How does the lighting in a store effect retail displays?

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We all know that different lights can alter are mood? For instance, a soft orange lamp will usually allow us to relax and chill if we like however if you had a DJ flashing his lights all over the walls and ceilings you would not be able to concentrate and become agitated. To put it simply, around 80% of all sensory information comes from our eyes. This can impact how we feel, decide and even change what we think of something.

When designing a shop layout, the use of light needs to be constantly thought about and taken into consideration because the light plays a huge part in the shops atmosphere and vibe.

Overall there tends to be just four types of retail lighting shops adopt and they are:

  • Task Lighting: This is a technique in retail and is used when the customer should complete an action like at a changing room or checkout.

 

  • Decorative Lighting: This adds to the look and feel of the store with a decorative fixture.

 

  • Ambient Lighting: In retail, this is the main lighting… making sure the customers have enough light to feel relaxed whilst browsing the store.

 

  • Accent Lighting: This type of lighting is used to create emphasis on a certain display or area in a store such as a certain shelf or even product.

 

A study was made by the Lighting Laboratory at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology, they explored the extent to which lighting influenced consumers’ individual preferences.

  • Customers preferred warm lighting with moderate brightness.

 

  • They preferred bright lights in the shop window.

 

  • They found that lights in a vertical position allowed products to stand out from the background easier.

 

  • They also found that changing the lights depending on the weather, time of day and what product was being promoted made products more appealing.

 

So, we have established the effects lighting has on customers, but that doesn’t mean if you follow these steps you will 100% succeed in retail.

For example, Apple… A modern goliath in the retail and technology industry has a very different approach to lighting compared to the Hollister shops we also see today?

 

Starting with apple, they are open plan, the whole browsing area is visible and easy to navigate. This style is complimented by the bright white lights they feature on the walls and ceilings. All together this creates a feel of luxury and ‘state of the art’ products as it is clean and slick. However, the Hollister stores are very different, the style for these shops is dark and dingy… much like a beach hut. So, when you come across a Hollister shop it will more likely not have any clear windows letting much light in. They start will a small door often in an alcove created by features on the outside of the shop. This creates the feel of ‘mystery and illusion’ like you are entering a beach hut and you don’t know what’s on the inside. Compared to an apple store, Hollister sites often act like mazes! ` with aisles, corners and mirrors creating a confusing effect, the shops often have dark wooden walls with tight spaces lit by low light soft spotlights. This creates the chilled and laid-back vibe they aim for.

 

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