How to improve store lighting

Light is a powerful tool for attracting customers to your store. A few key principles can help you use it effectively.

  • Focus on increasing the light on the merchandise, not just the overall lighting in the store.

Contrast is the key. To stand out, an object needs to be at least three times brighter than its surroundings. Instead of trying to make the entire store bright, aim lights at the products you want your customers to notice.

Installing adjustable track lights to spotlight merchandise displays and signs is an easy and flexible way to add focal lighting.

  • Take advantage of improvements in lighting technology.

New technology has improved light bulbs, helping them render colors more accurately. That’s essential so customers can see the true color of merchandise.

To improve the color of lighting in your store, replace “cool white” fluorescent lights with color-corrected fluorescent bulbs. Incandescent or halogen lights are even better for glass and giftware because they lend a sparkle to shiny merchandise.

For greater energy efficiency and increased overall brightness, switch from incandescent bulbs to halogen lights, which also provide accurate color.

Of course, nothing beats natural light, so if it’s feasible, you may want to consider installing skylights to bathe your store in sunshine.

  • Brighten up your decorating scheme.

Light-colored or shiny walls, floors and ceilings reflect light. A new paint job or carpeting could make your store seem brighter.

Light-colored merchandise also stands out more than dark-colored items, so it’s a good choice for displays.

  • Keep up with maintenance.

Replace burned-out bulbs promptly and re-aim lights when displays are moved.

Reassess the effectiveness of your lighting system every three to five years to take advantage of rapidly changing technology. And, if you’re ready for a complete overhaul, consider hiring a professional lighting consultant.