Retail facilities continue switching to LEDs, a more efficient, brighter and longer lasting lighting option, saving them energy and reducing operating costs. Its rapid return on investment makes LED retrofitting a smart, simple option.
But the benefits don’t stop there. What if a LED lighting upgrade could also increase and guide consumer purchasing decisions? What if thoughtful placement and controlled lighting could make customers feel more comfortable and safe, and make employees more productive?
LED lighting technology continues to advance, creating possibilities for uses beyond those of traditional bulbs. These trends illuminate new uses for lighting that positively affect the bottom line, customers, and employees. The investment is worth the switch.
Retailers today implement lighting standards which allow for control and automation on smart timers and schedules, or turned on and off remotely to save energy when a space is unoccupied. Now common light sensors are installed to detect occupancy and vacancy, as well as natural light-triggered timers and dimming controls.
Studies have shown that controlled lighting leads to energy efficiency and human efficiency. Retail and commercial spaces are often brighter than necessary, which wastes energy and negatively affects customer comfort and employee productivity.
Light that is installed and managed for the task at hand – whether trying on clothing (brighter, frontal lighting), showcasing a product (varied, colorful highlighting), or operating a computer or register (dimmed overhead lighting), can be optimized.
Kimco Realty: Focus on outdoors
Lighting is just as impactful outside a retail store as it is inside. In 2015 Kimco Realty, a leading U.S. retail REIT implemented its “Illumi-Nation” program, a sustainability initiative that committed $9 million to upgrade exterior lighting, in 100 of its properties.
By adding new energy-efficient LED lights to its parking lots, Kimco improved aesthetics, and lowered expenses and energy use. Since the program began, Kimco has reported reduced parking lot electricity expenses by up to 40%.
Most importantly to Kimco, the lighting upgrade has positively affected customer safety, which has translated to profits. Increased dark skies lighting has improved foot traffic to retail stores and increased sales through the added sense of security and a more noticeable property from the street.
And for retailers in locations that are cognizant of light pollution, new LED technology allows for controlled light direction, and some are adding “hats” to reduce the amount of light transmitted upward after dark.
Outdoor lighting can also transform the customer experience. When walking through a mall or retail space, color is an important tool to grab customer attention. More retailers are putting the spotlight on their products by playing with color lighting to align with their brand, attract attention and personalize the shopping experience.