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Alchemy Of Store Lighting

Discover Perfect Consumer Experience

The Alchemy of Store Lighting: Curating the Perfect Consumer Experience in Retail Spaces

Posted By Admin, 11, Mar

The Alchemy of Store Lighting: Curating the Perfect Consumer Experience in Retail Spaces

Have you ever found yourself drawn to a product and felt compelled to buy it, even if it wasn’t on your shopping list? Perhaps it was the strategic interplay of light and shadow, the way light casts on and around it, that made the product irresistible. We tell you it’s no mere coincidence; rather, a carefully orchestrated performance to gain your attention!  

Since 80 percent of all sensory impressions come through our eyes, targeted or dynamic lighting in retail is akin to a conductor’s baton, guiding the symphony of consumer behavior. It encourages customers to linger, explore, and ultimately, make a purchase. Light is not just an aesthetic element, but a strategic tool in modern retail design. When executed with precision, retail lighting transcends mere illumination and becomes an art form that enhances people’s retail experience, strengthens a brand’s visual identity, and shines a spotlight on sales success.

Let’s tap into the world of retail lighting and what it means to use the many crucial in-store lighting elements to your advantage. Our IKIO experts, with their years of experience and knowledge, have meticulously addressed the must-dos in this blog that you must surely read! 

The Ways Lighting Impacts Psychology & Mood in Retail 

A study found that dimmed lighting can influence consumers to let their guard down and buy for pleasure, like a soft serenade coaxing you to act on a purchase.  

In an era where online retail poses a formidable challenge to brick-and-mortar stores, brands see in-store shopping as an experience that online retail can’t compete with. By strategically designing and placing lights, you can draw customers in and enable them to experience the brand as you intend. Imagine, getting your brand message across to your customers without even vocalizing it!


Here are some examples— 

  • Tunable white light with a high color rendering index can enhance the appearance of food items, showcasing the ideal color of fruits, vegetables, or meats and reflecting the idea that your store values quality over anything else.  
  • On the other hand, retail cosmetic companies can use illuminated shelves to emphasize higher-end products and complement their packaging, making a statement on behalf of your brand.
  • Fashion retailers can offer personalized experiences, such as adjustable light settings in fitting rooms, allowing customers to modify the color temperature and dimming to suit the clothes they are trying on. This will make them feel more valued and may establish the brands as “consumer-centric”.

How to Execute Lighting in Your Retail Space Properly 

Planning a lighting layout for a store or showroom is a complex task that requires careful consideration by contractors and lighting designers. The process involves balancing a multitude of factors, including the size of the space, the nature of the products, the design of merchandising fixtures, the target customer demographics, and compliance with relevant codes and regulations. 

The diversity in retail environments means that lighting solutions must be tailored to each store. What serves a big-box grocery chain well may be entirely unsuitable for a high-end clothing boutique. Yet, despite these differences, there are universal principles and best practices in lighting design that apply across various retail settings. Adhering to these fundamental guidelines can enhance the shopping experience, optimize the display of products, and contribute to a store’s profitability and customer retention. 

Research expert, Dr. John Flynn, identified four lighting attributes – bright/dim, uniform/non-uniform, central/perimeter, and warm/cool – decades ago that still work for designers to create well-balanced, mood-enhancing lighting designs for retail clients. 

Here’s What You Can Start With: 

Switching to LEDs! 

Though you can choose from different lighting options (incandescent, fluorescent, and LED), almost every individual in the professional lighting industry would recommend LED. This is because, despite a higher initial cost, LEDs offer long-term savings. The upfront expense is quickly offset by lower energy bills and reduced maintenance costs.  

In addition, they’re versatile and suitable for various retail lighting needs. LED lights offer superior efficiency and light output compared to traditional bulbs. They can last for around 50,000 hours, in contrast to incandescent lights, which last about 2000 hours. 

Planning to upgrade your store’s lighting to LED? Check out our IKIO’s Marvela Retrofit Solution! With multiple base options, it will make replacing your defective lights and switching up a breeze!  

Color Temperature (CCT) and Color Rendering (CRI) 

Aesthetically pleasing levels of comfort are dependent upon the right balance of color temperature and color rendering. Measured in Kelvin (K) units, CCT indicates how warm or cool white light appears to the human eye, while the Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures how accurately colors are represented under the light.  

Talking about CCTs, warm light fosters a relaxing atmosphere suitable for clothing and furniture stores, while cooler light conveys cleanliness and is ideal for electronics and hardware stores. When deciding on CCT, one must be careful as overdoing may backfire—lighting too warm can make customers feel tired, or lighting too cool can cause an anxiety-inducing effect and create a cold, sterile atmosphere. The optimal approach is to have a tailored blend of warm and cool lighting within a single space.  

As for CRI, above 90 is a must if one wants to bring out the truer appearance of objects in their store. It is always a good idea to take a professional’s help when planning your lighting design to make the most of your investment.

Use Layers of Light 

Using layers of lights within a store space is a great way to cover all your bases when implementing a lighting design. Different store lights have different purposes, as given here: 

  • Track Lights for Focused Lighting: Adds visual intrigue to displays, guiding shoppers’ attention with spotlights, track lights, and projectable fixtures. 
  • Downlights for Ambient Lighting: Sets the overall tone with general illumination, typically from overhead fixtures. 
  • Pendant Lights for Task Lighting: Enhances functionality in areas like checkout counters and service desks, utilizing lamps, pendants, and hanging lights. 

IKIO offers a vast range of uniquely crafted track lightsdownlights, and pendant lights that ensures uniform and flicker-free illumination of your retail space and durable performance! 

Pay Attention to Lumen Output and Texture 

Think in terms of lumens and calculate the square footage of your retail space. For each square foot, assign a specific number of lumens. For example—with ambient lighting, a floor level might need 20 lumens per square foot, a raised surface might need 30 lumens, and a workspace or retail area between 50 and 70 lumens. 

Texture also plays a vital role in setting the tone of a space and creating visual interest. Avoid shiny or dark finishes on the ceiling, as they reflect light and can be distracting or visually disorienting. Instead, opt for matte surfaces that help diffuse light, creating a warm atmosphere and adding depth and dimension to products on display by highlighting their features. The choice between diffused and directional light can accentuate or soften the texture of objects, influencing the overall visual appeal of the space. 

We Can Help You Perfect Your Retail Lighting! 

An ENERGY STAR study of US grocers found that converting to LED lighting increased sales by 19%. 

IKIO LED Lighting is your one-stop shop for all kinds of retail lights in the USA! We understand how important good lighting is for your store’s success, as well as your need to lower energy bills. This is why we offer custom solutions that are of superior quality, have high CRI and wattages, and come in multiple CCTs and beam angles. You can trust us to provide turn-key solutions, from accurate photometrics to initial layout design assistance to installation and after-service.

Let us help you highlight your best products and create the desired visual effects as per your specific store needs. We also offer easy retrofits—learn about our patented innovation, Marvela—for convenient and quick LED upgrades. Contact us today for your upcoming project! 


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