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The use of light in retail: how to increase revenues

4 November 2020

A studied and targeted lighting can increase the sales and therefore the consumption of a product


Have you ever walked around a shop and be attracted, almost magnetized, to a certain product? This strange feeling probably led you to buy that particular item. Many cannot give themselves an explanation, they cannot understand what irremediably attracts them to the points of sale, while the experts explain that one of the reasons is undoubtedly that of the power of light. Consumers are more likely to buy a product if it is intelligently illuminated. The world of Retail was the forerunner of these studies, creating areas for specific products, illuminated in such a way as to enhance the color and appearance of the goods so as to attract customers and thus focus their attention, stimulating their emotions.


What happens in the supermarkets?

In supermarkets, for example, we find “intelligent” LED luminaires with a very high CRI (Color Rendering Index) (> 90;> 95). They are lamps that allow you to improve the appearance of meat, fish, fruit and cheeses. But in what way?

The meats, for example, are illuminated by lamps that enhance the red color. For these reasons, the consumer is pushed to purchase cuts of meat with a brighter and more homogeneous color, associating the bright hue with a perception of higher quality and freshness.

The fresh products on display are instead illuminated by LED lamps that generate bright lighting with cold light that allows you to reproduce the solar one (which has a CRI = 100), so as to enhance the bright and natural colors of the products and therefore attract more buyers. Many times when we move through the aisles of supermarkets, seeing the food we imagine it succulent, even coming to smell it, as if we can’t wait to bite into it. These sensations start from our eyes which, by absorbing the light, perceive food illuminated with those very bright colors in a different way.


The importance of having a specially designed lighting system

The lighting system is obviously not just about selling food in supermarkets. To keep up with the times, all businesses must know how to adopt strategies that differentiate and enhance them. And the correct use of expertly designed lighting systems goes precisely in this direction. Lighting gives more and more added value to any exhibition space, amplifies its contents and makes it fully functional with respect to the activities present within it. When we walk around a city for the first time, we begin to perceive and experience it starting from its shops. Through the windows, the lights shape the surrounding landscape and seducing passers-by, they are configured as meeting points where people meet, entertain relationships, spend time.

Light is essential to present each item on sale, to create atmospheres, vigorously communicating the identity of the commercial space. Its correct use contributes to the aesthetic quality of the store, to its emotional perception, increasing the level of sensoriality and interactivity of the environment. As proven by several studies, light has a direct influence on our mood, considering that 80% of the sensory information received by our brain comes directly from the eyes. This is why a well-studied lighting design project attracts potential customers and accompanies them in a real shopping experience.

If the light is also not exploited strategically, the retailer can miss real opportunities to increase their sales. That’s why when asked: “Ok, I have a business, how can I make the most of the light?” we advise you to carefully read the next paragraph where you can find exhaustive answers to this question.


The guidelines to follow for a retailer

Although there is no lighting design project suitable for every situation, there are guidelines and basic principles that apply to all retailers. When a retailer finds himself thinking about a lighting scheme, he has to think of solutions that attract the customer and encourage him not only to buy but also to come back a second time. First of all, it is important to understand what kind of atmosphere you want to create in the store and light can certainly help create it. The hue of the lights changes the customer’s feelings: this demonstrates how the lights have a significant emotional impact and enormously influence the way a customer perceives the exhibition space. At the basis of the choice of lights, therefore, the atmosphere to be created plays a fundamental role. To define the type of atmosphere it is necessary to first think about how we want our customers to feel while they visit our store. Through the light you can build that necessary seduction that plays on the unpredictability of the space which, without unnecessary abstraction, creates new harmonies and suitable atmospheres.

The importance of the atmosphere therefore proves to be a fundamental coefficient, real and calculable, for the increase in sales of a particular product. A good light designer “stages” the places of consumption, suggesting new interpretations of the commercial space. With his work he transforms the classic space into a careful scenography of the representation of selling, in which the customer is a spectator and actor in a “sensory interaction” with the seller and with the product itself. In this way, the store evolves into an “interactive shop”: this typological transformation causes the traditional shop-price-product relationship to move more and more towards the more innovative one of atmosphere-sensation-product.



The ability to play with warm and cold shadows, in conjunction with a precise distribution of light points, allows the retailer to create an inviting environment that appeals and stimulates the potential customer’s sense of comfort, safety and familiarity. Once convinced to enter, the well thought-out installation of LED luminaires, complemented by backlights, track lighting or wall lights, allows the creation of different environments in the different areas of the store.

So you just have to let the customer enter these new unique and dedicated atmospheres, to generate positive sensations in the buyer and finally push him to buy the product. Today, through punctual lighting and an adequately designed system, all this can be achieved.


Credits to: Arli luce by Daucus Srl

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