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Retail Lighting

The retail industry looks quite different today than it did years ago. As more and more consumers purchasing decisions are being influenced by social media, smartphones, online retailers, convenience of home delivery and so on. Industry experts fear that this shift can lead to the end of physical retail stores in the next couple of years. The need to make a drastic change to the way these physical stores operate was inevitable to secure its future.


An emerging trend that has proven to redefine the physical retail industry is the use of lighting. According to Mihaly Bartha, Head of Lighting at GPStudio,

Lighting has a direct influence on our mood, with 80% of the sensory information the brain receives coming from our eyes. Lighting highlights architectural elements, product qualities and creates virtual spaces – impacting how we feel, what we think of a product, and ultimately the choice of whether to purchase or not.


Lighting is fast becoming a means to communicate the retailers brand image to the consumer. In a joint case study conducted by Zumtobel, Royal Institute of Technology and Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, entitled ‘Attention, attractiveness and perception mediated by lighting in retail spaces’, showed that lighting influenced consumer’s decisions and preferences and came to eight key conclusions:

  1. Instead of using increased brightness in stores and using more energy consumption, it is best to design lighting that is high in contrast, making perception easier and increasing the level of attention.
  2. Diffuse general lighting ensures a personal sense of wellbeing. Vertical lighting allows easier orientation in a room and delimits the periphery of a space.
  3. Cool colour temperature like white make areas appear bigger and spacious compared to warm colour temperature which creates the opposite effect. Intermediate white light extends the amount of time customers spend in a store.
  4. There is a preference for various light colours even within a single lighting concept, therefore different colour temperatures should be intentionally installed across general lighting and vertical lighting.
  5. Consumers tend to have difference in perception. Men take in a broad overview of a store whereas women look at details. Hence, it is important to adapt the direction of light, light colour and the intensity.
  6. The store windows are the first point of contact so accent lighting on the products in addition to daylight is important. In the evenings, low lighting such as ambient lighting is sufficient enough to attract attention.
  7. The lower levels of shelves in stores go relatively unnoticed, therefore targeted accent lighting or dynamic lighting in the lower shelves brings attention and hence boosts sales. Shelf integrated lighting works best at all levels.
  8. The positioning of lights on shelves is also important. A combination of wide area backlighting and accent lighting produces better and easier identification and makes the display much more attractive.

Dr Hans-Georg Häusel of Gruppe Nymphenburg , Brand and Retail Experts explains that,

Again and again we find that the importance of lighting at the point of sale is dramatically underestimated. Instead, the focus is on fancy packaging and shop design. But actually, the goods on display will only touch people’s emotions if they are presented in the right light.


To find out about how Display Lighting can help please see our range of retail lighting.
We will also be at this years Retail Design Expo so if you are attending please come and say hello!