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The Importance of Balanced Lighting

Lighting for retail is based on contrasting the variety of products being offered in each section of the store. It allows the customer to focus on one thing at a time. An over lit store overwhelms the customer’s ability to focus. Striking a proper balance between ambient and accent lighting is key. For the same reason, plan for minimal selection of contrasting color temperatures.

Accent lighting is fun, but accent everything and you wind up emphasizing nothing. Carefully choose the products you want to pop. Good accent lighting requires the right amount of ambient light. This allows customers to better inspect, examine, and evaluate store merchandise.

Opt for a selection of adjustable recessed lights or track lighting so that you are not locked into a single floor layout. Future products may require more or less or multiple partitioned spaces, so try to think ahead. A few questions to keep in mind: What do the products in each department require? How much space between light fixtures is required? Where are they located? Are there too many different fixtures randomly placed throughout the space?

Visual chaos is to be avoided at all costs.

Avoid this by creating the space with a layout which showcases products matching each light fixture to the most attractive display. Also, avoid lighting products at the same level. Vary brightness levels to better emphasize certain products.

Other things to avoid when planning the lighting of your signs:

1. Black ceilings. The effect of these is oppressive. Too much contrast is as unpleasant as not enough, and keep the contrast subtle between product areas.

2. Too many shiny surfaces or dark finishes. Use matte finishes for best results.

3. Spot Lights where wide focus lighting is more effective. This is determined by distance from light to sign. Keep lights high if they are to be too close to signs and use wide angle floods. Spots are fine to use if lights are more than 15 feet away from signs.

Brightness from lights on products and signs is measured in Lumens. This is a scientific estimate of ambient light coming from a lighting source and this is calculated into the square footage of your retail.

For every square foot, assign a set number of lumens. For example, to provide ambient lighting, a square foot at floor-level needs 20-25 lumens. A table or raised surface might need 30to 40 lumens. A workspace or a retail space could probably use between 50 and 70 lumens per square foot.

Off The Wall has been lighting retail spaces for nearly forty years. Contact us to make an appointment with our décor specialists here under CONTACT.


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