Monday, June 25, 2018

What Does the Future of Retail Lighting Look Like?

What Does the Future of Retail Lighting Look Like?

As consumer behavior continues to evolve and shift toward the digital, the effects on brick-and-mortar stores become clear. But instead of resigning to these changes and any negative impact on your store, there are ways retail store owners can work with these changes to attract consumers--and that includes store lighting.

Today, an estimated 60% of all shopping is influenced by digital experiences, whether it’s shopping online or using an AI assistant or other online service. Despite this, it’s important to remember that certain aspects of shopping in a store will never be able to be recreated digitally. The new face of retail is about blending the digital and the physical. Embracing these new technologies adds to consumers’ experiences keeps them shopping in-store rather than driving sales online. Your store’s experience should strike a balance between the digital and the physical, helping entice more modern-minded consumers without intimidating older or more traditional consumers.

As consumer behavior has shifted, so has a shift in how retail spaces market themselves to consumers and the importance of offering differentiated experiences to shoppers. An increased emphasis on retail spaces as community spaces has emerged, and lighting plays a huge role in making those spaces look interesting and inviting. Draw customers in with attractive lighting and signage that establishes your brand identity, and keep your lighting design fresh to keep customers coming back. Changing lighting to suit the different seasons or accent new displays or highlight products keeps the shopper’s experience new and exciting.

As previously mentioned on this blog, using LED lighting with indoor positioning heightens the shopper’s experience by connecting to a smartphone app. This lighting can track the shopper’s position in the store and be used to help them shop more efficiently and enhance their experience by drawing their attention to sales or products they may be interested in. This data can be invaluable to better understanding your customers’ in-store habits and making sure your store is working to suit their needs and behaviors by stocking the products they’re looking for, making sure your lighting guides their journey through the store and more.

Regardless of the technologies currently in place, technology that augments how we shop isn’t going away any time soon, and new tools and services will continue to come and go. It’s important that your store--including your lighting design--embraces these changes to continue to add value for your customers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Why Lighting is Important for Your Store’s Branding

Why Lighting is Important for Your Store’s Branding

On this blog, the idea that your store’s lighting design shouldn’t be an afterthought is well-established. But, more than that, your lighting design is essential to establish your store’s brand, which can enhance customers’ experiences, keep them coming back or even draw them into your store in the first place.

Your store’s lighting creates an atmosphere and impacts shoppers’ experiences and can affect a shopper’s mood and perception of your products. A recent study by Lux claims that a fashion retailer in Germany saw its sales increase by roughly 12% compared to another comparable store after it installed new lighting designed to appeal to the personality profile of its target customers.

To establish the right kind of atmospheric lighting, first think about how you want customers to feel in your store. Your lighting color temperature plays a major role in this. Warmer temperatures are calming, inviting and relaxing, while cool, white light energize and increase alertness.

The lighting fixtures themselves, and not just the lighting they emit, also affect your store’s atmosphere. More eclectic and elaborate fixtures paint a different picture than modern, sleek track lighting.  

You should continue to follow good store lighting practices while considering how your lighting can establish your store’s brand, including varying your lighting styles, balancing lighting contrast and accenting focal points,

Finding the right lighting design and branding can be a trial and error process, and you may need to try a few different approaches before you get it right, but rest assured, it’s an investment in your store’s future, and one your customers will appreciate.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

LED Lighting Can Help Grocery Stores Make (and Save) More Money

There’s no doubt that grocery store lighting, like the lighting in any other commercial setting, makes an impact on customers. But just how big of an impact can it have, and is it a worthwhile investment? Because of the additional cost, switching to LED lighting in particular is an investment, and can be a hard sell in an industry like grocery with such tight margins, but it’s an investment that pays dividends in a number of ways. In some instances, LED lighting can pay for that cost difference in terms of maintenance and energy savings in just a few years. LED lighting requires 90 percent less energy than incandescent lights and is 50 percent more efficient than fluorescent T8 tubes, and they typically last more than 10 years.

Not only does a switch to LED lighting deliver well-documented savings in the form of energy use, research has shown that in supermarkets where half of the store was lit with LED lighting and the other half with fluorescent lighting, the LED-lit portion of the store sold 2% more products per customer over the 21-week study period.

Research shows that younger generations of shoppers tend to do most of their shopping in the fresh and prepared food sections, forcing grocers to look for ways to place more emphasis on foods from the center store aisles. Especially in these center aisles, grocery stores have a specific challenge in making sure lighting is bright and even vertically so that products on each shelf, top to bottom, are well-lit. Brighter, more even lighting makes products look more attractive and easier to read—especially for older shoppers.

More advanced LED lighting solutions can also unobtrusively collect data using customer’s phones. By downloading the retailer’s app, the lights can send signals to shoppers’ smartphones, tracking their location in the store. If users enable location services, the app can help them locate their position in the store and find products they’re looking for, increasing sales. The app can also push coupons to shoppers’ phones to incentivize purchases when they’re in certain aisles or departments. This data collection also lets managers to more closely monitor the store’s occupancy and traffic patterns, allowing them to better schedule staff.

Find more on City Lighting Products' social channels!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

What is Lighting Temperature and How Can It Affect Your Business?

With the advent of LED lighting comes a consideration that wasn’t relevant in the era of incandescent bulbs: what color temperature should your lighting be?
First, what is color temperature?  
Color temperature refers to the appearance of a particular light. Incandescent bulbs emit a warmer, yellowish light, similar to candlelight. With LED lights, temperatures can be cool or warm. If you prefer the warmer light of an incandescent bulb, you can still get the same sort of lighting from an LED bulb—with the added benefit of a bulb that is more durable and energy efficient. 
Unlike temperatures relating to weather, the higher the lighting temperature, the cooler the light is, and the more directly it imitates pure sunlight. Color temperatures range in number from about 2,000 degrees Kelvin (K), which resembles the warm light of a candle, to about 6,000K, which resembles the bright, cool white of sunlight. Natural white, cool white, and warm white temperatures fall between the two extremes.

So now that you know what lighting temperatures are, what do they do? And what effect can they have on your business?  
Like everything else in your space, you’ll want to match your lighting temperature to the feel and function of your space. In general, warmer temperatures are calming, inviting and relaxing, while cooler temperatures can enhance concentration and alertness. The pleasing glow of a warm light might be right for your restaurant, coffee shop or spa, while cooler, white light might be better for your office space. Cooler lighting, and lighting that more closely resembles daylight, is also recommended for task lighting and display areas, and might work better in a retail setting. 

While they sound similar, a bulb’s color temperature is not the same as a bulb’s Color Rendering Index (CRI). The CRI refers to a bulb’s ability to render colors accurately, which is especially important if you’re lighting a space for artwork, factory production, printing or photography.
The temperature of a room's lighting can also affect how people perceive the actual temperature in the room. Warmer lighting temperatures can cause people to think the room is warmer than it actually is, and cooler lighting temperatures can cause people to perceive the temperature as cooler. Making a swap for the hot and cold seasons can cause customers or employees to feel warmer when it's cold outside and cooler when it's hot outside, which improves their mood and also can help you save on your heating and cooling.

Find more on City Lighting Products' social channels!


(The Lightbulb Company, Forbes)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Spring into new lighting.

Whether you’re changing out your product displays, your seasonal menu, or otherwise embracing the change in seasons, there are a few ways you can bring spring indoors, including changes to your lighting design.

Reevaluate your accent lighting
If you have a retail space and you’re changing out displays for the season, you’ll most likely need to change up your accent lighting to better accentuate new displays or products. If changing out displays and locations in your store is something you do often, you may want to consider whether your current accent lighting setup is working for you. Track lighting can help if you’re often moving displays and need to adjust lighting.


Add plants
What would spring be without the return of green and blooming plants? Adding plants, whether they’re natural or artificial, to your space can help bring the look and feel of spring inside. If you decide to add plants, or perhaps already have plants, adding accent lighting, such as spotlights, can emphasize these natural elements and mimic the effect of sunlight passing through the greenery outside.

Add mirrors
Now that winter has left us, your space might be getting a lot more natural light. Although they’re not technically a lighting fixture, installing a few strategically placed mirrors can help reflect more light, artificial or natural, throughout your space. Mirrors are a great quick, low-cost solution—and they can be as long-term or short-term a solution as you’d like. For example, in the summer, you might find that reflecting extra sunlight into your space can make it significantly warmer (in terms of atmospheric temperature, not lighting temperature) and negatively impact your cooling costs, in which case the mirrors can be easily removed.

Add an LED skylight
If your space doesn’t get a lot of, or any, natural light, or if you’d like to add the feel of natural light, consider installing LED skylights. If you’d like to add the look and feel of a skylight to your space, but for whatever reason don’t have the capability of installing them in your building, installing LED skylights instead can be a good way to achieve a similar look and feel without altering your building. These panels are LED projectors that emit white light in a spectrum that mimics the sun’s output. Typically, the color temperature and brightness can be controlled with a remote or switch. Sunlight, and lighting that mimics it, has been shown to be beneficial for health, and keep your employees and customers feeling cheerful. And, because the “skylight” panels are LED powered, they’re designed to last three times longer than fluorescent tube light bulbs.

Find more on City Lighting Products' social channels!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Light Up Your Patient Satisfaction Scores

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is the first standardized, publicly reported survey of patient’s perspectives of hospital care. First introduced to the public in 2008, it was intended to help consumers compare the quality of healthcare providers and improve the conditions and transparency inside these facilities. Patients are asked about staff’s responsiveness to needs, quality of care and communication, cleanliness, quietness, and more.
Fast forward seven years later and only roughly 13% of U.S. hospitals received the highest score (5 stars) on the new rating system introduced by the CMS. Out of around 3,500 facilities, 101 received one star, 582 received two-stars, 1,414 received three-stars, 1,205 received four-stars, and 251 received five-stars. 

In 2018, patient satisfaction has only grown more vital for the success of a healthcare facility and staff. Patient quality perception has become a top priority for healthcare leaders with negative word of mouth potentially costing $6,000 - $400,000 in lost healthcare revenues over one patient’s lifetime. 

On the brighter note, satisfied patients result in more individuals following treatment plans, returning to the same facility for future needs, lowered risk of being named in lawsuits, and either improving or educating the reasoning behind unpopular patient processes.

How can lighting help healthcare services save time, money, jobs, and increase survey results?

A study comparing patient-satisfaction forms with staff performance showed a better nurse work environment associated with higher scores on every single survey question. Professionally installed lighting can improve these environments through reducing errors, lowering stress levels in the operating room, increasing sense of security for visitors and staff, boosting overall morale, and can even better the cleaning quality by maintenance staff.

Effective lighting can also decrease length of hospital stays, improve the sleep quality of patients, reduce depression, enable critical chemical reactions in the body, and more. To learn more about these impacts, read our latest blog.

 In conclusion, the success of your practice relies heavily on patient satisfaction, so we'll leave you with this: How are you going to ensure that your hospital’s score reflects the quality of its services?

Let City Lighting Products help you begin answering that question today.

Find more on City Lighting Products' social channels!

(Source: Modern Healthcare, CMS, The Altantic, The Medical Memory, and BDC Network)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Healthcare professionals - this one's for you.

Lit up hospital hallway 
It’s simple, really. 

Patients can’t function without proper medical facilities.
Medical facilities can’t function without its staff. 
Its staff can’t function without adequate lighting.

Each element directly impacting the others.

The hustle and bustle inside hospitals and other healthcare facilities never ceases. Always expected to deliver the highest performance of work, these individuals carry heavy expectations with little to no room for error. Along with proper education, regular sleep regiment, a healthy lifestyle, and commitment to their career, effective lighting can directly impact the health of a hospital’s staff as well as its patients. In fact, it’s actually a critical component for successful healthcare facility. 

How so, you may ask?

Various studies have been conducted in which reveal the connection lighting has on the impact of human health and performance in healthcare settings. Here are some of the findings that reveal the positive results of lighting: 
Effective lighting can provide better performance of visual tasks 1. Enables critical chemical reactions in the body

Sufficient lighting helps provide appropriate levels of Vitamin D to staff and patients. Exposure to light is critical for Vitamin D metabolism in the human body. Light radiation is absorbed directly by the body through the skin and stimulates chemical reactions in the blood and other tissues. 

2. Better performance of visual tasks 

Healthcare professionals have a variety of visual tasks to complete throughout their shift. Whether it’s charting, filling prescriptions, administering medication, or performing other critical patient-care tasks, specific-utility lighting is vital to produce the best results. 
LED lighting provides more temperature control and regulation 
3. Thermal management

Temperature is another factor that impacts the performance inside a hospital. These facilities need to be closely temperature-controlled to ensure the best environment for patients. With LED lighting, less heat is emitted and can be dialed into to maintain balance.

4. Improves adjustment to night-shift work among staff

Healthcare professionals typically have a much different scheduling than the typical 8-5. Therefore, their bodies must adapt to a different sleeping cycle to re-energize. Staff on the late night/early morning shifts are susceptible to decreased alertness, performance, and vigilance. Effective lighting is connected to helping staff carry themselves throughout the entirety of their workday. 
Consistent bright lighting can help reduce depression and make the long, strange hours more manageable.
5. Lowers pain and alters mood

Appropriate amount of lighting is connected to reduces a patient’s physical pain as well as their psychological state.

6. Reduces depression among patients

For most individuals, hospitals are not the ideal place to spend a large amount of time. Therefore, patients can become lonely, discouraged, and even depressed. Connected to the aforementioned benefit, lighting is directly correlated to reducing these negative states among patients. 

7. Improving sleep and circadian rhythm

It may seem strange that the presence of light improves sleep quality, as most prefer sleeping in the dark. However, the light that falls on the retina controls the body’s circadian rhythm, which is responsible for synchronizing the body’s internal clock. Individuals consistently exposed to artificial bright lights have experienced substantial changes in sleep quality. 
Lighting can also shorten hospital stays and lessen agitation for dementia.  
8. Lessening agitation for dementia patients

Disruptive behavior of patients suffering from dementia is proven to significantly drop for residents that received constant light levels. Studies also show that exposure to bright lights in the morning reduce agitation, specifically for elderly dementia patients. 

9. Decreases length of hospital stay

Lastly, lighting was connected to how long individuals had to remain in healthcare facilities. Studies showed shorter stays for both males and females who underwent treatment in brightly lit rooms.

Despite these additional benefits, the overall advantage of having appropriate lighting in a high-risk work environment such as a hospital is plain to see. No matter the industry, effective lighting means a better working environment. With creating a custom LED lighting design, your business can have greater control, efficiency, and reliability. Our designers can consult with your business on specific elements your hospital needs and then can create a plan that saves money and improves quality.

So, healthcare professionals, when asking how you can better the lives of your staff and patients, take your facility’s lighting plan into consideration; and when you’re ready, we’ll be here to help. 

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(Source: The Center of Health Design and Sib Lighting)