WHICH TYPE OF LIGHTING TO CHOOSE FOR THE STORE? THIS ARTICLE WILL CLARIFY EVERYTHING
The contrast lighting we offer, like any innovation, has potential that can be used, ignored or simply overlooked. The following text will help you avoid the latter. Find out the differences between the basic lighting technologies and decide for yourself which one will best reflect the character of your brand.
In this article, we discuss two ways to use LED technology to illuminate commercial interiors. Discover the most important differences between:
1. Traditional reflector - lighting fixture with the so-called a reflector, i.e. a mirror-like inner surface, which you surely associate, for example, with car headlights.
2. Modern luminaries using a lens, i.e. contrast lighting, which allows for the precise shaping of the light beam.
left: Lumiverso optical system / right: classic lens
Both technologies use LED diodes, so they do not differ significantly in price and energy consumption. Each of them can take almost any shape and present an equally attractive design. However, they definitely differ in what is most important - the method of illuminating objects and the environment. Displaying the assortment is the most important role that shop lighting has to play. However, before we get into the technical details and the benefits that you can receive by choosing the right lighting, we will explain why you were faced with such a choice. It happened, in a way, by chance.
NEW PERFORMANCE, OLD PROPS…
The lighting revolution that broke out at the beginning of this millennium has not fully run to completion. Although the then innovative LEDs quickly turned out to be unrivaled in relation to the previously reigning metal halide lamps, the lighting industry did not prepare for their use with due care. Focusing on the problem of heat dissipation by LED chips, it did not pay attention to the quality of the light itself. The LEDs were quickly adapted to the available, mass-produced lamps with reflectors, i.e. traditional reflectors. In other words, the "bulbs" were simply replaced, regardless of the fact that the light of LED lamps shone mainly forward, and their predecessors, metal halide lamps, shone mainly from the sides.
left: Lumiverso optical system / right: classic lens
An example of the importance of this difference is the question of the strict standards for car lights. If we simply replaced halogen lights with LEDs in an old Fiat, the car would blind all oncoming drivers. The automotive sector was therefore not able to use LEDs right away. To obtain approval, it first had to develop a completely new lamp structure - making sure that the reflector properly focused the light and gave it precise direction.
Although the automotive industry differs in laws to retail (after all, it is about road safety), the above comparison shows the vast difference between technologies. Regardless, it is still neglected by many manufacturers of shop lighting. What are the consequences of this?
THE LIGHT A REFLECTOR CREATES HALO EFFECT
Through the hole in the reflector, approx. 55% of the light emitted by the LED is freely released. The rest goes to the reflector and focuses. The effect? The concentrated 45% illuminates the object while the rest forms a characteristic halo around it called a halo effect.
While the double spot effect may appeal to the novice, top lighting designers for the retail industry consider it an undesirable phenomenon:
- It uncontrollably illuminates the object's surroundings (e.g. unattractive spaces between shelves, technical elements, etc.).
- It makes it difficult to clearly display the item in question, also illuminating adjacent products.
- It prevents the creation of contrasts between the product and the background, which flattens the light scene, depriving it of dynamism and emotion.
- It makes it difficult to position luminaires correctly, especially those facing the centre of the shop, exposing customers to glare.
Exposure with a normal lens / Lumiverso exposure
WHAT LENS CHANGES? POSSIBILITIES OF CONTRAST LIGHTING
By using a lens instead of reflectors, it is possible to focus as much as 95% of the light emitted by LED lamps. Thanks to this, the halo effect has been eliminated. This lighting is more precise and allows us to play with light and shadow in a decisive, clear, expressive way. Hence the term "contrast lighting". In projects where every detail matters (premium stores, high-fashion), full control over the play of lights is a great advantage. It allows not only to illuminate, but also:
- emphasize details,
- highlight products,
- enliven the space,
Effectively execued, it can even show the way and lead the customer through the store in some desired direction. This type of lighting is used by premium stores, where the assortment is less and customers are primarily looking for prestige and quality.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHEN CHOOSING CONTRAST LIGHTING?
When deciding on a newer technology, you need to be aware that there are also differences in this field, both in the quality and the design. When choosing lighting for a premium store, pay attention to:
- The quality of the optical system of the lens. Its structure is of great importance, as it can create sharper or softer edges of light spots. A clearly defined spot of light (sharp edges) is mainly used in stage lighting, while in shops, where the spotlights intersect and merge, the better choice is usually a lens drawing an outline that gently encloses the circle of light. It allows you to avoid the effect that you can associate with the Olympic rings.
- Designers' experience. The precise creation of dynamic lighting scenes requires knowledge and experience. Choosing a manufacturer that also specializes in contrast lighting design is the way to go.
- Availability of the lighting fixture setting service after the store has been stocked. We wrote about the importance of this final phase of implementation here. Pay attention. When choosing luminaries with a lens, this service is crucial for any significant change in the arrangement of the store.
On the Polish lighting market, Lumiverso stands out in each of the indicated areas of cooperation - we were the first in Poland to specialize in providing contrast technology.