Retail space lighting
Artificial lighting in retail space has far more tasks to fulfil than lightings in offices and private houses. In every working environment lighting ensures an appropriate eye comfort during certain activities. At home it mainly creates a particular ambience.
The right retail lighting is an indispensable part of success in every branch of the market.
General principles for lighting
The choice of lighting should be closely related to the nature of the retail space, type of products, brand positioning of the shopping centre, and target customers. You need to be unique in order to stand out in a competitive market of numerous retail spaces. Focusing on a shopping-friendly atmosphere is a direct consequence of a success-oriented attitude. Accommodating lighting appropriately to the customers' needs results in their better comfort and intuitive knowledge where to find a given product. Let us not forget that for many people family shopping means entertainment and escape from the world of everyday routine.
Therefore, showcasing products and making the first impression best are of utmost importance.
• Visual guiding or illumination should intuitively lead the customer from one point to another with no confusion under way.
• Lighting should be a consistent element of the whole retail space.
• Modern lighting systems should not only save energy but also be flexible so that the type and the amount of light could be adopted easily to daily and seasonal needs.
Preparing a design
The preparatory stage of the design consists in the choice of a lighting solution matching the commercial nature of a given retail space. Based on the type of an interior, products, method of operation as well as the price level, the shopping facility is classified and the lighting is selected.
Lighting can and even must have different functions depending on the retail space.
Single-purpose lighting is the simplest option requiring uncomplicated systems. At present, rail mounted lighting enjoys a lot of interest as it saves time and ensures comfortable illumination.
This type of lighting is designed for a large open-space. Most often it is used in supermarkets to illuminate low-cost goods and general use products.
Multi-purpose lighting is a combination of ambient lighting, a wide range of lighting systems and accent lighting. This lighting system provides an appropriate balance between general and additional lighting, including accent and display lighting. It ensures a proper eye comfort and well-being and leads customers from one shopping zone to another. It finds application in shopping centres, where the lighting creates an engaging shopping atmosphere and good working environment.
Multi-purpose lighting is increasingly popular and widely applied. It makes use of various sorts of ambient light as well as knowledge of light colour and product showcasing techniques. Though elegant boutiques make the best use of display and accent lighting, multi-purpose lighting is not limited to exclusive commercial facilities. It is often applied in supermarkets and small shops where the showcasing of particular products is important.
A well-matched lighting design for a retail space constitutes a big challenge for a designer. However, we must not forget there are certain provisions resulting from the standard on the lighting intensity and UGR value depending on the type of the shop. We should assume that two zones – till and packing area should have at least 500lx and a glare index lower than 19.
Often it is the owner of a large shopping mall who imposes uniform requirements as to the lighting of particular boutiques. Let us remember that the optimal use of lighting is comparable to a good advertisement, which guarantees a commercial success.