Award-winning stores put the merchandise in the best light— and not just figuratively. They fea- ture appropriate lighting levels,
often ensured by architectural lighting
designers specializing in retail. Four such
designers that have been involved in A. R.E.
Design Award-winning projects shed light
on what’s new in retail lighting and what
the future holds.
LED technology is constantly changing
and improving. Among the numerous LED
options available today is tunable technology, says Chip Israel, CEO and founder of
Lighting Design Alliance in Long Beach,
“During the day, you can match your
illumination to daylight, and at night, it’s
possible to make the light warmer,” he
explains. “You can also saturate the light
with more purple to make white products
The technology also allows you to give
in-store seating a warmer, more residential
look, among other applications.
Rhomney Forbes-Gray, principal at
Lightbrigade Architectural Lighting Design
in Toronto, also likes the multiple ways tunable LEDs can benefit retailers. Slight color
temperature variations can be set between
the merchandise and architectural lighting
accents such as coves (places where light is
hidden behind a lip at the edge of a lower
ceiling) and reveals (glowing slots in a ceiling or wall with light spilling out), she says.
“This creates a slight distinction between
the product and secondary lighting treatments,” says Forbes-Gray. “By bringing the
light closer to the product and not lighting
the aisles, you draw attention to your merchandise, create a more interesting environment, and reduce energy consumption.”
Light can paint a picture, revealing the architecture and creating a memorable image with a
foreground, background, frame, and focus, as seen at The Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Fla.
Lighting design by Focus Lighting
Trends and strategies from award-winning designers
By Heather Larson