Retail Lighting and Customer Perception

Retail Lighting and Customer Perception

Retail Lighting and Customer Perception.

Any business that retails products should be aware of the importance of customer visual perception and subconscious emotional reaction to viewed products.  With the emotional reaction being an underlying, yet prominent, influence in a customer’s decision making, the interplay of lighting and colour can have a drastic impact upon the customer’s perception and emotional reaction.  Well-applied retail lighting can serve not only to illuminate a product for viewing, but to enhance the customer’s experience and influence their decision-making processes.  This is particularly important with the rise of online shopping contributing to a smaller population of customers attending in-store to view products.  Yet, products remain that are better viewed live, rather than via video or photograph, and these products will generally require the correct type of ambient lighting.

Traditional lighting methods of the past generally feature spotlighting, background lighting, or a combination of the two.  The light sources used in these methods have fixed colours, with the only available means of customisation of the appearance of the light upon the products being the choice in fixed lighting source and whether or not the lighting source could be dimmed.  Modern LED lighting sources are now available that provide a wider range of flexibility over the light sources of the past, with the ability to control not only the brightness, but also the colour spectrum emitted by the lighting source, direction, and overall light colour.

Product Lighting.

Got a product that has predominantly blue or green colouring?  Set your LED lighting toward the 5,000K end of the spectrum for a ‘cool white’ tone to bring out the colours.  How about a product that is predominantly red, orange, or yellow?  Tune the LED lighting to the ‘warm’, 2,700K – 3,000K end of the spectrum.  The different LED tones can help to bring out the desired colours of your product, bringing attention to the product itself or key features of the product.  The ability to control the LED light source’s spectrum can also be used to influence people’s perception of food stuffs; e.g.: in supermarket displays.  Products such as meat and breads lend themselves to warm lighting, and fish, fruits and vegetables to the cooler end of the lighting spectrum.

Providing the customers with control over the lighting (for instance, in change rooms or at make-up counters) can allow customers to view their pending selections under different lighting conditions for a more informed purchase.  This is an option that a customer cannot exploit when shopping online.

Customer Lighting.

Another aspect of retail lighting that may not be so apparent is the general lighting of the customer traffic areas.  Cooler tones cause people to perceive areas as being more spacious and they will tend to move through at a quicker pace.  Conversely, warmer tones draw people who are then likely to linger for a while longer.  Using this perceptual effect of lighting tones can help to influence people’s movements through areas or between displays.  With the ability to change the lighting ‘on-the-fly’, changing displays is a cinch, as the light sources themselves do not have to be changed – the existing light source’s configuration is modified instead.

What about ‘people spaces’, cafés, restaurants, pubs and clubs, etc.?  These types of establishments can also benefit from the psychological aspect of controllable lighting.  Brightly lit areas illuminated with a cool white spectrum will seem cooler when the weather is hot; however, colours will begin to look grey and drab as day progresses into night.  Using warmer toned lighting at this point will cause locations to feel warmer and more inviting.  With the ability to control the brightness of such warmly lit areas, the perfect ambiance can be achieved, balancing the desired environmental effects with adequate levels of illumination for customers and employees alike.

Retail Lighting – EMLight’s SUPERFLEX LED Range.

The EMLight SUPERFLEX LED Lighting range offers a wide variety of lighting sources, including the LED ED19 panel lighting, Charismo Tracklights, and Charismo Downlights (both fixed and retractable), all with controllable and programmable lighting configurations.  The EMLight range can also be configured to operate in groups, adding to the flexibility of lighting for both general area and specific display lighting purposes.

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