the value of lighting and colors in retail.

Functional Use of Colors

Cool shades like white, purple, blue, and green foster feelings of serenity and entertainment. Shops that use these colors aim to encourage their customers to think longer and look through the merchandise with awareness. These buyers are more patient while queuing. On the contrary, retailers who choose bold colors like red are likely to make buyers feel more impatient and often anxious. Yet, it can also generate a feeling of eagerness that compels them to make purchases.

In the end, the application of lighting and colors in retail is not simply to develop the appropriate atmosphere in any store. These are also designed for functionality. Zoning makes things easier for the public to comprehend the layout and locate products. Zoning means use of color blocks for different sections or divisions. Zoning by colors can be applied seasonally. For instance, yellow is perfect for emphasizing sun care items in summer while green is ideal for holiday displays. Yet, it is important to treat color segregation wisely. Too many shades can confuse your customers and drive them away.


To sum up, lighting and colors in retail can influence the public’s buying behavior and emotions. The retail person must understand the essentials of color psychology allowing them to design spaces that will maximize their opportunities and potentials.  Colors and lights elicit similar emotional reactions in almost all people. However, there is no universal truth regarding them. Previous experiences can also impact their feelings. Dislike of a certain color can dictate on the buyer not to buy a certain trademark. These are fundamental generalizations about how colors suggest behavioral reactions. Retailers must take note of these overviews.