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How to Light Your Retail Store Like a Pro

retail lightingAre you ready to create an inviting and professional atmosphere in your retail store? One of the first steps in creating a space that welcomes customers is the lighting.

Store lighting plays a significant role in setting the mood for any store. Many do not know this, but lighting can heavily affect sales, foot traffic, and success for retail stores.

If retail stores use the right lighting, they can boost sales, draw in new customers, and keep customers coming back for more.

Read below to learn what is considered great lighting, poor lighting, and how to light your retail store like a pro!


What is an example of great lighting, and how can you recognize great lighting in your local retail stores?

There are many aspects of lighting that are not limited to a simple color. Some stores provide better lighting than others.

retailRetail stores that focus on the following aspects have great lighting:

  • Atmosphere
  • Accent Lighting
  • Task Lighting
  • Natural Lighting

Consider the atmosphere. Depending on your retail store, you may be striving to achieve a different atmosphere than other retail stores. While the following are examples of great lighting, not every store should have the same lighting.

Stores with great lighting provide bright cool-white lights to illuminate products, shelves, and racks. The bright lights present an atmosphere that encourages customers to shop.

Accent lighting highlights items, products, and on-sale items. Lights, such as spotlights, can catch people’s attention. Accent lighting is a great tool to use if you want to push a product or catch someone’s attention.

Stores with great lighting do not forget the basics: task lighting. Task lighting refers to lights that are used in a purely efficient manner. For example, fluorescent tubes may not match the vibe of a cozy coffee shop, but it is useful in the back storage room.

Task lighting provides employees and owners with the necessary tools to work effectively and efficiently.

Another example of great lighting is using already available light: natural light. Natural light from store windows, skylights, and glass doors can aid retail stores by supplying a well-lit area. Stores that use natural lighting; typically have an extremely professional and functional atmosphere.


After understanding examples of good lighting, what are the risks of poor lighting in your store? Poor lighting often refers to any lights that hinder the success rate and level of efficiency.

retailWrong temperature, incorrect brightness, and bad bulbs are just a few examples of poor lighting. How can these things hinder your retail store and lower the efficiency of your employees?

Low lighting can be beneficial in setting the mood for a space, but it makes it difficult to see products. By using lights that are not bright enough, customers may not notice great sales, seasonal items, or any other product.

Similarly, using the same type of lighting throughout the store will not guide a customer’s eyes; everything will appear too similar. Different areas will require contrasting lighting.

For example, you should not use the same lights in the bathroom as you do for endcaps and sales racks. Bathroom lights do not require any embellishments, mainly because it is an area that does not require focus. However, sales racks and endcaps should elicit people’s attention.

You want people to be drawn to certain areas of the store. Varying the types of lighting in your store can effectively direct customers.


Follow these seven tips to learn how to light your store like a pro:

1 Strategizing Your Lighting

Strategizing your lighting means choosing a light that will help your retail store grow and prosper. Decide where you will place items that you wish to sell quickly. Arrange lights so that customers are drawn to this designated place. By strategizing your lighting, you can increase sales and provide a simple layout for customers.

2 Consider the Mood

Is your store offering shelves upon shelves of products? You might benefit from bright, cool lights or LED strips that will highlight products effectively. Or are you trying to create a soothing atmosphere for relaxing browsing? You may benefit from decorative lamps, warmer lights, or spotlights. By considering the mood, you can keep customers comfortable and engaged.

3 Consider Your High-Trafficked Times

As mentioned previously, natural lighting can play a role in lighting your retail store. If your store has a lot of foot traffic in the early morning hours, create a space that will be enhanced by the sun’s natural light. However, if you see more sales in the evening, focus on lights that compensate for the lack of illumination. Also, choose temperatures that will complement the high-trafficked times.

4 Consider Your Goals

If your goal is to grab the customer’s attention before they even enter the building, use bright lights to enhance your storefront. If your goal is to keep customers in your store longer, create a welcoming atmosphere with ambient lighting. Depending on your goal, you may need to use a variety of lights.

5 Pick the Right Type of Fixtures

Similar to choosing your goals, different fixtures are used for a variety of reasons. Spotlights can be an advantage for those who are focused on specific areas of a store. Task lighting such as fluorescent bulbs or bright, general lighting is typically used for bathrooms, storage rooms, and around the register. You can also use decorative lights or colored lights if you are trying to create a unique or sophisticated atmosphere. Choose your bulb wisely.

6 Don’t Forget the Logistics

Nothing is worse than being unprepared for a surprise inspection. Many may not have any trouble choosing lamps, fixtures, and placement, but they forget about lighting regulations. There may be electrical or energy codes that you are unaware of, resulting in a hefty fine. It is vital to get in contact with your state or hire an electrical engineer BEFORE installing.

7 Get Professional Help

Probably the most helpful tip of all: hire a professional! GCE National is one of the most productive and successful lighting and electrical businesses out there. GCE takes the time to ensure that your lighting is up to code and strategically placed throughout your store. Using their experiences and extensive knowledge, GCE National can help you light your retail store like a pro!

Speak with a retail lighting expert from GCE National today!

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