Seeing The Light – Part 2

Utilising the power of good lighting to increase your retail profits

In Part 1 of Seeing The Light, I highlighted the importance of good lighting and how this can affect your bottom line retail business profits. In Part 2, you’ll find lighting tips and tricks that can help attract customers like moths to a flame.

Set The Mood

Great lighting design will make you money. Think about the kind of retail business you run and what you want your customers to experience when they enter your business, and begin to think about the type of lighting that will create this experience.

Design It Light

Whether you have an existing store, are going to refurbish or will open a new store the first step is to engage an experienced lighting consultant or interior designer. They can help you achieve the proper lighting levels and ambience that you are after and will discuss other aspects like colour temperature that will affect the way your products are percieved. Even if you are on a tight budget, a lighting consultant can make an audit of your existing lighting and see how improvements in your lighting may improve your bottom-line.

Here are some simple tips and principles to keep in mind:

Shopfront and Personal

As a general rule, the shopfront must be well lit and inviting. Give potential customers a reason to make that split decision to stop and enter.  Shopfront displays must be well lit and engaging and your shopfront sign should be illuminated and clearly visible from many metres away.

Accentuate The Positive

Spotlights help to highlight feature products or activate certain areas of your store. For example, a combination of pumping up the general lighting and accent lighting at the back of the store can have the effect of ‘activating’ this area and prevent your store feeling like a dark cave. People are often reluctant to explore the back of stores when they are dark. Again, harking back to cavemen days – people are afraid of the dark – a sabre tooth tiger may just be lurking in the darkness and shadows at the back of the cave.

The Rule of Thirds

Pendant lights are hanging feature lights that are more designed for ‘show’ than their actual light output. Carefully selected sculptural and unique pendant lights can create drama and interest in your store. When situated towards the front of the store they can provide the ‘bells and whistles’ to attract customers in a crowded shopping mall. The reason is that in a crowded space shoppers can sometimes only see above the tops of heads of other customers. If they see something interesting in the top third of the shopfront that ‘catches their eye’ it may very well provide the impetus to motion towards your shop.

It’s cold in here

The ‘temperature’ or colour of the light produced from a fitting can affect your customer’s experience and perception. Fluorescent lighting used in many convenience stores can produce a ‘cool’ colour temperature, although many now use ‘daylight’ colour that has more of a warm yellow tinge. For butchers and people selling fresh food, a cool temperature will make the food look cold and uninviting. The wrong colour temperature can be the quickest mood killer.

LED The Way

If you have an old store and want to save on your sky-rocketing energy bills you may want to consider replacing your existing light fittings to LED lamps. If you are running your store on 50W low voltage down lights, the beauty is, LED lamps can generally replace them. With more lighting companies coming on the market the light output from LEDs is increasing and the quality and price of LED lights is decreasing.

LEDs can save you on your energy bills because of the lower power they require. A standard down light requires 50 watts of electricity as compared to an equivalent light output LED that uses around 10 watts. Additionally, you will save on your air conditioning bills as a 50W low voltage light will produce much more heat than a 10W LED.

The Light Fantastic
Never underestimate the power of great lighting to attract customers. Remember, use lighting to your advantage, not only to attract customers to your store because you have created just the right ambience, but with proper lighting you can save yourself a small fortune in energy bills.

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