Creating optimum illumination for a retail store can be the most challenging task that a lighting specialist can face. One type and quality of lighting may be needed to make a store’s entrance inviting, while different will be needed to make products look good. For all retail store purposes, LED lighting systems are the ideal choice.
Modern retailers understand that stores need at least four different lighting configurations: ambient lighting to eliminate any gloomy or shadowy areas in a store; task lighting that gives clerks and customers proper illumination to complete transactions; accent lighting that creates special lighting zones to showcase products or to emphasize product displays; and decorative lighting to add atmosphere and to create the brand image and aura that a retail store seeks to project. LED lighting is ideal for each of these configurations and for any retail store operations that would benefit from lighting that is the next closest thing to natural lighting.
Traditional incandescent or fluorescent retail lighting fixtures generate illumination in only a limited range of light temperatures and color-rendering indices, making them acceptable for only one or two retail lighting configurations. In contrast, LED lighting systems are flexible and adaptable for all retail store needs. These systems can provide general, overall store lighting ranging from cold and bright to toned down and warm. Different LED fixtures can be installed in areas that need better task lighting, including checkouts, store entrances, and dressing rooms. Accent LED lighting for specific store areas can be tuned across a wide range of colors to give optimum lighting to separate display areas, to bring out features of products that are displayed in nooks or display cases, and to emphasize artwork and decor. Lastly, new LED bulbs have become available for unique decorative lighting that reflects a store’s brand and style.
Retail store managers that are competing with online stores and ecommerce outlets will appreciate the operating cost savings that LED lights will provide. On average, an LED fixture provides 50,000 hours of useful operations, and in some cases up to 100,000 hours. LED fixtures generate the same quality and level of illumination as traditional fixtures with less than half of the energy input. A retail store will see immediate savings in energy consumption and will realize lower maintenance and repair costs due to the durability and long lifespan of LED light fixtures.
Retail store managers that remain reluctant to adopt a new lighting technology should consider that national and international retail brands are moving rapidly to adopt LED lighting in their stores. For example, Macy’s announced that it is replacing more than 100,000 43-Watt halogen bulbs with 17-Watt LED lamps. The company expects to see no degradation in lighting quality while it realizes a greater than 70% savings in energy consumption. Smaller specialty retailers, including Jimmy Choo and Hugo Boss, are also retrofitting their retail outlets with LED lighting. These major retailers are establishing the trend toward LED lights in retail stores that will likely accelerate as LED lighting systems continue to offer greater flexibility at lower prices.