Contrast and color in lighting concepts foster shop acceptance
The study, conducted in collaboration with the lighting laboratory of the Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology and the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, aimed to find out which factors in lighting contribute to motivate customers to enter shops, stay longer inside and spend more money. They found that light is an important design element; it transports emotions, intensifies the atmosphere and facilitates orientation.
The study got granular on factors such as color, distribution, intensity of the light as well as dynamic change of color and brightness. The research has been conducted in laboratories as well as in real-world supermarkets. "The results show that it is necessary to find a new approach in lighting design," said professor Jan Ejehed, head of the lighting laboratory of the Stockholm Royal Institute of Technology. "It is not enough to gain the customers’ attention. Instead, shop owners must improve physical comfort and well-being of their clients."
These results are hinting at solutions which at least in part require innovative lighting technologies such as LED-based lighting. Only with LEDs it is possible to implement, for instance, "tunable" lights which can vary color and brightness according to changing requirements.
The results of the study translate into lighting design recommendations:
- Instead of simply increasing brightness (and thus energy consumption) in the shops, it is recommendable to plan a contrasty to improve and intensify perception of customers.
- A diffuse general lighting creates subjective well-being. Vertical light focuses help to support the spatial orientation. Since customer spatial orientation positively affects the customers’ decision to enter a shop and to stay inside, the boundaries of a room should be highlighted through vertical lighting elements.
- Colors transport emotions and greatly affect the acceptance of a room. The study shows that cold color temperatures such as daylight white makes rooms appear more generous while warm lights convey the impression of a small-sized, familiar room. Neutral white light positively affects retention time and well-being and therefore should be used in general lighting.
- Within a lighting concept, different light colors are preferred. For this reason, different color temperatures for general lighting and vertical lighting should be used consciously. This gives lighting based on Tunable White technique and advantage.
- Eye-tracking tests have shown that the lower part of the shelves is perceived less intensively. For this reason, the researchers recommend to use dynamic light to accentuate these parts. In general, they recommend integrated lighting systems within the shelves.
The research will be continued. The next topic will get granular on dynamic lighting control systems for shop lighting applications.