The importance of the right retail lighting is becoming an emerging issue for retailers across the globe. It has become an important branding tool and a vital part in driving sales and preserving the ‘look and feel’ aspect of retailing.
According to Joerg Krewinkel, Lighting designer, who creates lighting concepts all over the world and knows his way around lighting trends,
Interactive lighting is an emerging topic. There will be active, dynamic solutions in shop windows, since today apps make handling easier. The use of light in stores is also going to change. The illumination level is no longer highlighted, but in the future, it will be more about contrasting areas in the store.’ He also adds that an upcoming lighting trend would be, ‘light moving closer to the products, so that they disappear less in diffuse lighting.
Retail Lighting Trends
Connected lighting is the next big thing for retailers which is all about connecting dimmers and sensors to communicate with other devices. Using light to guide customers around stores and send them special offers on products they are looking at, for example, the super accurate positioning systems powered by LED lights. Each light carry a unique code which is used by phones to pinpoint its position.
GE and Qualcomm Atheros have announced a collaboration to bring indoor positioning technology to major retailers. According to them,
It will allow retailers to pinpoint shopper’s locations and use mobile apps to personalize the in-store experience. Technology embedded in new GE commercial LED bulbs creates unique pulse patterns to talk to shopper’s smartphones and tablets. This high-accuracy, real-time connection will allow retailers to combine contextual information with location to create revolutionary new tools such as indoor navigation, infinite aisle, suggested items, product information, and special offers or coupons to those who opt in and download the retailer’s app.
Branding with Light
Retailers are now reinventing their physical stores using light. Research show that lighting is one of the most effective ways to become distinctive and recognisable and it is becoming part of what makes brands what they are.
According to Hendrik Lenfers, Guttenberger + partner,
While it is important for the store area to create a good ambience, he states that the trend in illuminated signage right now is to create emphasis that is striking, but still fits into a harmonious overall concept.
Quality is key
The cost of lighting can prove to be expensive for retailers but they cannot afford the risk of getting it wrong. Trying to save money on energy and maintenance can prove to be detrimental to the business as poor and cheap quality lighting portray a negative perception on the product and the overall store as a whole.
Many retailers are now opting for good quality LED lighting systems. The retail industry is set to welcome a revolutionary new LED light bought out by Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura. The new LED light will not only render colours better but opens up the possibility for a longer lifespan and greater efficiency.
A wonder material known as ‘du jour graphene’ is also set to revolutionise the world of LEDs. The material is also to be used in products ranging from phones, building to water filters. According to researchers at the University of Manchester,
Graphene’s high conductivity will make for brighter, longer-lasting and more efficient sources, and they hope to have a graphene LED lamp on the market soon.