Text: Reinhard Vedder

05. May 2011

Good lighting fills the tills
LEDs – the shop lighting of the future

There are few topics related to shop design that arouse as many aspirations among retailers as the changeover from conventional shop lighting to LED technology. To date LEDs are no less expensive to buy than conventional light sources. The good news is that LED technology still offers sufficient economic and design advantages to warrant making the changeover right away. It therefore makes sense to take a look at the current trends in display and shop lighting and how LED technology can enhance the shopping experience and help fill the tills.

Lighting technology trend: less is more When you go to trendsetter stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister or Humanic, you can pinpoint two distinct features of the lighting right away: on the one hand, it looks as if retail lighting means uniform illumination of everything in sight, which inevitably means overlighting the space and nipping in the bud any potential to accentuate specific items – as practised hitherto. On the other hand, retailers are aware of the need to conserve energy and reduce inherent costs. Climate change affects all of us and electricity is an expensive commodity. As a consequence, the general public are fully prepared to have to tolerate darker lighting scenarios in the stores where they shop. The following statistics document this tendency: between 2005 and 2008 retail stores were still consuming 50 to 90 watts per square metre. In 2010, this value halved to 20 to 50 watts per square metre. Whereas planners were happily specifying discharge lamps with wattages of 70, 100 and 150 watts per luminaire, today we see wattages of 20, 35 and 50 watts per luminaire. Nowadays lighting concepts can be convincing at no more than20 to 30 watts per square metre. Light sells Experience shows that these new, sometimes dimly lit shop scenarios are no worse than the bright, uniformly lit retail spaces with absolutely no differentiated lighting. On the contrary: alternating light and dark spaces seem to appeal more to the majority of shoppers than uniform brightness. Accentuation through contrasts is high on the list of light qualities that rate as gene-rally accepted as pleasant – along with sparkle and glossy surfaces, which can be achieved on merchandise if the appropriate light sources are applied. A variety of carefully combined luminous colours is a third way of supporting positive feelings through light. […]

The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 76

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