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Ideal retail lighting

Author: Paul Marchant
Published: January 13, 2014

Choosing the right lighting for a retail or commercial outlet is just as important as choosing the right colour for the walls, or the right displays for your products. Making the right lighting choice is all about matching the style and size of your store with the correct type of light fitting. Should the light stand out or blend in? Do you need a warm or cool effect? How much lighting power is required? All these questions need to be asked, and each answer will point you to a different type of light.

Lighting for larger stores

The basic retail light is there to provide light across a wide area, a marriage of form and function. Part of our high bay range, the Clear / Black High Bay fitting is a perfect example. This low-cost light has a traditional domed shade design, but with 100W of power at its disposal, it will light-up a large area of any shop. As it is a pendant fitting, it's also more flexible than flush or recessed lighting.

This Retail & Display High Bay fitting is tough, too. It's certified to IP44, protecting it from stray wires, screws and water splashes. It comes in two different finishes - the clear model gives the most intense light throw, while a muted silver metallic version is also available. Both use a glass safety screen that clips onto the refractor.

For a fitting that can be placed more deliberately, the Zeta Metal Halide Display Light is worth checking out. This powerful 70W display light is made of cast aluminium, and can be affixed to any wall with its inbuilt bracket. Using a double ended halide bulb, it produces light of a very high quality. Crisp and intense, it'll add presence to any retail display.

These sorts of light are best-suited to larger retail stores, but you may find that the fittings themselves are a little too conspicuous. The solution is a light that sits flush with the wall or ceiling, creating light for your shop in the simplest, and least conspicuous way.

Less conspicuous shop lighting

In-use, the Robus Ceiling Panel appears an innocuous, glowing ceiling panel. It provides 2800 lumens of illumination, with fairly consistent output throughout the panel thanks to the use of four 32W LEDs. It's designed to fit in with existing ceiling grids, at 600mm by 600mm in size.

One of the biggest benefits of this light is that as it uses LEDs, its expected lifespan is huge. Lasting an average of 40,000 hours, it'll soldier on providing your premises with all-day, even white light for years.

A similar fitting with a little more of a contemporary look is the Low Energy Downlight. Again, it is recessed in the ceiling, but is circular in shape, rather than a square panel. This gives the fitting a more modern look. Instead of LEDs, it uses two low-energy 18W bulbs and comes in two iterations.

The diffuser model is of most interest for retail spaces, softening and dispersing the light output. If you also want lights for backroom offices, the anti-glare model is your perfect solution. It features a light opening designed to reduce glare on computer screens – much easier on the eyes in office spaces.

These lights primarily for larger spaces tend to value practicality over a specific look or effect – not every commercial-grade light is like this though. Plenty of boutique lights can provide a much more distinctive effect.

Lighting for smaller shops

For smaller shops, the Scope Low Voltage Wire Light System provides style, warmth and an intimate vibe in equal measure. It features a rail of five adjustable spotlights, lined-up in a row along a 5m span of cable. With classy polished chrome housings, these spotlights offer a much more eye-catching approach than any other we've covered so far.

The Fireguard LED7 Dimmable Spotlight brings a similarly impressive sense of style to any shop. It's a fairly small housing designed to give you careful control over the lighting in any premises. It uses six LEDs arranged in a circle, around which sits a bezel of polished chrome, brushed nickel or white-coated metal. Each is available with either cool or warm LEDs, equivalent to the output of a 50W halogen bulb – but with the superior lifespan of LED.

Windows and displays

So far we've covered lights that are generally for the main area of a shop, but there are also lights that excel in shop front windows and displays. Our recessed display light as its name suggests is recessed into the ceiling, and offers minute control over the throw of the light.

It does this with a 60-degree adjustable rotating fitting. With up to 200W of power on tap, it can provide seriously dazzling output – sure to make any shop window centrepiece look striking. A low-energy version is also available, using an 18W low-energy bulb instead of the more powerful 200W halogen type.

Why not take a look at our full commercial lighting range?

Looking for more news, inspiration and advice? Try our Lighting Advice section.