Lighting up your shopping journey
Well, I've been going out, meeting people and so on, but lots of things are just the beginning of my malevolous plans (buahahaha -witch laugh). Today I went to a mall with my family and helped my sister to look for a dress. No, we didn't find one, but what caught my attention was the lighting in the stores.
Some stores were extremely hot, and not because of the people or the air conditioning, but because of the lights used in there... specially in the fitting rooms. The stores were so hot in there and the energy used was so much... so I thought I had to put in contact with them and offer them my services as a lighting designer. (Tomorrow, I promisse, today I'm too tired as for thinking what to write).
While waiting for my sister to try on mountains of dresses I began watching at the lighting in the stores and realised it was not so well planned, at least not for a long term, nor thinking about making people buy more nor reducing the operational costs, like electricity and air conditioner.
So now I'll talk a bit about retail lighting and what makes it important for me.
I think retail lighting should be environmentally responsible, as it will be on for the whole day. Let's imagine it is a clothing store inside a mall that opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. Those will be at least 9 hours of lights turned on which can be translated into a lot of electricity used regardless the time of day, or daylight. So if high wattage lamps are on for so long time, well... just do the maths. A lot of damage to the environment plus a lot of damage to the owner's pocket. You'll better have an intelligent design.
Retail lighting should create a whole inviting environment so you can feel comfortable and able to see what you are buying. With this, I'm talking about color rendering. The light used should have a great color rendering so as a buyer you can see the real color of the things you are buying, and the lighting should be directed towards the clothes, not empty spaces in the walls or tables, nor towards you. You are not the star in this show.
Lighting should also communicate the kind of shop it is, if it is for young people or for old people, if it is cheap or expensive , or what kind of customers it wants to attract. And talking about attraction, it is normal for people to be attracted to light, shiny stuff, and different things, so those things should be used for attracting people not just to your store, but to specific things you want to sell in it, like the products that have just arrived or the most expensive ones.
Oh! I almost forget one thing, one very important thing! The luminaries and lighting design should be part of the interior design of the store, not competing with it, or interrupting the vision of its elements.
So this is it, brief advices on retail lighting design. Remember to understand the essence of the store, and design for it, and... that lighting designers are important for this kind of stuff.