The 5 Biggest Lighting Challenges that Retailers Face
Nobody said lighting for retail was easy. Here are the top things that stores have to deal with to get their lights up to scratch
1. Saving energy
With bright spotlights burning for 10 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, lighting energy represents a significant costs for retailers. And with ever-increasing pressure to prove their sustainability credentials, store owners are keen to get their consumption down, down, down.
The good news is it has become much easier to make big savings on energy bills by adopting the latest in LED lighting and controls, without having to compromise on quality of light. For many retailers, the fund for an upgrade to LED will come from the energy budget, so getting the consumption in watts per square metre down to the right level can open a door to all the other benefits of the latest lighting tech.
2. Reducing maintenance
With heavy use of short-lived, energy-hungry halogen lamps, lighting maintenance is a daily task for many retailers, and it takes its toll. Eliminating the need to get up on a ladder every morning and replace lamps can be a big weight off the mind of a store manager. Of course, this all depends on the new lights living up to their longevity claims. Lumenpulse's LED fittings are backed by a strong warranty, which in many cases even covers the colour quality of the luminaire.
3. Getting colours right
Nowhere is colour quality more important than in a retail setting. In the past, halogen was the gold standard for colour rendering. But now that energy-guzzling halogen lamps are being phased out, LEDs have risen to the challenge. While some early LED products may have had questionable colour quality, today's products are streets ahead. Many of Lumenpulse's luminaires use top-of-the-range Xicato light modules, with unbeatable colour rendering. In fact, LED technology can now produce even cleaner and more vivid colours than with traditional sources. The best of LED doesn't just match halogen, it beats it.
4. Bolstering the brand
Bricks-and-mortar retailers must work harder than ever to compete with the internet, which continues to grow its sales much faster than the high street. Increasingly, every store is a flagship store. If you're not providing a great experience, then you're in trouble. And lighting is a key tool in the retailer's armoury, helping to differentiate your brand through great design. Think of the difference in feel between, say, a Topshop store and a Hollister store. It's unmistakeable - and a big part of it comes down to the lighting.
LED technology is moving fast. Not only is it making lights more efficient, it's also making them smarter and more controllable - because LEDs are essentially electronic chips that give off light. This gives retailers the opportunity to control their lights wirelessly and even to link the lights up to other building services and make them part of the "internet of things". Even if retailers aren't ready for this level of complexity right now, it's important to be looking ahead to future developments and making sure that your system is fit for the future. Going LED is an important first step.