5 Lighting Rules in 2023

5 Lighting Rules in 2023


As any business owner knows, proper lighting is an important aspect of a retail space. Lighting in retail spaces should achieve a certain goal while ensuring a pleasant lighting experience for customers. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 lighting rules of retail to ensure your business achieves them.

1. Stick to a consistent color temperature

When looking at the Big 5 Lighting Rules of Retail, color temperature is a key component of a well-designed lighting layout. Color temperature essentially refers to how warm (yellow) or cool (white to blue-white) light appears to the eye. Why is color temperature important in retail spaces? First, color temperature plays an important role in the client’s perception of a space, with warm colors creating a cozy ambiance, while cooler temperatures inspire a more alert vibe. Color temperature can also affect purchase intent. If your location is considered too hot, consumers will be less likely to buy from your location. The correct color temperature obviously depends on the type of retail space. The key is to maintain a consistent color temperature throughout the space. There should be no warm and cold light in the same space, as this creates a shocking and unpleasant contrast to the eyes.

2. Layered light sources

Lighting a space should come from a number of different light sources to be effective and pleasing to the eye. For example, you don’t want to create all the lumen in the space and keep it by simply using an overhead recessed fixture. Not only is this outdated for the retail space, but it makes the space look a bit washed out. When you layer lighting with multiple luminaire types with multiple directions of light travel, it’s easier on the eyes, while still delivering the attractive qualities that today’s modern consumer expects.

3. Leverage windows but don’t just rely on them

Windows in retail spaces help to create natural light, saving on lighting costs during the day. While you want to take advantage of this natural light source as much as possible, since natural light is most pleasing to consumers, you should not rely too heavily on it. If the site is open at night or during a storm, the light source will not be enough without artificial light to compensate. Make sure to use windows, but don’t rely too heavily on them when planning your lighting layout.

4. Choose the right CRI

CRI is not to be confused with color temperature, it is the ability of a lamp to distinguish colors with the naked eye. CRI is important in most venues, especially in retail spaces where consumers may have multiple colors to consider. The higher the CRI rating, the greater the variation between colors, so for most retail spaces, choose a CRI of at least 80+ or higher.

5. Safety first

Many retail spaces light key areas, such as where the merchandise or checkout is located, but leave other areas surprisingly dark. One of the most important rules of retail lighting is that safety is a top priority, which also factors into where lights are placed. You need to ensure that any low-sight areas such as walkways, stairs or entryways are properly lit at all times to avoid any safety issues.

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