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                                                                         Your Position: Home > Articles > Commerical Lighting > LED in Retail Display Windows

LED in Retail Display Windows

ALLED / 2011-10-08

 Lighting is a key decorative element that contributes to the identity, comfort, and visual quality of a retail store. Retail lighting designers usually take advantage of the main characteristics of light to create an image that is consistent with the retail store’s selling strategy. For example, in warehouse and mass merchandise stores, lighting design may lean more toward simplicity and efficiency and produce uniform light through the space. In exclusive boutiques, on the other hand, the lighting design may lean more towards sophistication and light level may vary through the store. Despite the store type, lighting in retail display windows have the general functions, including attracting customers, enhancing the image of the store, give an appeal appearance of goods.

In order to create an eye-catching display, the illumination of a store window’s accent lighting can be 10 to 30 times greater than that out the surrounding area. High light levels and high illumination contrast between the display windows and its background makes the merchandise standout from its background.

To get this impact, Dan Frering of the Light Research Centre says stores often use a lot of high-wattage accent lights to illuminate mannequins and merchandise. But when used 12 or more hours every day, the energy consumption and costs will climb. The United States Department of Energy says lighting is the biggest energy expense for retailers, accounting for 37% of the total energy use in U.S. retail buildings.

This energy problem may be eased if turns to another energy-efficient light source. LED, is famous for its energy-efficient characteristic and long life expectation. Though LED may offer opportunities for energy savings, it has functional and technological difference with the present lighting technology in retail display windows. Fear of changing the store image, difficulty to anticipate shoppers reaction limits the adoption of energy-efficient lighting technology in retail display window applications.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sponsored the Light Research Centre field study to investigate whether the use of color contrast in retail display windows as an option to reduce the high illumination contrast between the display and background.

To conduct this research, the researchers installed custom, slim-profile LEDs in the windows of three stores owned by a popular clothing retailer in LA area shopping malls. They eliminated all general fluorescent lighting, reduced the number and wattage of halogen accent lights and added LED to create colored backgrounds. Frering says, “We designed the window lighting to create impact and contrast with color instead of high light levels. This allowed us to reduce the amount of accent lighting and cut energy usage.”

After about 8 weeks and more than 700 surveys, the use of colored LEDs along with accent light reduction receives positive reflections from shoppers.74% percent of shoppers found that the new lighting design to be eye-catching .91% confirmed that the reduced accent lighting did not diminish the visibility of window mannequins and merchandise.

This project confirmed that by adopting colored LED and reducing accent light can reach an energy saving purpose, but not affect the attention capture function of retail display window. Perhaps, in the near future, LED can receive wider adoption in retail display windows.

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