Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Retail Display Lighting Techniques

Retail is such an integral part of any economy, and as a result, it has its own supporting services sector. Lighting design consultancy forms an important part in retail, and the right lighting design and techniques could be the difference from customers buying products for your store or going somewhere else.

There are three solid techniques that can be applied to all types of display lighting. Regardless of application, the brighter the average illumination and more uniform the lighting, the less ‘exclusive’ is the brand image. Just think: What’s the difference between grabbing a burger at a chain restaurant compared to a small, expensive restaurant. The difference in lighting is one of the main things that comes to mind.

Retail lighting is much more varied than in other sectors, or guidance can only be given in the most general terms. You are better off to hire professionals to help with your lighting needs.

A great rule of thumb to consider when lighting your retail business is to use the layering technique. Build up the overall design of your store by using different methods of lighting. This could include spotlighting things on sale, extra illumination near stairs or at the payment counter, etc. By doing this, use the three methods below as a key for reference.


Panel lighting is a very popular way to provide good, overall lighting in a retail space. It’s ideal in terms of watts per square meter, and the color temperature is consistent throughout the store. If you want energy-efficient, uniform, functional lighting, this is it. The only decision you will have to make is the lux level you want.


Opposite from plain lighting, dramatic lighting uses narrow-angle track spotlights and medium beam gimbal fittings. Even though the average horizontal illumination is just a tad less, the effect is completely different. The gimbals provide background illumination but the impact obviously comes from the narrow angle spotlights focused on the objects on display. It’s much more interesting. All spotlights can be aimed, so it’s much more flexible and can be changed with the store’s layout.

This option also has disadvantaged. Spotlights need to be aimed correctly. If it’s not, it may create an unnecessary glare for customers. Also, the electrical load is much higher than plain knighting.


Balanced combines both plain and dramatic lighting together for the perfect look. It retains the flexibility dramatic lighting by using the spotlights, but instead uses panels for overall illuminations. It creates a degree of highlighting on the merchandise and the lighting can be adjusted for store layout changes.

An aspect to keep an eye out for is the color temperature of the luminaires. Some shops go for cool background lighting and warmer spotlighting, further drawing the customer to specific items. 

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(Source: LUX)

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