A recent article that appeared in retail week draws attention to the fact that lighting design needs to take into consideration energy saving when store lighting is designed and installed and perhaps retailers and store designers don’t know enough about lighting design and could do with more help from specialist lighting consultants such as Green Lite
Cost, environmental concerns and even a lack of knowledge can get in the way of ensuring that a store is lit correctly. What can retailers; store designers and lighting consultants do to bridge the gaps.
With the economic outlook for 2011 being, at best, uncertain, and at worst, heading for a double-dip recession, retailers will be scrutinizing their budgets when it comes to refurbishing stores next year. On top of that, rising energy costs and the importance of sustainability are putting additional pressure on retailers’ lighting strategies. Yet despite the doom and gloom, retail design specialists were upbeat and it was felt that retailers and store designers don’t know enough about the subject of lighting design and that they need help.
What are the conclusions of this subject
- Saving energy is a given but most retailers lack the expertise to make this a reality
- Daylight is an important ally, but in the UK there are significant periods when retailers cannot rely upon this
- Technology will provide some of the answers to energy-saving lighting schemes, but generally retailers will require the
services of an informed expert to make best use of it
- Store lighting must be included from the outset when designing a new shop, rather than layered-on retrospectively
- Don’t expect store designers to be lighting experts – they won’t be
It is also worth noting that store lighting consultants remain thin on the ground. It’s a situation that, from a retailer’s perspective, will probably not be apparent and there is little reason why this should change. The important lesson is that lighting has to be planned into a store design at the earliest possible stage. Post-design layering-on of a lighting scheme just won’t work for retailers, designers or, most of all, shoppers.