Let There Be Sales: Top Tips for Retail Store Lighting

Top tips for retail store lighting

Human-centric retail store lighting boosts sales by up to 28%, as it encourages shoppers to stay longer in store and highlights key products to boost impulse buys.

The lighting design of your store has a greater impact on your staff, too. Task-based lighting surrounding checkouts, for example, impacts productivity. If it’s too bright, or too dim, your staff will struggle to maintain an effective output.

Here’s the lowdown on everything you need to consider to create an interesting, effective, and sales-boosting lighting design for your store.

Choose the Right Bulb Type

There are four types of bulb available for retail lighting. Each has benefits and disadvantages – here’s how to decide which ones you need to include in your store lighting design.

Fluorescent Bulbs

Fluorescent lighting is usually seen in strips or ceiling panels. It is commonly used in grocery stores but doesn’t lend itself to most other types of store.

The bright light is a low-cost way to cast a wide-angle luminescence in a shop environment. However, it can’t be dimmed like other bulb types and can be hard on the eye

Incandescent Bulbs

Traditional light bulbs are called incandescents. A filament heats up in the center of the bulb to create a glow. This glow, when the right type of incandescent bulb is used, is dimmable to the desired level.

However, incandescent bulbs are less energy-efficient than other options, as they radiate significant amounts of excess heat. They also have a short lifespan, so while the bulbs are cheaper you’ll spend more on them in the longer term.

Halogen Bulbs

Halogen bulbs are similar to incandescent bulbs but are more energy efficient. The light is dimmable and produces a warm and inviting glow.

Halogen bulbs, however, have a shorter life span than other options such as LED lights.

LED Bulbs

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are the latest in retail lighting. The energy-efficient, cost-effective appeal of LED lighting is compounded by the wide variety of color and visual warmth available.

LEDs for retail environments come in strip or panel lights, as well as spotlights to create accent areas. The higher initial investment of LED bulbs is outweighed by their energy efficiency and exceptionally long lifespan.

Types of Retail Store Lighting to Include in Your Design

As well as considering the best bulb type for your store, it’s important to think about the areas you need to light. You may find that some areas require different bulbs, depending on the desired outcome.

Task-Related Lights

Task-related lights positioned in key staff areas, such as the checkout or information points, need to be bright yet easy on the eye.

Your staff works in these areas for hours on end, so it’s essential that the light provided is clear, without excessive heat production, and lasts for a long time.

LED bulbs are suitable for task areas, due to their long lifespan, consistency of luminescence, and minimal heat production. 

Ambient Lighting

Soft, warm lighting that pools with no defined edge creates an inviting atmosphere. It’s best used for lighting general areas such as walkways and storefronts for safety reasons.

Your ambient lighting will depend on your product. If you sell items that customers want to read information about, such as cosmetics or toys, your general lighting needs to be bright. A cafe area, on the other hand, needs softer ambient lighting that doesn’t create a glare.

Decorative Lighting

Decorative lighting lets you have fun: it’s purely an ornamental asset. From neon signs to seasonal string lights, decorative lighting is easy to switch up to match your retail displays.

Soft, bright, or colored lighting all help to create a visual feast with light. Play around with different types of decorative lighting in areas of your store to create fun displays.

Accent Spotlights

Accent spotlights do exactly what the term suggests: they highlight products and retail displays to draw customers in.

LED spotlights are ideal for pinpointing selected products on shelves or to light up promotional displays. Accent lights can be bright, colored or white, directional lights that lead the eye to a product or area.

5 Tips for Increasing Sales with Savvy Lighting Design

You know about bulbs and about the different tasks of lighting. Now, it’s time to learn how to bring it all together to create an engaging and sales-boosting atmosphere in your store.

1. Light Walkways at Floor Level

Overhead lighting creates a general ambiance, but to really lead your customers to the best buys, consider lighting pathways for them.

Low-level floor lighting creates a lit walkway that guides customers through the store. It helps with the flow of movement, too, so customers will feel happier as they no longer feel like they’re moving against the crowd.

LED strip lighting is an ideal way to create a subtle pathway to guide your customers in the right direction. You could also consider ground lighting to create uplights for promotional display areas, too.

2. Play with Color

Rather than sticking with bright white or warm white, have fun with color. Use colored lights to signify different areas of your store, or as part of visual merchandising displays. 

Window displays work well with a variety of color, too. Imagine a sea scene with blues and greens, a Halloween window display with orange and red, or wedding scenes with romantic pinks. 

3. Use Backlights for Emphasis

As much as you want to highlight every product in your store, that’s just not an effective lighting strategy. Instead, use ambient backlit panels behind shelves to create a subtle emphasis on product ranges without harsh spotlights.

This creates a softer glow around products, yet still has a visual appeal to draw the customer in. 

4. Direct Customers with Spotlights

Spotlighting is a perfect way to create subtle – yet effective – ways to direct customers towards your key products. 

Angle spotlights from each direction onto your promotional display or product of the week. This will help the area or product to stand out even against ambient and floor-level lighting.

5. Create Contrast and Texture

If everything is brightly lit, your customers will soon get bored. They won’t know which products to look at first and may even face analysis paralysis.

The use of darker areas, shadows, and textured lighting will create a visual feast for your customers. As well as floor lighting and spotlights, consider using lights as signage too.

Custom stencils, known as gobos, fitted to lights are an easy way to do this. The stencil throws a shadow on the floor or wall, allowing you to light up the area with words, a logo, or a textured pattern. This is a cost-effective way to regularly change up your displays, too.

Research LED Lighting Products for Your Store

Retail store lighting is such an important element for sales and staff productivity, it’s essential you take great care with your design plans.

LED lighting is the most flexible, energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly way to light so many areas of your store. From spotlights to ambient backlights, LEDs have a wide range of functions.

Buy your retail lighting from a trusted source: order our catalog today to check out the latest in LED lighting products for your store.