How to sell with light?

Have you ever wondered how important is light in the design and subsequent arrangement of the shop space? No? Then if you are interested in sales effects, you must make up for the loss. Well-designed shop lighting is not only fashionable luminaries that match the interior design, but also the opportunity to create a sales space.

Those responsible for the design or modernization of retail spaces are well aware of the fact that (from a sales perspective) used illumination is as crucial as the decor and layout of the store. It is often said that light may act as a seller. And this principle applies to both large shopping centers and small shops which are part of family business. What is more, the lighting system plays an important role not only in elegant clothing boutiques, but also in well-known chains and grocery stores, drugstores and even building equipment retailers.

Light as an inspiration

At the moment, very easy access to almost all goods makes the Customers more and more picky, and they often treat shopping not only as a necessity, but also as a pleasant activity or even entertainment. Because of this, shop owners compete with one another, trying to meet not only the needs but also the tastes of their Customers. And here the lighting, which is one of the most important elements of the design of commercial premises, becomes crucial.

The lighting is important for our well-being, humor or emotions that we experience. You can observe that by watching your mood swings when weather or seasons change. During a sunny day, we usually feel energetic and are more willing to go out and do something. On the other hand, when it is greyish and cloudy outside, we are sleepy and therefore more likely to place ourselves on a couch rather than browse through shop assortment.

The presence of lighting that is comfortable and friendly to our eyes positively affects more than just our mood. Access to daylight (or sources that perfectly imitate it) facilitates orientation in space and makes us better able to find ourselves in a given environment and simply feel comfortable. And this, in turn, helps to create a friendly atmosphere that makes it more likely we spend more time in a store or a shopping mall. A satisfied Customer is more likely to make purchases.

Light as a carrier of information

Is it possible to communicate information or focus someone's attention on a thing using only light? Absolutely! Moreover, skillfully directed shop lighting can be a very effective marketing tool – not only encouraging shopping but also helping to create brand image. Modern control systems, as well as LED luminaires, having various color temperatures and filters, give you the opportunity to creatively "play" with light. In addition, they facilitate changing arrangement in shopping facilities and introducing quick adaptations during the time of day.

Other advantages of modern lighting

In addition to functionality and high aesthetics, modern LED lighting for commercial and industrial use also translates into lower maintenance costs for such investments. LED luminaries are energy efficient, much more environmentally friendly (compared to traditional fluorescent lamps) and have a longer service life. Taking into account considerable size of many stores and the need for their long-lasting (often 24 hour) lighting, it is no surprise that their owners are keen to pay for using electricity as little as possible. And modern and efficient LED luminaries can grant them that.

What not to do

Without well-designed and fit-to-concept lighting system, even the best decorated shop may have sales problems. There are some important things to beware of when implementing this type of project. Here are the most common errors occurring during preparation of the lighting concept of the store:

  • Insufficient amount of light. 
    It sometimes happens that shop owners are keen on creating an atmospheric arrangement in their interior. To this end, they often choose to use accent lighting and significantly reduce the amount of general lighting. However, the lack of a well thought out design and the wrong directional orientation of the luminaries may result in making the interior of the shop simply too dark. Unfortunately, this reduces the comfort of Customers staying in such a room.
    Lack of proportionality in light intensity and color temperature mixing.
    We often face the error of mixing temperatures when replacing broken or burned light bulbs. This is the case when we add bulbs with warm colors to those with cold colors or the other way around. At the time, there is a problem with the consistency of the whole system. This may result in the Customers leaving the shop faster, not being interested in continuing their shopping. On the other hand, if there are no proportions in the main and accent lighting, the Customers do not notice the difference in its intensity – so they do not pay more attention to the places we wanted to emphasize or the latest exposition. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the directional lights in the room are twice the intensity of the main lamps. 
  • Bad color temperature selection. 
    Not only mixing, but also choosing a poor color temperature, can affect how the Customers perceive the goods. We have dedicated a separate article to the topic of choosing the right color of lighting. But in a brief, we should remember that we distinguish three basic color temperatures – warm, neutral and cold, and that their choice should depend on the type of product we offer. In addition, the color temperature has a significant impact not only on how the Customers feel, but also on the productivity of people employed in the shop.
    Using LED luminaries with low color rendering index.
    It is of great importance in particular in the commercial facilities selling the products the color of which plays an important role. If the color rendering index is too low, the light on the products makes them have a different shade of color than in the daylight. As a result, LED luminaries with inadequate color rendering make for the inferior product exposure. Customers want to know the real color of the goods they buy, that is such color as they would have when exposed to the sun. In order to meet these requirements, you should use luminaries with a rendering index of at least Ra = 80. It is a good idea to choose professional LED luminaries from experienced manufacturers which due to the implementation of modern technologies generate light that can not be distinguished from metal halide sources. 
  • An unpleasant glare. 
    Here we talk about the situation when the light source is directly in our field of vision. The phenomenon of glare causes the discomfort of people in the room, temporary blindness and deconcentration. It is important to use luminaries with the right angle of the beam and to precisely set the orientation of the lights. 
  • Not including in the project changes in the distribution of goods inside the shop. 
    Retailers often forget a very important issue, namely introducing changes to exposure. And if at the beginning everything is perfectly compatible with each other, let's say we move the tables with goods to another place or change the location of the cash register counter, and suddenly it turns out that the key points of the shop are not adequately distinguished. The inability to display the products well affects how the Customers perceive them – they may think that the food in the under-exposed area is not fresh or that the clothing is of poorer quality. Therefore, always have in mind to the use uniform lighting throughout the sales area, e.g. by installing down lights. In order to distinguish specific zones, use the lamps mounted on the busbars, so that the orientation of the luminaries can be easily adjusted to any arrangement changes. 
  • the so-called under-exposed zones. 
    Bad designs that do not take into account the arrangement of expositions or the furniture in the room or similar issues, make for the fact that in a shop there may be some places that are just too dark. How to avoid this? The best way is to use additional luminaries or to replace the currently installed system with one that allows free setting of the direction of the lamp. 
  • Not distinguishing the shop window.
    The shop window is a place that is supposed to present the shop offer to the Customers or to encourage them to take interest in current promotions. It is responsible for making the first impression and is a kind of business card of the shopping facility (allowing for building its image). Therefore, keep in mind that the lighting used in your window should be brighter than what's inside. We write about the issues to which we should pay attention to when installing lamps in a shop window in a separate article.


When designing arrangement of a newly opened store or refreshing the look of a thriving shop, you can not ignore the issue of lighting. Focusing on the aesthetic elements of the decor to create a place with a particular atmosphere is very important as it influences its image. But that's not the whole story. Not paying enough attention to the shop lighting system can quickly start to produce noticeable losses. Bearing in mind the sales effects and satisfaction of both the Customers and the employees, it is worthwhile to use the help of professional lighting companies and invest in a well-thought-out project that will perfectly match the look and feel of the shop interior as well as the type of goods offered.