Monday, 16 May 2016

LEADING LIGHT...

Did you know, we humans are a bit like moths, attracted to the light. When you put this into the context of a retail store you will understand how important good lighting is to highlight merchandise and influence customer flow.

In my humble opinion, good lighting should come above everything else when it comes to the design of your shop interior and windows. The shop is your stage and, as in the theatre, lighting can transform even the starkest and most unimaginably boring space into something dramatic and full of life. Of course, one big advantage of traditional theatre is the starting point is a dark box. It's relatively easy to light a shop interior or shop window at nighttime but in the cool light of day things can be a little bit more tricky. IKEA spotlights just won’t cut it!

Unfortunately, for many smaller retailers, lighting is usually way down the list when it comes to spending money on their shop interior. And, if your shop is flooded with natural daylight you will probably need to invest more money in good quality lighting to achieve any real effect. The last thing you want is a blanket of flat light; even some of the better supermarkets have stopped doing this.

When it comes to merchandise, lighting can raise the profile of a product, bring out the colour and texture and, make it desirable. Well designed lighting will set the scene, create atmosphere, make the space feel bigger, more intimate, more interesting.

Another benefit of a well designed lighting scheme is that you can influence the way shoppers circulate your store and where they stop. Brighter walkways will encourage customers into the space, as opposed to darker ones. We really are attracted to the light!
  
There are many forms of lighting and you should always get professional advice if you want to get the best return on your investment but, I can assure you, it will be worth it.
  1. Window lighting – a really good example of lighting used as both a decorative prop and to illuminate the product, looking good anytime of the day or night.
  2. Accent lighting – this discreet lighting is used to great effect to highlight the merchandise on the table and bring it life. The added bonus of the neon on the back wall creates an extra bit of customer communication. This is right up my street!
  3. Come this way – this decorative ceiling light proves there’s more than one way to influence customer flow and, this one works!
  4. Discreet lighting – this isn’t about the lighting source but the effect. This lighting design really brings out the colours and texture of the bread. You just want to eat it. From a retail perspective this has to be one of my favourite lighting schemes!
  5. Decorative lighting – sometimes it’s just about the fitting and, let’s face it, this isn’t just any light fitting, wow!
  6. Shelf lighting – shelving will always create shadows so its a good thing to use discreet under shelf lighting. But hey, who wants to be discreet, why not illuminate the whole shelf!
  7. Prop lighting – it’s all in the name,  just look at me...
  8. Decorative accent lighting – the perfect combination of decorative lighting to draw attention and accent lighting to highlight the merchandise underneath. A sure winner...
  9. Back lighting – always effective when you’ve got similar shaped products to show off as this type of lighting will tend to silhouette the product and accentuate the shape.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, we are drawn to the light so, use it well...

All the best

Peter
#retail   -consultant  -designer  -visualcommunicator  -educator
tel      07907 691711

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