When you think about the most important features when it comes to exposing your brand to the general public I bet the first thing that comes to your mind as a retailer is the quality of your products. Am I right? Well, it is perfectly logical and, in a way, completely true, but there’s more than meets the eye; and that thing is the lighting. Think about putting up a show. You have the actors and the props but how it would be like without the right lighting fixtures?

You may think this is the type of stuff engineers and electricians should know. You just want to sell your products. Well, follow me as I am going to present you a few types of light bulbs and tricks that will transform your store into the perfectly directed scene.

There are 4 main types of light bulbs used in retail lighting, each with their individual characteristics and purposes. Choose the ideal one, depending on your business, and let them do their magic.

#1. Incandescent: bright as the sun, but energy consuming

This kind of light bulb may seem the way to go, as they are not very expensive, as a matter of fact the cheapest kind all, and also the light that they produce is clear and bright. They are generally used in homes and offices but when it comes to stores you need to be very careful in the way you display and use them. Their life span is not very long and the amount of energy they consume may not be very pleasant to be read on the bill.

Taking all that into consideration, my advice is to use them in small and sparse areas, to draw attention to particular products that you want to pop up and be really visible to your clients. Use your imagination, as they come in different colors and brightness, so pay attention how you mix and match.

Best used in: jewelry showcases, clothing shops (for mannequins displays in shop windows), supermarket aisles for different items on sale.

#2. Halogen: a modern version of the incandescent light bulb

You may look at it as the younger and cooler brother of the incandescent light bulb. They share the same characteristics used in similar, distinct manners, for specific lighting needs such as checkout area and display lighting. Not the ideal way to go, but very efficient when you want to catch the eye of your customers.

Best used in: jewelry showcases, clothing shops (for mannequins displays in shop windows), supermarket aisles for different items on sale.

#3. Fluorescent/CFL: efficient and eco-friendly

If you want brightness but you want to protect the environment at the same time, the fluorescent light is the right choice. You get the same level of efficiency as the incandescent one but with less waste of energy. In fact they last longer while producing the same amount of light. They do not come in various colors but their white light is enough to brighten up any kind of store.

The only inconvenience would be their size, as they are bigger than the usual light bulb and the price to install them. But, as they consume less, you will get your money back in the long run. CFL’s are an updated version of the fluorescent lights, that are even more energy efficient and longer lasting.

Best used in: supermarkets, clothing and footwear shops, libraries, furniture shops

#4. LED: all the others in one

Rather new to the market, LED lighting might seem the ideal choice, as it offers everything you are looking for in a light bulb: variety, efficiency and low costs (when it comes to both energy and money). There are a lot of advantages when we come to analyze LED’s: Firstly, you save a tremendous amount of energy in comparison with the incandescent ones for example, they are small and easy to install, therefore more feasible than the fluorescent light bulbs, and, to top it all, they come in different types of colors. What is not to like, right?

Well, I am sorry to disappoint you, but there are a few inconveniences. The biggest of them being the price, as they are more expensive to buy than all the other options available. But it is said their prices will drop in the future, so there is good news. Another disadvantage would be their overall performance as they are, like I said, a new discovery in the lighting industry. Taking all this into consideration, I believe it is worth the cost as you will gain your money back, risking a little bit is part of the job.

Best used in: pretty much any type of retail store you own, as they meet any demand.

To sum it all up and to retain easier:

  • Incandescent

PROS: very bright light, cheap to purchase, easy to install, variety in colors

CONS: damn expensive when it comes to the amount of energy consumed

  • Halogen

PROS: very bright light, cheap to purchase, easy to install, variety in colors

CONS: as energy wasteful as the incandescent ones

  • Fluorescent/CFL

PROS: bright light, saves a lot of energy

CONS: few colors, more expensive to purchase and install

  • LED

PROS: bright light, saves energy, color variation

CONS: more expensive to buy and install

Now that you know all this, think carefully and make the choice that suits your ideas, preferences, budget and of course, type of retail store you own.