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„Retail lighting“

If you operate or plan to set up a brick-and-mortar shop, you do so primarily for profit. To make it happen, you need to meet the four basic rules of a successful shop: 1) a high-quality product, 2) a suitable space, 3) professional staff, 4) well-managed sensory marketing. If you meet these rules, you don’t need to worry too much about the pricing policy, and your customers will be happy to pay you more than at your competitors, because they will know that they are important to you and that you care about them.

By sensory marketing, we mean an interesting, nice, thematic interior (which, of course, goes hand in hand with the exterior), decorations, staff uniforms, specific smells, tastings and other freebies. In this context, I would like to talk briefly about the absolutely most important component of sensory marketing, i.e. lighting. Light is responsible for how your customers see your products – as is well known, customers “buy with their eyes”. Nowadays, it is perhaps not even necessary to carry out surveys or statistics to prove that customers buy orange oranges, red meat, toys with the prettiest boxes, clothes with the purest colours, the most glittering jewels, etc., because we can clearly see it in ourselves. And this is achieved by using properly designed lighting, under which cars will look attractive, the colours of flowers will stand out – and one could continue with many other examples. Using light, you can also create the overall atmosphere of the space. A jeweller’s shop requires an intimate atmosphere, a pet shop needs a really peaceful atmosphere, while customers shopping for clothes should be made to act, etc. All this, and much more, is a job for specialists, such as a lighting architect, a lighting technician or a lighting designer.

This specialist will prepare a tailored design, taking into account the right colour temperature – ideal for your products, the right colour rendering index, the right intensity, which is extremely important to make sure that the light doesn’t have a negative impact on your products, but makes them as attractive as possible for the customer’s eyes. Furthermore, the specialist will effectively place the right kind of luminaires to avoid glare and to either make them merge with the space or, conversely, make them become the dominating design element of the room. These are very individual matters which play a major role in the success of your shop.

When I visit clients, I first go and have a look at their shop, which means I can then easily predict how they will answer my question: “How’s your business doing?” If the shop is clean, with a thematic design, their merchandise is beautifully sorted and properly displayed, and the shop assistant is helpful and smiling, the owner will (proudly) answer that they are doing well. If there are old fluorescent lamps flickering on the ceiling, the shop assistant doesn’t even respond to my greeting, and the products don’t have price tags, the answer is also predictable. We have many examples from our own practice where all we did was replace the lighting in a well-established shop, and its turnover rose by 30% and the permanent growth then remained at about 15% in the long term. It is an excellent investment in your business, which will pay off many times over. Think of it in the following way: “The right lighting is the greatest possible material support in the shopping site.”

The right light in your shop will bring you: 1) efficient energy consumption, 2) reduced service costs, 3) protection of products from UV radiation, 4) overall improvement of the space, 5) accentuated presentation of your products, 6) an increase in sales, and 7) happy customers.

Do you think that a satisfied customer will buy more from you?

Jan Petráň / PAIRAM

Light and relaxation

A few days ago, I finished reading the book Čas pro světlo (Time for Light) by Professor Helena Illnerová, in which she writes about the influence of light on the human organism. She says that the perception of light significantly affects our circadian rhythm, the so-called “biological clock”. For example: if you are under artificial light at a time when your brain is accustomed to sleep, it hampers the formation of melatonin in the epiphysis, which induces night for your organism. Moreover, if the so-called “blue element” prevails in the light, this negative effect is much more significant.

How can you use such information in practice? Your bedroom and the rooms where you relax after work, which are usually a living room, wellness facilities, etc., should have a light source with a colour temperature of 2,700 K (i.e. incandescent white) – you use it for lighting before you go to bed or when you want to relax, which is very efficiently facilitated by this light. Conversely, during the day in the study, office, as well as in the kitchen, you need “daylight”, i.e. a source with a high colour temperature of 4,000–7,000 K, which stimulates serotonin, the nerve chemical that supports the wakefulness cycle. If, for various reasons, you want to use LED light sources, it is beneficial if they exhibit a high colour rendering index, e.g. CRI> 90 or Ra > 90, which means that you see colours almost as in daylight or under a standard light bulb, whose Ra is 100. In addition, if you have trouble sleeping, you shouldn’t stare at your computer monitor or LED TV before you go to bed, because they have a large proportion of the aforementioned blue element.

And how can you use light to relax best? Should you choose the dim light of a reading lamp or an intense “warm” light all over the room? Here’s advice from a lighting designer: “The best way to relax is being in the dark.” In today’s world, overlit by all sorts of technology, it is the dark that is the right balm and luxury for your well-being. Treat yourself to it.

Jan Petráň / PAIRAM