Not Just Energy Savings, but Aesthetics: The Advantage of LED Retail Lighting

jewlery storeWhether we are aware of it or not, the aesthetic qualities of retail lighting contribute to the sales and success of an establishment. Though obviously we would rather trust a bright space for our commercial needs than say, a dark alleyway, that inherent sense of comfort is just part of the reason.

Lighting is not just an overhead expense for a store; it is as much a factor in driving business as a professional logo or a promotional campaign. Let us explore some of the reasons why this is true, and also illustrate that LED lighting scores over incandescent light in delivering this type of value.

Contrast and Color Richness are Decisive

The color rendering index (CRI) is an objective measure of a light’s ability to reproduce the look of an object in natural lighting. Think about the appearance of fresh fruit in a sunny orchard versus in a refrigerator crisper. Richer, deeper colors and natural, clear contrasts contribute to a sense of ease and comfort for shoppers. This is true in all forms of retail, and the brighter mood within the shopping space contributes to a better traffic flow and a greater propensity for customers to make purchases.

Lighting is Indispensible to Jewelers

This is especially true in the jewelry business: the refractive and reflective properties of the merchandise are the key selling point. Jewelry, no matter how rare or valuable, must sparkle. Lighting should come from above and inside the display case, in order to keep shadows from falling on the goods.

LED Energy Savings

In all situations with a potential return on investment, we must seek to lower long term costs. Lighting is no exception, even though some retailers unwisely look at it solely as a chunk of the energy bill and not a part of value creation. However, LED lights can offer up to 90% lower energy costs, with 25 times more durability. In terms of CRI index, they can now reach up to a rating of 90+ (the sun has a CRI index of 100).

If you could cut marketing costs down by such ratios while maintaining the same returns, you would jump on the opportunity immediately. Professional LED lighting is no different.

Unique Retail Lighting Can Give Your Store Character

retail lightingHow many times have you been in a highly lit, impersonal retail store and wanted to get out as soon as you walked in?  What about a poorly lit clothing store where you can barely even see the product? This can be a dilemna your business faces that you do not even know about.  Creating the right atmosphere for your customers is almost as important as the products you sell.  Once you know this, you can start getting to work on making your store the business it should be.

What Do You Want To Put Out Into The World?

The first thing you need to do when considering the lighting for your establishment is to figure out the tone you want in the store.  Whether it is a cozy, home like feel or a big, spectacular one, you are going to need the right lighting to compliment it.  Doing the due diligence is key to making your store come to life.


Here is where you really need to shine.  Finding the right people to make your idea come to life is key.  You need to give them all of the information on what you had in mind and then get out of the way and let them do their thing. If you have found the right people, you will see that they have you covered.  In no time flat, you will be looking at a retail store fit for a king or queen.

Ultimately, making your retail store as approachable as possible is the key to success.  To do this, you need to figure out the tone of your store then hire the right people to make your lights compliment that tone.

If you would like to take a look at what we’ve done, or just get some pricing information, please contact us.

Walmart’s Experimental Stores and Lighting Energy Reduction

walmartWalmart is striving to be a leader in energy reduction. In the early 1990s, it built two experimental stores to test energy saving techniques. One store was located in CO, and one in TX. In 2006, it retrofitted the TX store to try several new energy saving techniques.

In 2010, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a conference pre-print on the performance of the original two experimental stores. Both stores incorporated upwards of 50 tests on materials, water systems, and energy systems–including lighting. The original experimental store results were compared against what was a considered a typical store at the time of operation.

One test for energy savings in the original experimental stores was in cold storage lighting systems. Walmart evaluated the use of LEDs in refrigerator and freezer cases, where a typical store uses T8 linear fluorescent lights.

The NREL reported that during the first year the experimental stores were in operation, the LED case lights in Walmart’s experimental stores used 58% less energy than those in a typical store. This energy reduction was considered so successful that Wal-Mart tested the addition of motion sensors in conjunction with the LED case lights starting in 2007. After the installation of the motion sensors, the LED energy savings were 45% over the linear fluorescent bulbs with an additional 25% saved by adding the motion sensors. Wal-Mart considered this energy reduction sufficient to warrant replacing the linear fluorescent bulbs in its low temperature cases with LEDs and motion sensors in most stores.

When Walmart retrofitted the TX store for additional energy reduction testing, it included some changes to the produce lighting. The retrofitted TX store performance was evaluated against the data from its operational period, and an independent analysis of the results was published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 2009. Walmart replaced the produce lighting with smaller fixtrues with small reflector lamps. The exact specifications were not available with ORNL’s report, although it was suggested that they are typically available as either halogen or LED. Walmart does not separate produce lighting from total lighting, but calculates that the replacement fixtures save 1000 kWh/month. ORNL reports that some of the conditions were unique to this store–apparently, the store has always used dim produce lighting.

These are highlights of some of Walmart’s energy savings obtained by using alternate lighting such as LED. If you are considering upgrading your lighting systems with the goal of energy reduction, please contact us with any questions.

Retail Financial Crisis: Solved with LED Lighting

The ability to own or lease retail space has really hit the United States hard during the recession, especially in Arizona. Driving around, we see countless empty business spaces. Those who own many of the retail spaces are barely hanging on to their leases, and have cut their budgets and spending habits to the bone trying to stay in the area. According to Retail Traffic Magazine, there is still one more place to cut costs, and that’s lighting! Retail Traffic Magazine says the majority of energy consumption in retail spaces is climate control and lighting, which costs $21 billion. Mark Peternell, vice president of sustainability for Regency Centers Corp. in Florida, says 90% of the energy consumed by his firm is lighting.

LED lighting is the best alternative to incandescent, halogen, and compact fluorescent lighting. LEDs surpass all in efficiency and lifespan. In fact, LEDs are at least five times more efficient than most incandescent lights, and last twenty times longer. Outdoor parking lot lighting is also more efficient, reducing energy consumption by 50% and maintenance by 80%, according to Retail Traffic Magazine. The one thing driving businesses away from purchasing LED lighting is the upfront cost of purchasing the lamps. As a business owner, if you are willing to spend a little money in the beginning, you will reap the benefits over the lifetime of the lamp, thanks to the low level of energy consumption and no maintenance. If you are pinched for money, and own a retail space, consider LED lighting!