Light for retail. 8 facts about lighting that affect sales


Good lighting is a plus for sales. Poor-quality lighting means a loss of up to 40% of revenue. Some simple techniques and technologies in lighting can almost instantly add up to 20-25% to sales, all other things being equal. Let’s look at 8 facts knowing which you can manage the emotional state of the buyer and positively influence sales.

Lighting in trade is not a matter of lamp design, but the process of creating buyer’s emotions. In a store with the wrong light, customers simply will not notice the unique offers that the authors conceived when opening, will not see the luxury of colors and texture. With the help of light, you can stimulate the synthesis of hormones necessary for trade and control the direction of movement of customers in sales halls, capture the attention of customers and speed up the metabolism.To set up a light that will help the store sell, you need only three things: to understand that light is serious, to read this material to the end and to require the equipment supplier, architect or designer to answer the questions given below, as well as to prepare a project for calculating the store’s illumination in 3D.

1. You may have encountered the situation, where, after leaving a clothing store or beauty salon, you suddenly find that the things are not the same color as they seemed. In the light of day, the trousers were not black or blue, but, for example, green. Hair that has just been dyed by a first-class master in a prestigious beauty salon turns out to be completely of the wrong shade. Designers and builders simply did not explain that any artificial light source, that is, a light bulb, cannot convey all 65 million colors and shades that the human eye can distinguish in natural sunlight. We can only select a light bulb with the required color rendering index.

Color reproduction is the ability of light sources to display a certain number of colors and shades in percentage relation to natural sunlight. Modern light sources are capable of displaying up to 95-97% of colors and shades. The latest generation of metal-halogen lamps is capable of displaying up to 95% of colors and shades, while popular LEDs now display up to 80-85% of colors and shades. It should be noted that only a small percentage of LED products on our market meet the stated characteristics. We regularly measure this index, and the vast majority of available products have a color rendering index of 65-69%. What will the user buy if the colors in the store merge into one gray-green “under-color”? What will be the color of their face in this light and will they not be afraid of their own reflection in the mirror?

2. Light is distinguished by its color temperature and is given a characteristic: “yellow”, “white”, “blue”. In fact, it’s all white light that differs in color temperature. The lower the color temperature, the softer and yellower the light. In the morning and at sunset, warm, soft light has a color temperature of 2,500-3,000 kelvins (a unit of color temperature measurement). Closer to noon, when the sun rises higher, the color temperature rises to 4,000-5,000 Kelvins. When the sun is at its zenith, the color temperature can rise even higher and reach 6,000 Kelvins. Accordingly, getting into a room with light of a particular color temperature, our body begins to react, creating a suitable mood for us: light romantic, as in the evening, or concentrated, peculiar for typical activities in the middle of the day.

3. There is no universal rule for illumination levels.

It all depends on many factors: starting from the price category of the brand and ending with the location of the store in the shopping center or on the streets of the city.

If you need a pragmatic, focused buyer who carefully studies all aspects of goods and prices, then it is better to create the atmosphere of a midday, but at the same time fresh lawn, with an intense level of illumination.

Conversely, if you want customers to be relaxed and prone to fantasizing about new romantic images, they need to be immersed in the atmosphere of a sunset by the sea.

This requires a contrast of illumination in the aisle, where the buyer is usually located, and on the product, which for buyers serves as the very sun that sets over the sea horizon. At the same time, the illunination level of the product should be twice as high as in the aisles. With such a mood, things of premium brands, expensive wines and cognacs are perfectly sold.

When analyzing the proposed illumination options, it should be remembered that illumination is measured and projected according to two types: horizontal – on horizontal surfaces and vertical – on vertical ones. If you forget about this, you can get a store where only the upper shelves of racks and the tops of mannequins will be bright, and the product itself will be in the shadow of commercial equipment.

It is critically important that the product is evenly illuminated. Imagine that on one rack somewhere in the middle there is a bright light spot that occupies about 40-50% of the area, and everything else is lost. Sales statistics show that from the dark places of shelves or racks, sales will fall from 25 to 60%, while sales from the “spot” will be normal.

4. Light ripple coefficient. For many centuries, man had only one source of light – the sun. The sun gives us quite uniform light. It is important to remember that all electrical light sources flicker without exception. Each of us was at discos, concerts, where powerful strobe lights flashed intensively, creating the effect of intermittent movements. When we are indoors or outdoors after sunset, we are exposed to flickering artificial light. Even if we can’t see it with our eyes, our ocular nerve can definitely sense it.

If we feel strange, inexplicable irritability or fatigue, it may be because we spent a lot of time in a room with very pulsing light. Electricity that feeds artificial light sources has its own frequency: as a rule, it is 50 Hertz. This means that 50 times a second our lamps just go out and everything around us flickers at exactly this frequency. This indicator is called the “ripple coefficient”. The flicker effect can be significantly reduced by using modern power supplies that increase the current frequency to 38,000 Hertz, thus making the luminous flux much more uniform and safer for people. In any case, this is a stress for the human body, which we can only minimize. A ripple coefficient below 5% is acceptable. A coefficient higher than this indicator can pose a danger to health and life in some cases, as it can lead to a stroboscopic effect and loss of orientation in space. It is especially difficult to achieve acceptable indicators of this coefficient when using LED lighting, since it operates on direct current. It is necessary to convert the alternating current of our networks to direct current and reduce the voltage from 220 to 12-36 volts. Every time you think about the light in your store, you need to remember that the ripple coefficient is one of the “pillars” that shape the mood of the buyer.

5. Another “pillar” of mood, which determines whether a guest of the trading floor will become a buyer, is the light spectrum.

Let’s remember the rainbow that brings happiness. A rainbow is light refracted and decomposed into different spectra by water droplets. In a rainbow, all colors from purple to red are evenly and equally brightly distributed. With light bulbs, things are different. Depending on the type of lamp, some colors will be brighter and their stripes will be wider, while others, on the contrary, are almost invisible. In trade, the presence of the red spectrum in light bulb radiation is critical. It is red that, due to the peculiarities of physiological perception, forms the emotional background of the buyer necessary for trading. The importance of red is due to the fact that the receptors that perceive red in our eyes directly “communicate” with those areas of the brain that stimulate emotions that cause the desire to buy.

If in the rainbow from the light bulb that we put, the brightest and widest stripe is blue, we will get the opposite effect of red. The blue spectrum is the enemy of trading. Receptors that perceive the blue color of the spectrum stimulate the activity of those areas of the brain whose task is to block emotional impulses to buy something. In addition, it is the blue color of the spectrum that blocks the synthesis of the hormone melatonin in the body, which relaxes us and opens the way for light emotions and, as a result, sales.

Responsible manufacturers must add the so-called spectral curve to the main characteristics of their lamps, in which you can see which spectra are most inherent in a particular lamp. This characteristic of light requires special attention when choosing LED lighting devices, because there are no white LEDs in nature. A white LED is produced by spraying a special chemical substance into a blue LED Crystal. This substance changes some of its blue spectrum into others, and we see white light. However, the blue stripe in the rainbow will still be the widest and the brightest.

6. Do not confuse the concepts of economy and efficiency. In lighting, an important indicator of efficiency is the one that reflects how many lumens of luminous flux a light bulb can produce, spending 1 watt of electricity. It is important not to lose the amount of light in the pursuit of savings. Saving is not always synonymous with efficiency. There are often cases when instead of investing in supposedly energy-saving technologies, it was possible to simply turn off half of the existing lamps and get an identical result. The efficiency indicator of light sources is called light output and is measured in lumens/Watt (Lm/W).

When analyzing this indicator, it is important to understand that almost all modern light sources work through power supplies, which can also be called ballast, choke, driver, transformer, electronic ballast device. The function of these devices is to convert the current from the mains into a suitable one for the operation of these lamps. As a rule, during operation, all devices heat up and consume electricity for their operation. In some cases, the consumption of these devices can be up to 50% of the consumption of lamps operation of which they provide. This indicator should be analyzed and kept in mind when calculating the actual electricity consumption of stores. This indicator is called the power factor, and absolutely all lighting devices have it.

7. Degradation or loss of luminous flux. When we install new lighting devices, after a short period of time (usually after six months), they begin to produce less light, that is, they lose their luminous flux. This process is called degradation. Usually the loss is 15-20%. At the stage of designing light in the store, it is necessary to provide an indicator called the operating coefficient at a level not higher than 0.8, then it is guaranteed that even after a long service life, the light in the store will remain of the same quality as when opening.

8. Service life of light sources. Nothing is everlasting, and even the most beautiful light in the store can’t shine forever. Not only light sources, but also power supplies have a service life. Incandescent light bulbs have the shortest service life. It is about 1,000 hours, halogen lamps can serve from 2,000 to 5,000 hours, modern fluorescent and metal-halogen lamps work 15,000-20,000 hours. Most LED product manufacturers claim a service life of up to 50,000 hours, but this is hardly an achievable parameter. When this period is reached, the diode itself will produce only a small part of the light compared to the start of operation, so the actual effective operation time of LED systems is 20,000-25,000 hours.

Now you know where to start planning the store’s lighting, what questions to ask, and of course, request a lighting project that will reflect the answers to these questions.