Lighting for Retail Space

Retail lighting

Mesmerised by Retail Lighting

In this era of online shopping, providing customers with an unforgettable experience is paramount, as is the business bottom line. Retailers are exploring new ways to entice customers and improve their in-store experience. Light not only showcase the merchandise, it also determines the atmosphere in tempting ways according to the seasons to arouse new emotions and buying desires.

More than just a place to shop, a retail space has become a gathering place, an entertainment venue or even a destination. The unique presentation of the space and its merchandise with the creative use of light provides an essential component in its engagement with customers.

Enhance Customer Experience

  • Create a memorable in-store lighting experience to encourage browsing and stimulate buying desires
  • Adopt smart lighting to guide shoppers and encourage exploration of the retail space via location-based apps for mobile devices
  • Create emotional, eye-catching and impactful lighting experiences

Optimize Operations

  • Optimize space layout with customizable lighting system that can be adjusted easily
  • Control and dimming systems ensure that the right lighting will be deployed when and where it is appropriate
  • Change lighting scenes flexibly according to seasonal events or holiday

Build Your Brand

  • Start the brand story in the shop window with a dynamic lighting display
  • Use dynamic lighting in the retail space to guide customers to specific areas and promotions
  • Create a unique brand identity with customized lighting, and apply consistently over multiple stores.

Is lighting important for a shop?

Lighting in shops is a very important factor to consider when thinking about setting up a new business or renovating an existing one. A well curated lighting scheme will make the difference, improve the shopping experience and consequently brings on incremental sales.

Compared to the past, more and more business owners nowadays are engaging lighting designers to deal with the illumination of their stores. This is thanks to the growing awareness that badly designed lighting schemes characterized by inappropriate choices can lead to serious sales deficits and also a creditable loss in the brand image.  

The task of the designer is always to find something new and specific that adapts perfectly to the style and type of shop, just like a custom-made suit made by a tailor, because there is no standard solution that can be replicated for each sales area.

In general, the designer has to consider a series of questions, sometimes including the criticality provided by the typology and beneficiary of the illuminated space. The same questions must be answered both from the owner’s point of view and in consideration of the needs of the customer and the workers inside the shop.

It is necessary to think of a unique character of the space, enhance the colours and materials of the goods, inviting  the customers to enter, stay inside for a longer time and complete the purchase.

Study of the right scenery of light

In the past, it was a general thought that illuminating a commercial space with high levels of illumination was equivalent to an increase in sales, but in reality, light has a strong influence on the purchasing activity only if well studied and planned. 

From some research articles we learnt that the customers can be influenced by light. With this you can create tracing paths inside the shop to guide them to the products you intend to feature. So the challenge for a lighting designer is how to use light to attract the customers into the shop, a task that already starts from outside with the windows and ends with the sale.

All stores have different areas, and differentiating the lighting for each different area is essential. The final solution and the right solution is therefore not the result of a single and general choice, but the result of the overlapping layers of light. When designing a lighting scheme, not only customers and spaces where goods are displayed should be considered, but also the workers.

Shop Window

Window displays are the first impression and this is what really matters. They have to communicate with the passersby, engage them, arouse interest, invite and convince people to buy. So the way in which lighting effects are created for this area is very important.

As opposed to what some might think, shop windows need more light during the daytime than in the night time. During the clearest hours, you need to provide contrast with the external brightness and this is why a much higher lighting level is required in this area. 

In the evening the intensity of the light can then be reduced and as a result there will be energy savings and no customers will be dazzled. In this sense, we can take advantage of the flexibility of new LED technology to create scenographic effects and reduce power through dimming systems. 

Distinguishing two different types of windows is very important. If it is a continuum with the interior space, it would be better to use a diffused light. If the window is not accessible for in-shop previews, then it is a better idea to place direct lighting near the window panes to avoid an annoying mirror effect.


The lighting scheme in this area must allow people to view and appreciate the products from  all possible directions. It has to blend in and be well calibrated with the rest of the shop. If tables are used, the use of ceiling lamps are preferable. Pendant light can also be used as a decorative element for the shop.


Shelves are where the merchandise is displayed. Care must be taken not to create shadows in these areas to disrupt the proper viewing of the merchandise. One option is to use miniature adjustable spotlights recessed into the shelf to provide good visibility across the entire area. Integrated slim linear LED profile is another option that provides good uniformity as well as significantly reducing the thickness of the shelves.


They are important display elements in visual merchandising, so attention must be given to  their lighting effect. Depending on the branding standard, some might use accent lighting to upsell the prestige of the merchandise, while others might use it to draw attention for new arrivals or sale items.

Fitting Rooms

This is the place where the customers are alone for the first time with the merchandise. The use of lighting with reduced shadow areas will provide the customers with the best visual setting to look attractive and eventually be convinced to make a purchase. Suggested option is to consider lighting points around the mirror.


Check-out Desks

An intelligent or playful use of lighting can provide a visual setting to keep the customers entertained while they are in the queue. The counter must be illuminated adequately to the needs of the staff who must correctly carry out their transactional task during working hours.

Intensity and colour of the light

As for the intensity of light to illuminate a shop, the guide suggests that the average level ​​must never be lower than 250 lux for the sales service and passage areas and for the display areas an average value ​​of about 500 lux.

Last consideration is the choice of colour temperature for the light. A warmer tone (2700k – 3000k) helps to create a more intimate environment and is suitable in clothing stores, stores dedicated to children and body care. The colder tone (4000k – 5000k) instead communicates professionalism, modernity and a strong technological development. Excellent for use in consumers electronics and optical stores, specialist studios and all those that require objective evaluation of the products.

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