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3 Lighting Styles for Retail Spaces
| 13 Sep

Lighting has a significant effect on our mood with roughly 80% of sensory information received by the brain coming directly from our eyes. Lighting can highlight interior structures, suggest product quality and alter space – influencing how we feel about a product and our decision to make a purchase. Here are 3 lighting styles for retail spaces:


1) Perimeter Lighting

Perimeter lighting contributes to the perception of size and brightness in stores and can improve visibility whilst creating visual interest on walls. One of the main uses of perimeter lighting is to direct the consumer out of the main aisles and into the merchandising space. Examples of perimeter lighting include:

Light scallops – Downward light sources, similar to spotlights, which fade out gradually towards the ends of product displays.

Grazing – Sits close to the wall to create patterns and reveal depth of texture.

Wall-washers – Visually enlarges space by using a uniformed method of lighting to bounce off walls into the store.


2) Accent Lighting

Accent lighting can be used in several ways to manipulate spaces by altering the size and harshness of shadows. Techniques include:

Key Lighting – Uses hard accent lighting to create shadows, contrast and establish a focal point.

Fill Lighting – The distribution of light is wider and can help soften shadows.

Highlighting – Used to reveal shape and texture within products.

Backlighting – Utilizes light behind products to emphasize on shape and size.

Uplighting – Mostly used to create dramatic effects, common for front window displays and department transitions.


3) Task Lighting

Task lighting focuses on delivering effective lighting solutions to support both customers and shop staff. The common shopping tasks include reading product information, directional signage and assessing the quality of goods. Typical employee tasks which require task lighting include sales transactions, merchandising and store cleaning. Good task visibility is determined by the following five factors:

Contrast – The difference between the task and surrounding area. Size – What is the size of information being displayed? E.g. price tag or department signage.

Time – How long does the task take to achieve?

Luminance – How much light is needed?

Age – Different ages require different amounts of light to see.


By Dawood Pathan

For further information on your retail design, contact Offbeat Creative at or call 020 7060 3121