Shopping is increasingly becoming a leisure activity for which special settings are created.Shopping centres and shops are being transformed into adventure spaces designed to entertain visitors and convey messages. Light is used in order to arouse emotions and create brand identities. When used intelligently, light has the potential to stimulate the propensity to buy and to boost sales. Light creates added value – especially if the lighting concept and lighting control can be identiﬁ ed and handled as a single unit. Lighting effects and coloured light give people cause to pause for a moment. Lively lighting scenarios with an abundance of ever-changing sequences banish monotonous lighting. Four trends are set to shape the design of lighting solutions for presentation and retail over the next few years: centre-stage settings, authenticity, naturalness and sustainability.
Findings of applications research
Perception and a feeling of wellbeing have a considerable impact on customer behaviour. Setting merchandise centre-stage, and the architecture are key factors when it comes to promoting sales. People pick up 80 % of the information they perceive visually. Light shapes spaces, makes it easier to ﬁnd one’s way around and imparts information about sizes, surfaces, materials and colours. Not only that, light can also transform a retail space into a world of experience. Which particular lighting solutions achieve the requisite attractiveness and grab the required attention? What measures are needed to really alter the customer’s awareness?
1. Centre-stage settings
Modern retail spaces are like a stage. Products and brands are on show, people and architecture also play a crucial role. We regard presentation and retailing nowadays as a creative process that consciously sets the stage and has an impact on people’s decision to enter a store, their buying behaviour and the length of time spent in a store.
Being “genuine and honest” is crucial in many aspects of contemporary life, and this applies no less to the presentation of goods and brands. The term “authenticity” here denotes perceptible congruity between content and intent. A product and the way in which it is presented must marry up. The customer appreciates the fact that actual benefits and appearance match each other.
People are increasingly in search of a familiar atmosphere; this is part of a movement that seeks to escape industrialisation. Individuals value an environment that is consistent with their cultural values and conveys emotions. There is demand for as much naturalness as possible, which can be reflected in important aspects such as regional provenance or quality.
A fast growing trend: sustainability in environmental, economic and social terms is becoming ever more important. The possible ways in which resources can be used sparingly in retail and presentation areas are equally multifarious. Interior design, choice of materials and energy concepts – all these offer huge potential when it comes to creating a sustainable, long-term basis for wellbeing and room ambiances.
“The revolutionary development of LEDs has given fresh impetus to the idea of lighting as a design element. Adjustable brightness and light colour, teamed with the versatile optical characteristics of LED light sources, now allow innovative technical lighting solutions.”
Lighting designer | Lichtwerke
Inspiring, representing and giving an experience Creativity in lighting design is becoming more and more important. It is used to lead customers into retail spaces and extend the time they spend there. Selectively used light colours, lighting accents and dynamic lighting solutions grab attention and transform shopping into an inspiring experience. High-contrast luminance levels and light distribution are exploited to single out prestigious items from run-of-the-mill products. In principle, lighting solutions that utilise several components are rated as more attractive than simply increasing ambient lighting levels across the board.
Shop windows and façades are used as a stage, to entertain passers-by and get messages across
■ Wide-area lighting deep inside a room has considerable powers of attraction and entices passers-by in
■ LED technologies offer new ways for setting the lighting stage
Shop windows communicate with passers-by. They attract us, arouse our interest, invite us in and make us inclined to buy. First impressions count, and lighting plays a decisive role. The new flexibility of modern luminaires makes them absolutely perfect for staging dramas of light that awaken consumer needs. They make it possible to consciously respond to the condition and value of products, and communicate feelings and moods. Besides offering high illuminance and versatile lighting technology, LEDs also have economic benefits.
Dimmable LED luminaires, with extremely good colour rendition and colour stability, that produce a wide range of white tones are new arrivals on the dynamic lighting solution scene. Variable light temperatures
produce subtle luminous stimuli of the kind that are characteristic of different times of day or seasons, for example. Intelligent lighting designs also take daylight into account. This means that lighting scenarios in shop
windows can be set according to outdoor brightness: around midday,strong accent lighting ensures good contrast, while wide-area lighting beckons people into the depth of the room on overcast days and at dawn
Façade is used as a brand ambassador
■ Light evokes emotions
■ Architecture is structured, design features are highlighted
External impact has an important influence on whether or not passersby decide to enter a retail area. A wide variety of objectives can be achieved by using façade lighting. Apart from “bright, brash and bold”, there is a whole raft of other options–the main challenge is to do justice to one’s brand positioning. Simply illuminating a façade in colours that match a company’s corporate design, for instance, communicates a long-distance message indicating the location and size of a sales area.
Besides conventional neon signs, modern illuminated surfaces also ensure high recognition values. Individually controlled pixels or segments transform a façade into an oversized screen. Where a cityscape is characterised by distinctive or historic building architecture, using shop windows for presentation is often the only way of standing out from neighbouring stores. White light that emphasises the idiosyncrasies of architecture, rather than altering it, is the right choice in such situations. Small LED lighting points close to a façade draw people’s attention, reduce light pollution and also use resources sparingly.
The actual façade lighting concentrates on emphasising architectural structure and staging individual architectural elements. The purpose of emotional façade lighting scenarios is to permanently imprint themselves onto the passer-by’s consciousness. Coloured light changes the look of architecture, creates new structures and artistic elements. These are remembered and may even bring about a re-encounter.
Revealing, modelling and presenting Presenting merchandise effectively demands lighting that ensures that perceived quality is always high. Authentic lighting underscores the nature and quality of the goods on display. Credibility, originality and genuineness are values that are held in great esteem by the new generation. In terms of lighting, this means that goods must not be shown in a false light; their condition must be shown as naturally as possible thanks to a high colour rendition index, and by providing a well-balanced mix of diffuse and directional light to ensure natural shadow detail.
■ Optical systems with high luminous efficiency that direct light precisely provide high-intensity, pinpoint accent lighting, even over relatively long distances
■ Precise accent lighting accentuates the texture details of objects and materials
■ Excellent colour rendition quality enhances brilliance and authenticity
Accent lighting has special strengths when used to present products. The interplay of light and shadow emphasises shapes and structures. The contrast between general lighting and accent lighting creates highlights. The true capabilities of accent lighting are only revealed if illuminance levels are significantly higher than those of general lighting. High-power LED spotlights are efficient replacements for 20 to 70 W HID lamps in such applications. Used with a suitable spot optic, these new LED units offer excellent colour rendition quality and flag up the high status of an object at the point of sale. Details and outlines can be sharply picked out, and replaceable optics are available with a wide range of radiation angles.
Directing the gaze
Illumination of peripheral areas and vertical surfaces has a long range effect and makes it easier for people to fi nd the products they want
■ Every shelf and back wall design, all advertising messages and branding must be illuminated at just the right angle which may be different in each case
Like the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”, properly illuminated shelving guides the flow of customers into the depths of the room. Without brightly accented peripheral areas and highly contrasting shelf surfaces, visitors would miss visual leads and would therefore lose their sense of overview. Interior designers recommend high-contrast, but uniform lighting for large floor areas where there are far-away posters carrying advertising messages.
Where there are rows of shelves in supermarkets, uniform vertical illumination must make sure that the entire range of goods is within the customer’s field of vision. Over short distances, the irradiation angle and alignment of the luminaire determine how efficiently and how deep light falls into the shelf niches. The smaller the product, the smaller the beam spread should be. Dairy products, fashion accessories and mobile phones are prime examples of this. The impact of precise, efficient beams of light from these LEDs becomes even more marked the more general lighting is switched down in order to save energy.
New multimedia screens also place exacting requirements on their surroundings. Contrasts must be coordinated with special care in these situations. LEDs are the only light sources that, without being fitted with special filters and protective devices, do not emit damaging IR and UV radiation. This makes it possible to shorten the distance between luminaire and object even further, reduce stray light and cut energy consumption.
Using lighting to shrink distances
■ The shorter the distance between lighting and goods illuminated, the more detailed and accurate the presentation of smaller objects becomes
■ A combination of short and long lighting distances produces a balanced, energy-efficient overall solution
■ Unobtrusive, miniaturised lighting systems focus people’s attention on the goods displayed
Thanks to LEDs, close-up lighting takes on a whole new dimension: IR- and UV-free light can be accurately focused and expenditure on energy drops. In addition, LEDs open up new ways of developing a consistent lighting concept for various distances for both large and small lighting tasks. Nowadays, various lighting elements can be controlled and combined straightforwardly in order to create exciting scenarios quickly and simply.
Tunable White luminaires which allow continuously variable colour temperature adjustment to suit particular situations provide perfect general lighting for this purpose. LED systems which, as well as coping with short distances, can also handle ceilings that are 3 m high, allow finely graduated accent lighting. The actual luminaires are compact and relatively inconspicuous so as not to disrupt the overall look in retail spaces and shop windows. It is also possible to save energy for lighting goods on display. More precise highlighting and clearer differentiation can be obtained by lighting products on the actual shelf rather than from the ceiling. Lighting peaks produce fascinating reflections and specific details can be emphasised easily. In this case, the less obvious the lighting technology is, the greater the attention paid to the product.
■ Diffuse light lends highly refl ective, mirror-fi nish objects sleek lines
■ Brilliant pinpoint light sharpens details and suggests movement
■ An interplay of diffuse and directional light presents objects in a tangible, unadulterated way
Not a simple lighting task, but one that is absolutely achieveable: sophisticated lighting can also set prestigious objects such as cars centre stage and bring them to life. Fascinating effects can be applied to contours, design, lines, colour, and even the depth of paintwork. Dynamism, emotionality and image are presented to the onlooker as an overall visual experience. This gets close to an ideal image – the car driving through natural landscapes. Inside, however, every detail is shown accurately without distortion. The succession of sunlight and cloud is suggested by a combination of diffuse and directional light. Light colours are deliberately used to emphasise both surfaces and materials. Localised pools of light underline the excellent quality of the bodywork. Precisely gauged focal lighting points suggest movement.
“The human eye has evolved to detect even the most subtle nuances of light and colour. But it can only do this if materials, fabrics and, above all, groceries are lit correctly and naturally. The fad for dressing products up over elaborately is a thing of the past – customers now prefer goods to be presented naturally.”
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Roland Greule
Hamburg University of
Natural, purposeful and flexible Health awareness has become an issue that garners plenty of attention. Customers insist on wholesomeness as well as quality and convenience. The aim is to meet all needs. There is a need for lighting concepts that reflect this naturalness. Customers find light that has excellent colour rendition qualities, similar to those of natural daylight, convincing. Natural materials are also increasingly being used to design retail and presentation areas. Appropriate colour temperatures show off the textures and surfaces of such materials to maximum effect. The growing popularity of organic foods is particularly striking. Here, flexible lighting concepts have to provide light that caters for the rich diversity of natural products. Naturalness is, however, not merely confined to just the quality of the light; naturalness is also made visibly evident through the shape and design of the lighting solution.
Light for fresh produce is gentle on products and also boosts sales
■ LED luminaires are displacing metal halide lamps because they deliver identical lighting quality but emit less IR and UV radiation
■ A high colour rendition index, appropriate illuminance and the right colour temperature or light colour are decisive factors
More than any other section, the fruit and vegetable section shapes the image of a grocery store. In many supermarkets, the effect of fresh salads and colourful fruits is used to grab the attention of customers and stimulate their appetite. Counters are another eye-catcher for fresh produce. This is where merchandise is presented, where communication and image-building take place. A friendly atmosphere is just as important as reflection free lighting in display cabinets. The meat and cold meat counter is the most closely scrutinised section of a supermarket. Here, all the artistry which proper lighting demands must be combined with the ability to calibrate light colours sensitively.
Light must still appear white in order not to unlawfully mislead customers. Bread and pastries look especially crusty where light takes on the warm yellow tone of baked goods and thus multiplies its effect. Cheese and pastries both respond badly to excessive temperatures and IR radiation, and so must be protected from the effects of dehydration by appropriate lighting technology. Efficient fluorescent lamps with the right colour temperature and high-quality HIT lamps with suitable reflectors and filters get this job done. Modern LED luminaires are even capable of precisely matching their variable colour spectrum to suit the particular goods in question. Different spectral distributions selectively cater for the colourfulness, materiality and surfaces of specific product categories, thus enhancing the way in which quality is perceived.
Choosing the right colour temperature
Choosing the colour temperature that matches a material makes its surface look natural
■ Adjusting the colour temperature to suit a particular time of day or season is especially effective in emotional and biological terms
■ Contrasting colour temperatures create an atmosphere and focal points of interest
Tunable White luminaires bring dynamic white light to retail areas. With colour temperatures over the entire range from 2700 to 6500 K and excellent colour rendition, these LED luminaires are actually capable of tracking human biorhythms or responding to specific application situations and objects. Seasonal products and changing merchandising concepts are part of everyday life in shops and product presentation. Precise colour settings make it possible to produce extremely subtle nuances without having to swap lamps or luminaires. LED light is virtually IR- and UV-free and is therefore gentle on delicate products. Contrasts are also a distinctive feature of natural lighting. A skilfully composed interplay of light and shadow pushes goods to the foreground, captivates customers and guides them unerringly through retail spaces.
A wide range of products respond badly to thermal and infrared radiation
■ LED is the only light source that delivers virtually UV- and IR-free light
■ LED luminaires do not need any filters or protective devices and are therefore more effi cient than conventional luminaires
Colours fade, cosmetic products deteriorate, bakery products dry out, and chocolate and confectionery begin to melt. UV and IR radiation are some of the less welcome aspects of conventional lighting. Luminaires and spotlights are fitted with filters and protective devices in order to block such radiation. Yet this protection is obtained at the expense of efficiency. With LEDs, things are completely different right from the outset. LED light is almost free from IR and UV radiation. LEDs deliver gentle lighting, even without additional filters and protective measures. Even when a LED luminaire is positioned really close to a product, LED light is many times gentler than conventional lighting. The risk of colour fading or fragile materials being damaged is significantly reduced. These characteristics of LED light are especially appreciated in cosmetics shops & food supermarkets, and are becoming increasingly important in fashion stores where top-quality fabrics have to be protected against fading.
Sustainability is more than just a trend. More and more consumers are taking the manner in which companies discharge their duty to think and act sustainably into account when judging quality. Companies are also highlighting sustainability as part of their public image and the way in which they position themselves. Shops and supermarkets are being redesigned and materials and processes alike are being purposely sustainability tested. In the case of luminaires, it is during use that there is the greatest scope for saving energy. The sustainability of a lighting solution starts with the efficiencyof the luminaires and light sources. The biggest savings can be made by using intelligent lighting control systems. An optimised lighting concept that directs light onto merchandise in a targeted manner and scatters less light into the room makes a valuable contribution in this respect. Sustainability is increasingly becoming the engine that drives refurbishment projects that focus on energy saving and quality. Energy efficiency is a crucial plus point in favour of professional lighting.
■ Linear LED luminaires are an effi cient alternative to fl uorescent lamps for shelf lighting
■ Vertical illuminance determines the attractiveness of products on shelves
■ Lamp, light distribution and luminous effi ciency are the three keys to boosting the effi ciency of a luminaire
Where products are positioned vertically on shelving to the left and right of an aisle, the job of good shelf lighting is to guide customers into the aisle, present products perfectly and underpin product value consistently,
from the lowest shelf to the highest shelf. There must also be accenting options regardless whether the lighting system is suspended from the ceiling or built into shelving. The most efficient approach is to position continuous-row systems along the centre of an aisle, parallel to the rows of shelving. High-efficiency reflectors and optimised lens optics direct light precisely onto merchandise using as little energy as possible in the case of fluorescent lamps and continuous-row LED luminaires respectively. A system can be made even more sustainable if the lighting design takes into account all technological options and perfectly matches the number of luminaires and their arrangement to the application in question, without overlooking the installation, maintenance and service life of the lighting solution. Intelligent continuous row systems also offer the possibility of lighting control and integrating audio systems and emergency lighting. Once again, LEDs, with their compact size, open up enticing design possibilities and, above all, the promise of affordable, maintenance-free, efficient systems.
Lighting control for presentation and retail
Intelligent lighting control builds a bridge between application concept and luminaire. A solution is incomplete without lighting management. Lighting management adjusts light to suit various merchandise and different activities and also helps cut energy consumption.
■ Dimming Dimmable luminaires are taking over in retail spaces and showrooms as people become more conscious of the need to reduce energy consumption. This awareness is also speeding up the unstoppable march of LEDs because every LED luminaire is dimmable. This means that lumen packages can be manually adjusted to suit the circumstances in question. This also provides economic benefits.
■ Choosing the right colour temperature White light is really sensitive. Even minute changes are perceptible to the human eye and can therefore be exploited effectively. The right colour temperature shows materials off to greater effect, for instance. Ambient lighting that produces subtle changes over the course of the day fosters a pleasant room ambience. A CIRCLE TUNE control point can be used to adjust the colour temperature at the push of a button.
■ Creating an atmosphere Every activity makes its own demands on lighting. The kinds of lighting needed in retail areas range from working light in checkout areas through to mellow colour changes in lounge areas. Intuitive control encourages users to set up custom lighting scenes. The EMOTION touch panel coordinates a comprehensive set of lighting control functions for several rooms.
■ Incorporating daylight Exploiting daylight means using the refreshing, beneficial effect of this natural light source productively. A smooth transition from daylight to artificial lighting is especially welcoming in entrance areas and also saves energy. The LITENET lighting management system manages and controls entire buildings.
■ Setting a façade centre stage Creative lighting uses façades to reinforce brand awareness and convey messages in the evening and at night. Staging such sceneries pays in that it catches the attention of passers-by and increases their willingness to visit the store during opening hours. The Butler XT DMX control system provides plenty of scope for freedom of expression and is simple to operate.