It could be time to update your lighting

Most people talk about the savings involved in upgrading lighting systems, but how often do you hear anyone telling you that the right lighting systems can generate more revenue?

Back in 2010, when it was still relatively new and much more expensive, Dutch researchers replaced half of the fluorescent lighting in a grocery store with LED lights. After tracking sales for 21 weeks, they found that the store equipped with LED lighting saw an increase in sales of products per customer of 2%.

Seeing things in a different light

You don’t need the results of a scientific study to agree that quality lighting makes products look better. Fruits and vegetables look fresher and more attractive under LED lighting, especially because – compared to fluorescent lighting – the hue and color can be changed for even more salability. That’s important because it’s estimated that nearly 1.3 billion tons of food is disposed of yearly because it no longer looks its best. In some places, such as grocery freezer displays and cold cases, fluorescent lighting can lose up to a quarter of its output. LED lighting doesn’t have a problem with cold or even freezing temperatures.

And speaking of temperatures, it’s been found that lighting can even help to extend the shelf life of certain food products. The right lighting helps cheese last up to 50% longer.

A feel-good effect

Can lighting affect emotion and buying decisions? A German fashion retailer has the receipts to prove it. The store’s marketers are interested in a burgeoning area of study called neuromarketing – which looks at why people buy things because of emotional stimulation. The store experimented with lighting schemes that would appeal to the personality profile of its target customers, making them feel more comfortable and causing them to stay and shop longer.

During the experiment, shoppers were observed to linger in certain areas of the store. The results of the study were used to redesign the lighting, and the store confirmed an average 12% sales increase compared to a nearby store that had the same sales volume and clientele.

A wake-up call

Thanks in part to the Millennial preference for inserting experience into everything, lighting has become a more important element in how we choose things – even how we’d like to be awakened in the morning.

The Retreat Hotel in Iceland has replaced bedside alarm clocks with what they call a “natural wake-up.” LED lights perform a five-minute dynamic cycle, which shifts intensity from amber to a color temperature of 5,600K. As a guest, you’re awakened by light instead of sound.

The hotel’s lighting designer, Guðjón Sigurðsson, calls the choice of using this wake-up lighting and other scenarios throughout the rooms as “human-centric.”

Shining examples

A switch from fluorescent lighting to LED gives you opportunities to use the specific types of illumination that can facilitate buyer behavior by offering:

  • Strong directional LED lighting can blanket an entire space – such as a darker corner – with brightness and draw attention to products they otherwise might miss.
  • Ambient lighting often can be your visual welcome mat, creating the overall atmosphere in a retail space. LED lighting is flexible and can even change color. RGB LED lighting can be programmed to display nearly any color, or even to change color over time. It’s a solution that works well under counters or in coves, where a wash of color can add energy and excitement to a space.
  • Accent lighting allows you to turn on a finely tuned “hey, look at me!” spotlight for specific products.

Does this mean it’s time to replace your lighting? The answer is maybe not. Fluorescent lights still offer superior general lighting options. LED lighting often works best as an accent, where it works as your partner to create areas of focus.

Not just for the customers

Not all light is created equal. Retailers have discovered that it’s time to revise their determination of ROI. Lighting can make food look better. It can draw attention to underperforming stock that’s not at eye level. Lighting can enhance sales.

It’s also important to remember that because lighting influences emotion and psychology, it’s also affecting employees. Lighting can help employees remained focused and more productive. Learn more about how we can help you upgrade your company’s lighting.