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Effective Use of Lighting in Retail Spaces

Effective use of lighting is integral to the retail experience. Lighting is a powerful tool that sets the mood of the store, and can be used to draw attention to highlighted products. There are four main types of lighting that are used in a retail setting: Ambient, Task, Accent and Decorative.

  1. Ambient lighting
    Ambient lighting refers to the store’s main lighting. You need to ensure your customers have enough light to feel comfortable in the store. Too dim and the store looks dingy, making it difficult to read product labels and making customers uncomfortable. On the other hand, if the lighting is too bright it is also uncomfortable for customers. How many lights, and how bright they are, will depend on the size of your space. A large, warehouse style space with high ceilings will require lots of powerful lights since they will be hung fairly high up and need to illuminate a large area. A small store will require dimmer, less powerful lights in order to achieve the same level of lighting.

  2. Task lighting
    Task lighting refers to lights that are focused on areas of the store that require more light, such as the tills and the changing rooms. Customers need more light in the changing room so they can accurately assess the fit and look of the items they are trying on. Your cashiers need extra light so they can better see their tills and do their jobs more effectively. Task lighting is also useful for highlighting your store’s sign and the entrance area so that customers can clearly read your store’s name and are welcomed into the store.

  3. Accent lighting
    Accent lighting is lighting that can be used to highlight specific areas in order to draw customer attention to specific products and give customers the sense that these products are important and noteworthy. Accent lighting is an excellent way to highlight seasonal products and to highlight specific products on shelves or in display nooks. Accent lighting is also very effective in window displays since they visually emphasize your products and help bring people into your store.

  4. Decorative lighting
    Decorative lighting is all about visual appeal and much less focused on illumination. Light fixtures play a huge role in this lighting as they need to be beautiful and decorative. Decorative lighting can also be used to invoke nostalgic feelings, such as using a string of small white lights in a winter holiday display to invoke childhood memories in customers.
By effectively combining these four different types of lighting you can make your store more effective at drawing customers in and enticing them to purchase items from your store. For more information about retail lighting call Fluorescent Man Lighting today at 403.863.8529 and visit


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