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Lighting in fashion and retail

Window display design and production management, Diseño de escaparates y gestión de la producción. www.joseluisledesma.com

Lighting design and store design is one of the main tools to achieve certain effects that can be very useful, either to focus attention on certain products or to create different rhythms in the space.
Light naturally attracts us and when we are in a low-light environment, our alert system tends to deactivate, which helps our body to relax.
On the other hand, in an environment with high levels of light, we are activated and set in motion. 

What effect does light have on us?

In short, light has the ability to activate or deactivate certain emotions, and depending on how it is implemented can help us to build different times of permanence in each place inside a store, so it is important to note that if we maintain the same levels of lighting throughout the space, the rhythm of shopping will be monotonous and boring.

But what are illumination levels?

In simple terms, lighting levels can be general or localized.  If we distribute the luminaries correctly, we can create spaces where the general light helps users to move around comfortably, while a localized light helps us to redirect their attention to the spaces or products we want to highlight. 

In addition, today there are a wide variety of devices that allow us to use different colors, tones and temperatures to achieve a variety of effects and to reconfigure the space according to our needs.

What atmosphere do we want to generate in our store?

The most important thing before choosing the lighting is to know what atmosphere we want to generate in our commercial space.

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Foremost, we have to be clear about our corporate image, since the lights have to be in accordance with it.

-The lighting of our projects has to be well planned. A commercial strategy supported by a well-executed lighting plan increases the chances of sales.

José Luis.

Lighting is another attribute that describes the personality of a brand. If we want to invite our customers to enter inside our space, we have to make sure that the store is correctly visualized from the outside. Lighting is closely related to two fundamental aspects:

  • The product we sell
  • What we want to convey to consumers

The lighting serves as a way to attract the customer to our shop window or to highlight an article with respect to the rest. For example, a dark shop window or one with many reflections will make it difficult for the consumer to see the product clearly.
Also, don’t forget that lighting is a great opportunity to create an original design for the decoration of your space.

Cold or warm lighting?

To choose the tones of the lighting of the space we have to know the psychology of colors and these always have to be in accordance with the different elements of the space and with the personality of the brand.

Lighting can be cold or warm, depending on the color temperature. Using one or the other will depend on the areas to be illuminated. 

For example, we will use a warm light in those areas where the customer has to spend more time. And a cold light in areas where we need more clarity, as in the cashier areas. 
We can take advantage of lighting to change the look of the space when there are new trends. In this way, we can dynamize and adapt our store without having to make large-scale reforms.

How to choose the lighting for stores?

It is important to choose the general luminosity of the store, depending on the atmosphere we want to produce, it will be more or less luminous. In the exhibition areas, the luminosity has to be adequate, so that the customer is not dazzled when looking at the product. 

LED lighting systems are undoubtedly the present and the future, mainly because of their efficiency and performance. Nowadays, it is the type of light that allows a low consumption at the same time that a high efficiency. 

When choosing types of lamps, it is necessary to take into account the color rendering offered and the ability to faithfully reproduce the colors of the products. It is a fundamental aspect to respect the attributes of the products, since if the client buys an article in the store and when it arrives at home it is of a different color, he could feel deceived.

Another aspect to take into account when illuminating the space is that light creates shadows and the more lamps we have, the more shadows we generate. 
The more punctual the light source is, the sharper the shadow will be, and the opposite with diffuse light sources. 
Normally, general lighting is diffuse and when we highlight we usually use a point light. Another option is to have backlit displays to eliminate shadows and also highlight the products.


For each space its own lighting 

In every store there are different spaces, from fitting rooms to cashiers to displays.
All these areas must be taken into account when thinking about a lighting design, since each area needs its own light depending on its purpose.

-“…creating spaces is beautiful and sometimes necessary, but it avoids illuminating nothingness”.

José Luis.
  • Showcase: it is the first point of contact with the customer. In shop windows the most common is to use spotlights and spotlight rails to highlight the shape and texture of the products on display. Dimmers are used to create different atmospheres.
  • Shelves: once in the store, it is of vital importance to direct the customer’s attention to the products on the shelves. Therefore, it is one of the areas of the store where lighting is most relevant and must be of high quality. 
  • Fitting rooms: it is a decisive space for the purchase, so the light must be flattering. For this purpose, lights are used on the sides of the mirrors. This type of light helps to reduce shadows caused by overhead spotlights. It is also recommended that it be a warm light, more comfortable. And, if we want to save energy, motion sensors can be applied so that the light only turns on when someone is inside the fitting room.
  • Checkouts: dynamic lighting is recommended to make the wait more pleasant. 

In short, in-store lighting has a very strategic functionality and goes beyond simply illuminating the exterior and interior of the store. If you are thinking about a new lighting strategy for your commercial space, do not hesitate to contact a professional in the sector who can advise you.

Sources: lighting.philips.es; caad-design.com; marcelaseggiaro.com; heca-group.com; studioescaparatismo.es; joseluisledesma.com

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