Ever wonder how your mood seems to change as you walk into different stores in the mall? Why does one restaurant look more inviting than the other? Why does your eye gravitate towards one store versus another? The answer could be due to the retail space’s clever use of custom lighting design.
Lighting design has more effect on our senses than we usually realize. We might think lighting is just the act of supplying artificial illumination into a fixed space. When you are working on a retail store plan, you cannot merely attach any light bulbs to your ceiling and call it a day. The right kind of lighting should be thoughtfully planned to entice potential customers to enter a space and place them in a mood to spend.
Good lighting design is essential to the interior style of any place of business. A poorly lit lobby will not attract the attention of passers-by. A curated lighting plan, however, can arouse and evoke emotions. Successful retail stores use custom lighting design carefully to ensure that it stirs certain emotions that elicit a positive response to what the brand is trying to sell. If you are looking for lighting solutions for your retail stores, here is what you need to know to get it right:
1. Use more than one lighting style
Lighting can make or break the customer experience. A repetitive pattern on your ceiling will make it boring. Too many elements can make for incohesive and messy design. Draw your guests’ eyes upward and pique their interest by sectioning off your space and changing up the style per area. Use dramatic lighting at the entry or reception by the entrance. Employ task lighting for the drinking bar or check-out counter. Provide unique accent lighting to create a feeling of privacy around one dining area.
2. Lighting should flatter
While natural light is the best kind of illumination for anything–people, places, and things–your artificial lighting should try to make people look just as good. Harsh, fluorescent lighting should be reserved for surgical theatres and medical laboratories. People want to look and feel their best while shopping or dining so employ warm tones that cast subtle shadows that enhance the color design of your space. You want to use lighting to highlight your products and make food look appetizing as well.
3. Think creatively but practically
Dark, dramatic lighting can make a romantic atmosphere. Still, if you make the place too shadowy, your servers and store staff might not be able to interact with your guests properly, handle merchandise easily, or operate equipment correctly. There is a fine line between emotional and inadequate lighting. Obscured areas can also be a safety issue, as people may trip over furniture or bump into other customers. Keep your operations in mind when you adjust the level of illumination in your store. Also, if you are designing for a boutique, shoppers need to be able to appreciate the merchandise well enough to decide to buy it. Make sure they can see all the fine details of your wares without having to squint or strain.
4. You can take group photos
Customers love to take individual or group photos while out and about. An essential trick for knowing if you have the right lighting is if you can take beautiful pictures of people with your store in the background clearly. Do some test shots at different times and varying lighting levels with an ordinary camera phone and see if you are happy with the results.
Excellent lighting design is felt, not seen. You can change the entire design of a store or restaurant simply by improving the lights you use. When you are trying to find the appropriate design, keep in mind that you want the space to be a visual representation of your brand and for customers to be able to have positive experiences while inside your store. If you can satisfy both statements, then that is the time you know you have got the design just right.
Are you trying to achieve the perfect illumination for your store or restaurant? We are an internationally-recognized custom lighting supplier that creates solutions for any hospitality need. Contact us today and find out more!