• 15-11-2021

Retail Lighting Design Guide

Overview of retail lighting

With the invention of LED lighting and it, the role of lighting design in a retail environment has changed dramatically too.

Lighting has evolved into much more than a functional role it used to be, it has evolved into one that evokes and instill emotionstogether with other factors such as decorations, sales promotions and ambient scent – to enhance consumers’ shopping experience.

In this competitive retail market, not only are retailers competing against each other, they are competing against retailers on the internet too. With such high level of competition, how can one entice and leave a lasting impression on the minds of consumers – both new and existing –  to make their first step or a repeat visit to the store.

In a brick-and-mortar store where shoppers can physically experience and emotionally connect with a brand, every subtle details counts in converting a walk-in customer into actual buyer of your products, and a good retail lighting design may just be the solution to enhance consumers’ mood and boost profits.

A retail store’s lighting design is a reflection of a brand’s identity and the message that it wants to convey to consumers.

As such the first step is to understand the brand’s identity and message, and then define the shopper’s experience with questions such as:

  • What do I want the customer to feel?
  • Is the business a fast fashion retailer that focus on affordable and trendy apparels?
  • Is it a mid-luxury or luxury brand that seek to evoke a sense of sophistication, warmth and coziness when shoppers step into the store?

Once we have identified the identity and the message of each business, we can then proceed on to design the lighting that will best suit the business.

Approaches to retail lighting

A good lighting scheme will have various layers of light, used to highlight and illuminate different areas of a store. Read on to find out the different lighting concept that one can utilized in creating a unique light setup for your business. 

General lighting

(Ambient light) – Acts as the base of all lighting in a space. The color temperature of general lighting will translate to the mood and message that the brand would like to convey.

A warm color temperature (3000K or 4200K) evoke a sense of warmth, sophistication, coziness and a state of relaxation. Which is commonly found in mid-luxury to luxury retailers offering products with a higher price point.

Whereas a cool color temperature (6500K) evoke a refresh, airy and clean environment. Which is commonly found in fast fashion and sporting goods retailers.


Accent lighting

Accent lighting is designed to provide additional illuminance on some areas so as to emphasize specific merchandise on display and to provide a meaningful variation in brightness and shadow throughout the store.

If done correctly, accent lighting can guide shoppers through the shop and draw their attention to the merchandise on display. 

Whatever the form of accent lighting, some flexibility is required. This is because the nature and aiming of accent lighting will depend on the merchandise to be accented. As the nature and layout of the merchandise changes, the accent lighting will need to change to best complement the merchandise on display. 

The effects of accent lighting are usually achieved with track lights or adjustable downlights, such light fixtures usually have a strong focus and narrower beam of light and it offers users the flexibility to direct light freely as and when required. 

Features/Decorative lighting

Illuminating display cases, wall lights and customized lighting solutions are some additional form of lighting to consider, as it has the ability to add a touch of uniqueness and draws attention into the space. This layer of lighting can also be used to represent a brand and give it character that is unique to the brand.


Crucial areas to illuminate

There are moments where one tend to downplay the importance of a certain area, but no area of a retail space should be neglected. Every corner of a retail store is essential in ensuring the success of a brand and boosting sales.

Window displays

Window displays are a business’s first point of visual contact. It offers insight to shoppers who are unaware of what your business is, or to complement other ongoing marketing campaign.

For many businesses, this could be the first step in attracting customers to visit your store and potentially turn it into actual sales.

Track lights are a great way to illuminate window displays as it offers users the flexibility in altering the direction of light, and add or remove track lights with ease, to suit the current window display setup.

Coupled with the appropriate light level and marketing campaign, this might just the be start in attracting throng of shoppers to step into the store.

Changing rooms / Fitting rooms

Virtually no area of your store is as crucial for sales success as the fitting rooms. How come? Because it’s generally here that the customer makes a decision on whether to buy an item – or not. Poor lighting in fitting rooms can quickly dampen their enthusiasm for shopping.

Hence, lighting for a changing room should help both men and women to look good and feel good about themselves, presenting the face and body in a flattering manner. 

Start building your lighting design plan

Still feeling skeptical about what you just read, take a read at this article and understand how lighting is extremely important in changing room. 

We hope after reading this article, it provides you with the foundational knowledge in understanding the importance of retail lighting. 

All-in-all lighting plays a large part in retail lighting design, as an ill-fitting light setup will throw shoppers off and in turn leave them feeling frustrated and leave the store empty handed. A successful lighting schemes will help increase brand awareness and encourage sales. 

We understand the importance of retail lighting and how businesses will stand to benefit from it, hence we always believe in working together with our clients to work towards in tailoring to the needs and requirements of each client.

Contact Paragon today for a free lighting design service and create the ideal retail lighting of your choice with LED lighting.