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6 Must Knows in Selecting Lighting for Retail Businesses

6 Must Knows In Selecting Lighting For Retail Businesses

With the number of items needed to be checked off of a list, business owners rarely have time to focus on selecting lighting for their retail stores. Many business owners and retail store managers would consider lighting elements to be an afterthought in the overall design process.

Is Lighting Important For A Retail Business?

To emphasize just how damaging this can be, consider a recent study that concluded that two side-by-side stores had a 12% difference in sales after one store revamped its lighting scheme.

You might not need a study to understand the effects of lighting. Just recall the last time you went to a retail store – what attracted you? Probably the fancy shoes, jewelry, or clothes put on display and accentuated by lighting. Lighting is quite simply the easiest, yet most effective way to market and display products – we truly believe in this, and you really should too if you are in the retail line 

Now that you know why they matter, let’s talk about the six essential tips you need to know to light up a retail store (and guarantee sales).

Starting Out

Choosing The Right Theme, Temperature, and Contrast

retail store lighting

Credits: Homerenoguru

Before you can decide between the different types of lighting or the different decorative styles, you need to consult with a decorator or designer about the ambiance you want to deliver through your store’s lighting theme.

For example; coffee shops usually incorporate dimmer lights allowing maximum natural light to come in, whereas bakeries would want strong track lights over-heading items. 

For a retail store, the theme is an entirely different one: You’re looking to make the customer stay in the store long enough for them to feel compelled to buy a product. Classic hook, line, and center.

Simply put, the lighting theme of a store is inadvertently linked to the ambiance needed for that store (coffee shops, hardware stores and retail stores).

The theme, therefore, is either boujee and chic, or more bright and inviting. In either case, it depends upon the brand that you’re showcasing. Similar to the theme, we have the temperature of lighting as well as the contrast between two varied elements. 

This can best be described if we consider items put on display or mannequins in stores. The contrast created is so that the customer focuses more so on the mannequin before anything else. Retail stores do this for the ‘hook’ or attracting a customer towards their most popular product.

Allotting a Budget

recessed lighting for store

Credits: Homerenoguru

Whether you’re working for a high-end brand or your local convenience store – there’s going to be a budget and business owners or managers aren’t too keen on extending beyond it.

Hence, it is important to allot a budget and create a list of what your store needs to attract customers with the right lighting theme. Don’t go overboard with one chandelier that you’re left with no more money to invest in track lights or accent lights. 

Separate your wants from your needs – the needs in this case being what the store needs to generate sales. Given the fact that most retail owners tend to believe decorative elements are best for marketing purposes, they go all out to make their store look pretty. 

Form and functioning need to go hand in hand, not against one another. Therefore, it is important to evaluate your budget, reevaluate your wants and needs, and assess your requirements.

Considering Your Options

Types of Retail Lighting

elegant pendant light

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There are three broad categories of lighting:

  • General or Ambient Lighting
  • Task Lighting
  • Recessed or Accent Lighting

These three types can be incorporated into layers in retail stores. The term layering refers to incorporating numerous (in this case three) sorts of lighting to come together in cohesion. Nothing looks out of place, nothing outshines, and nothing under shines.

However, it is important to understand that lighting a retail store is a lot more different than lighting a home. In a retail store, backlights, track lights, and recessed lights are incorporated more than at homes (where they’re usually restricted to living rooms).

Over at Light Vault, best lighting shop in Singpore you will find catalogs upon catalogs of lights designated specifically for retail stores. We have track lights, back lights, and all other lights imaginable!

Types of Bulbs

edison styled bulb

Get This Product: Edison Light Bulb LED Teardrop

There are four main types of bulbs to choose from:

  • LED Lights
  • Incandescent Bulbs
  • Halogen Bulbs
  • Fluorescent Bulbs
AffordabilityExpensive (though now the price has drastically reduced over the years and very affordable now)Expensive CheaperCheapest
Life-spanLong-LastingAdequate Life SpanShort Life SpanShortest Life Span
TemperatureBright, CoolBright, BlueWarm, YellowWarm, Yellow


LED lights are by far the most popular lights for lighting retail stores. Incandescent lights are gradually being replaced by florescent lights since they last longer and have better temperature outputs. 

Architectural Considerations

Lights That Are Easily Maintainable

lighting for a store

Credits: Homerenoguru

Lights need to be routinely cleaned, inspected, and changed. Hence, it wouldn’t make much sense to place them in architectural elements that are too far out of reach for maintenance.

Incorporating ‘Flexible’ Lighting

lighting for bridal boutique

Credits: Homerenoguru

Retail stores stand apart from other businesses for the fact that they change their entire outlook based on trends and seasons. To put it simply, during the holidays a retail store will incorporate a more festive theme to attract customers. 

With other such examples, one thing’s for certain: Lighting needs to be flexible. 

The word ‘flexible’ here means that the fixture you’ve installed from day one should be adapted in a way that it suits your needs later on. For example; track lights are easily moved around to accentuate different areas of the stores and standing lights can be paired with various shades based on requirements. 


Lighting themes have their effect everywhere: homes, showrooms, stores, and many other places. In the world of retail, lighting themes should seriously be incorporated into the store’s business strategy. The various kinds of lights, LED bulbs, and decorative elements accentuate products on display to attract customers and boost sales.

This is time tested and is evident in stores all around us. Lighting themes for retail stores have to follow certain specifications to shine (quite literally!), and we’ve got just the right tips to get you started a mile ahead of the rest.