Why LED Lighting Is the Best Lighting Choice for Grocery Stores

Every small choice made about a grocery’s layout, style, and infrastructure can have large impacts on its bottom line. If you’re currently renovating your store’s lighting system or you’re planning systemic changes for a chain of grocery stores, LED lights might already be on your list to research further. Here are three key reasons why you should incorporate LED lights into your displays, especially as general lighting:

  • LEDs don’t cause the same damage other lightbulbs do. Lightbulbs radiate heat, and that can be bad for business if those bulbs are too close to either a produce section or refrigerated goods. Raising the lighting tracks makes the heat less intense, but it also diffuses the lighting too much. Some bulbs also have UV or infrared light, and light at these frequencies can shorten the sellable lifespan of produce, as well as make displays and dyed goods fade.
  • LEDs last a long time and stay consistently bright until the end of their lifespan. Traditional lights can dim over time, and that can put your storerooms and back stock areas out of OSHA compliance if regulations apply to your premises. But LEDs last up to 50,000 hours and provide consistently similar warmth, intensity, and color saturation until they need to be replaced. This means your store won’t have to spend on frequent replacements or pre-inspection lighting tests.

LEDs are the preferred light source for several different types of structures for several different reasons. Because grocery stores need to light a variety of conditions, from produce to frozen goods to points of sale, they need a solid basis for general lighting.

Does Your Grocery Store’s Lighting Emphasize the Produce’s Color?

Grocery stores are segmented into different sections: the middle aisles of manufactured goods, the back sections of dairy, meat, and drinks, and then produce, bakery, and floral areas on opposite sides of the store. Usually, these sections are marked by signs and even different tiles to help guide shoppers. But those sections are also separated by different lighting styles, and that lighting plays a pivotal role in guiding shoppers, highlighting goods, and encouraging purchases. Here are two of the main factors for finding the right quality of light:

Choose your lights according to Correlated Color Temperature and Color Rendering Index.

The Correlated Color Temperature is based on the color of the light a lamp emits, and, when you’re using white light, enhances different colors and hues depending on its tone. The emittance is cool, which makes your store feel bigger, neutral, which promotes a feeling of well-being and makes customers more comfortable, or warm, which makes the setting feel smaller and more homey. Different lighting works well in different areas, even side by side, to create different feelings and highlight different products.

The Color Rendering Index measures how a light source renders the colors of lighted products. Some lights wash products out and make the colors fade, while others can create a high contrast for a focus on the products’ color. Color Rendering Index (CRI) is measured on a 0-100 scale, and using lights with a CRI between eighty and one hundred is best for a grocery because it makes colors look vivid and natural.

Different areas of a grocery store require different blends of lighting, and these two measures are critical for every display. Lighting the produce section with lights that have a poor CRI make the produce look less well-grown or healthy, regardless of the actual quality of the fruits and vegetables. If you want to emphasize a new organic display, placing lights with an even higher CRI than in the surrounding displays can make organic produce look even healthier and more nutritious.