Guidelines for Designing and Selecting the Right Retail Lighting for Your Space

Guidelines for Designing and Selecting the Right Retail Lighting for Your Space

The retail lighting for your space needs to achieve specific goals. The right retail lighting has a major impact on customer experience and retail sales. Overly bright or dim store lighting will negatively affect sales. LED retail lighting can be a powerful means of drawing shoppers in, guiding them through your store, highlighting your merchandise, saving energy bills, and making them feel welcome. Well-designed LED retail lighting is beneficial to sales and customer satisfaction.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the importance of LED retail lighting and find out how to design and select the right LED retail lighting to suit your business goals or needs.

Why Invest in LED Lighting for Your Retail Space

Why Invest in LED Lighting for Your Retail Space

There are four main choices for retailers to decide which lighting method to choose for their new retail plans, namely incandescent, fluorescent, halogen and LED. However, most shop owners recommend LED lighting, why is that?

LED lighting not only provides a lighting source for showcasing products and allowing customers to move around the store, but also reflects the identity of the store. LED retail lighting helps direct customers around the store and improve the average spend of each customer, according to the study from Lux. A study shows that a store that has installed an LED lighting scheme saw its sales increase by about 12%, compared to those that do not.

While LED lighting has higher upfront costs, it benefits long-term budgets in terms of energy and replacement costs. Due to its low energy and maintenance costs, the upfront investment will return quickly. Therefore, investing in LED lighting rather than traditional lighting will cost less in the long run. In addition to energy efficiency, long lifespan and durability, LED lighting is versatile for many uses such as ambient, task, accent lighting, and virtually all retail lighting fixtures.

Hotter halogen or incandescent bulbs will likely lead to the color fading of products. And customers might feel uncomfortable if they linger under these bulbs for an extended period of time. Conversely, LEDs can effectively cut down the heat emitted from lighting fixtures.

To accurately reflect colors, you should choose LED lighting with a high color rendering index (CRI) of at least 90%. To better control of light output in the store, LED dimmer switches are another wise investment. The dimming feature can not only reduce energy consumption, but also adjust the atmosphere in the store. Softer, dimmer LED lighting is more useful in high-end stores.

Why Is LED Retail Lighting Important?

Selecting the right LED lighting for your retail business is an integral part of your merchandising strategy. Effective LED Retail lighting helps increase sales by highlighting your merchandise while fully illuminating your store. In-store lighting has a great impact on how customers shop and recognize your business. Here’s a closer look at the impact of LED retail lighting on the customer’s shopping experience, the benefits to retailers and the effects on employees.

The Customer’s Shopping Experience

Creates a backdrop for the customer shopping experience

Well-designed LED retail lighting is an essential basis for your retail business to develop. Without good lighting, anything in the store will be invisible and your merchandising implementations will be forced to suspend.

Draws customers in and guide customers through the store

Well-lit in-store space creates an appealing atmosphere to entice customers to enter and explore.

Draws customer attention to particular products and areas of your store

Illuminating products and display areas can entice customers to come and engage with the products, while allowing customers to better view and appreciate the products.

Sets the Mood

Choosing high-quality LED retail lighting can create an ambiance that makes customers feel relaxed, comfortable or excited, and therefore influences customer mood and behavior.

Determines the average spend and time of customers in the store

A good retail lighting scheme is a major factor in driving customer exploration and keeping customer engaged. It makes customers stay in your store longer and spend more money.

The Benefits of the Retailer

The Benefits of the Retailer

Complements your products

The right LED retail lighting can fashion a mood that complements your products, making them look attractive and elegant by enhancing their appearance.

Enhances brand image and create a stronger customer-brand bond

As an effective merchandising and marketing tool, LED retail lighting can help enhance your brand image and make a good connection between customers and your brand.

Reduces operational costs and energy consumption

Retailers with LED lighting systems have a huge advantage over their competitors by effectively reducing operating costs and energy consumption.

Effects on Employees

Makes employees more focused, friendlier and more productive

Brighter LED lighting provides employees with a more focused and enjoyable working environment. The staff working in such an atmosphere will be friendlier to and more intimate with customers. This contributes to better work performance and therefore drives sales.

Better communicate brand message

Right lighting helps communicate the standards of the job and the brand, making them become advocates and multipliers. For new employees, this helps them embody the brand and carry it on clearly to customers.

How to Select and Design the Right Retail Lighting for Your Space

Let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider when selecting and designing the right retail lighting for your space.

Learn the Types of Retail Lighting

Illuminating your retail space often requires multiple lighting types to be layered together. Therefore, striking the right balance of ambient, task, accent and decorative lighting is critical to retail lighting design. Here are these four different lighting types:

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting serves as the main lighting source for your store and also as the backdrop for layering other lighting types. It creates a comfortable environment for customers, emanating from a variety of overhead lighting fixtures.

Task lighting

Task lighting provides lighting source for a specific task or purpose. It is used to spotlight areas such as checkout counters, store signs, changing rooms, etc. Desk lamps, chandeliers and pendant lights can add more functionality to your space.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting is made to highlight specific products and areas and entice customers to go there by increasing visibility and catching their eyes. There are a variety of lighting options available to you, including spotlights, track lights, recessed lights and dimmable fixtures.

Decorative lighting

Decorative lighting is made to enhance the aesthetic value of your store and add embellishment or create an inviting atmosphere to your space. It helps your store establish a brand image by highlighting existing theme and decor. The most common examples of this kind of retail lighting design include chandeliers, pendant lights and track lights.

Choose the Right Brightness, Tone and CRI


Lumens are a common method of measuring brightness. The link between brightness and lumens is very simple: the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb. The brightness of bulbs plays a critical role in crafting the ambiance of your space. Depending on the type of your business, you might opt for brighter or dimmer lighting for your space. For example, a hardware store might need bright lighting to increase visibility, whereas a massage parlor might prefer soft lighting to make customers feel relaxed.


The Kelvin number is associated with the color temperature or tone of the bulb. The greater the Kelvin number, the cooler the tone of the light, and conversely, the smaller the Kelvin number, the warmer the tone of the light. As the same with brightness, the color temperature of your lighting can greatly influence the ambiance of your space. You can choose warmer or cooler color temperatures to suit your business. To give the same example, a hardware store will likely opt for cool tones to maximize visibility and give people a sense of cleanliness, whereas a massage parlor will probably use warm tones to set a welcoming mood.

Color rendering index (CRI)

CRI indicates the accuracy of a light source reflecting the true colors of objects. In a range from 1 to 100, the higher the CRI of the light, the better the color rendition of the object. Therefore, choosing high CRI lights that do not distort colors is crucial for retail lighting. While the CRI in retail lighting is typically around 80, a CRI of 90 and above is more recommended.

Select Your Lighting Fixtures

Combining different types of lighting fixtures can create different ambiances for your space. For example, using recess lights, track lights or suspended hanging lights can create a more professional atmosphere, whereas for creating a more intimate feel, you can opt for vintage lights, chandeliers or dome lights.

Most retailers use a mix of lighting fixtures for their different spaces of stores, such as entrances and changing rooms. No matter which type of lighting fixtures you choose, matching your brand identity and product offerings is vital. You will likely want to consider the factors such as average cost, lifespan, efficacy, intensity, correlated color temperature (CCT), color rendering index (CRI), etc.

Find LED Retail Lighting at MOKOLight

MOKOLight has delivered high quality LED lighting to countless retail stores. If you want to find out how LED Retail Lighting boosts sales and your bottom line, allow the experts at MOKOLight to help you with your lighting strategy and put together a lighting program for your retail space. Speak to our lighting consultants now for a free lighting consultation.


Written by ——
Adelyn Ward
Adelyn Ward
Master of Science; professional electronic engineer with over 7 years of experience in electronic design and engineering projects; proven expertise of LED manufacturing processes, capable of communicating intricate ideas to a broad range of audiences. Reach Me Now>>
Adelyn Ward
Adelyn Ward
Master of Science; professional electronic engineer with over 7 years of experience in electronic design and engineering projects; proven expertise of LED manufacturing processes, capable of communicating intricate ideas to a broad range of audiences. Reach Me Now>>
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