We’re wrapping up our series on retail lighting with an overview of the types of lighting that can be implemented in a store, and their effect on certain products.

In case you missed it, be sure to catch up on the first two instalments of the series first.

Part 1 – Colour Rendering Index (CRI)

Part 2 – Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) 

Part 3 – The types of lighting in a retail store

Retail lighting

Lighting influences desires, purchases and how the shopping experience is remembered…

Lighting can have a positive influence on how shoppers feel inside of a store. Excellent colour rendering and special light spectrums improve perceived quality significantly. Good colour rendering, spectral distribution, beam angle and particular colour temperatures are a must-have for modern retail. All these factors contribute to showing merchandise at its best, true to their real colours and textures.

Types of lighting and places it should be implemented in a store

There are 3 types of lighting that could be implemented in a store - ambient, task and accent lighting. A combination of these types of lighting will make the store more effective in drawing customers in, and enticing them to purchase.

1. Ambient Lighting

This refers to the main lighting used in the store, and it must enable the customer to feel comfortable in the store. The number of lights needed in a store depends on the brightness of the light and the size of the area being illuminated.

If the ambient lighting is dim, it will make the store feel gloomy whilst also making the customer feel uncomfortable. This could lead, for example, to difficulty reading information on product labels. When the ambient lighting is too bright, the effect is the same in that it will also result in the customer feeling uncomfortable, ultimately leading to an unpleasant shopping experience.

2. Task lighting

This type of lighting is implemented in areas of the store that require more light. Examples of these within a clothing store are:

  • Entrance Area: Highlighting a store’s signage and entrance area is good practice it enables the customer to clearly read the store’s name, and feel welcomed in the store.
  • Change Rooms: Customers need the extra light available to assess the clothes they try on.
  • Tills: Cashiers need more light so that they can do their job efficiently and effectively. It also adds an element of security.

3. Accent Lighting

This type of lighting is used to highlight a specific part of the store, so that the customer’s attention can be drawn to a specific product. Furthermore, it also imparts the perception to the customer that the product identified is important and noteworthy. Accent lighting is effective for highlighting seasonal items, or specific products that are on display. It should also be used in window displays as it emphasises a product, helping to attract customers into the store.

Types of light bulbs that should be used for certain products

Grocery store lighting

From the first two articles in this series, we learnt that when selecting lighting for a store, factors such as the colour rendering index and the correlated colour temperature of a lightbulb must be taken into account. Lighting has the ability to highlight products, make them aesthetically pleasing and appeal to a customer’s senses. Contrasting of light is a method used to achieve a spatial atmosphere and highlight products in store.

The table below indicates the CCT range required to illuminate various types of products:

Table for cct range of certain products

In sum, retail lighting is important in any business as it has the ability to create a rich experience for a customer. This experience will result in the ability of drawing more customers into a store, turn an ordinary customer into a loyal customer and improve the profitability of a business. An entrepreneur is required to know and understand the type of setting, mood and experience that a customer would want to feel in store.


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