How Dealerships use Lighting to Sell Cars

Consumer purchases don't come much bigger than a new car, and the dealership showroom is where it all happens. These spaces are meticulously designed to maximise sales, and that includes the lighting.

Part-shop, part-theatre, car showrooms present a unique set of lighting design challenges. Here are our top six tips.

1. Don't compromise on colour rendering

Cars come in every colour from Ocean Splash to Renegade Red, and picking just the right shade is one of the key things that gets buyers excited. It's crucial that your lights do justice to the full spectrum of colours.

A mediocre colour rendering index (CRI) that makes some colours look muddy or washed out, just won't do. Look at the CRI carefully before you buy a fitting and aim for a figure of 90 or above. Ideally, try before you buy so you know how the lights will look in your setting.

2. Create some sparkle

The smell of the leather, the sound of the door, the glint of the paint... buying a car is a sensory experience. Highly-polished cars and reflective surfaces exude luxury, and lighting can help to accentuate the shine. Think carefully about where you position your lights - sparkle is great, but a reflection of a ceiling full of light points in the bonnet of a car is not necessarily the effect you want. Think about how daylight affects the space, and consider using a combination of diffuse and point sources for ambient light and sparkle.

3. Keep it flexible

If a car dealership is doing well, the cars don't sit still for long. Not only are cars constantly being sold and driven away, there are also regular releases of new models, and redesigns of the space for new presentation concepts, special events and so on. Any lighting design needs to be flexible enough to deal with the showroom, and fittings need to be controllable and adjustable. Consider using luminaires with tuneable colour temperature or colour-changing capability. Lumenpulse has a number of fittings with dynamic white options, where colour temperature can be tuned from either 2200K-3000K (very warm to neutral) or 2700K-6500K (warm to very cool).

4. Use light to make a brand statement

Car dealerships have always been palaces to the brand, but now that buyers can browse and compare cars so easily online, the role of the physical showroom as a place to experience the brand is more important than ever. Lighting design helps create the ‘wow' factor. Customers may not be able to put into words whether the lighting was good or bad, it will certainly have an impact on their feelings about the brand, and whether or not they open their wallet. LED lighting gives designers more flexibility than ever to play with controllable light, colour, concealed linear light and luminous surfaces to create drama and excitement.

5. Pick good-looking luminaires

Whether you want the luminaires to match the look of other elements in your interior design, or simply blend into the background, make sure you consider the look of the luminaires themselves. Remember, you're selling an expensive, highly-engineered product - so make sure the lights measure up.

6. Minimise maintenance

In a setting that needs to always look its best, lighting maintenance can be a costly headache. Lumenpulse recently provided LED luminaires to replace a halogen lighting scheme at a BMW showroom in Rome, putting an end to regular lamp failures and replacements. Many of Lumenpulse's products also come with a guarantee of no noticeable colour shift in five years - ensuring your colours look great, and keep looking great.