Commercial lighting solutions are more than installing a couple of overhead LEDs and calling it a day. A lot of planning (as well as a strategic approach) is required to create the perfect balance between practicality, attractiveness, and atmosphere.
We take a look at several popular commercial and retail spaces, highlighting the importance of strategic lighting design and execution. As you read this, think of yourself as not only a business owner or manager, but as a customer, too. Can you think of a time unflattering or poor lighting affected your experience as a customer?
Good lighting is more important than you might realise!
Commercial lighting designs – projects
Restaurants and café lighting designs
Today more than ever a restaurant or café is more than the food it serves. The ambiance, look, décor, and ‘vibe’ are just as important and can make or break the prospect of a return customer.
What vibe do you want to project to your patrons? Cosy and romantic? Sleek and sophisticated? On-trend and popular? Cool and industrial? Your décor – including lighting and light fixtures – can help shape this.
Don’t forget about behind the scenes, too. Chefs and kitchen staff need strong, bright, and clear lighting in the kitchens when preparing meals.
Lighting in bars and clubs
Lighting is key to mood, but also helps with segmenting a space:
- Waiting areas and coat checks require practical lighting
- In your bar area, you might like your lighting to be moody or you might like cool features like LED strip lighting or backlighting
- You might like your dining space to be a little brighter than the bar for comfort (but not so bright that people confuse it for a fast-food outlet!)
These high-energy spaces can use hundreds of LED lights to create amazing colours and effects. LED lighting is the favoured choice here thanks to its immense efficiency. Video and projection walls are popular, too.
Edge lighting along stairs is also really important for safety.
If you’re an office worker in a regular job, you’re spending 40 hours a week – or about 2000 hours a year – in your office.
Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) requires that employers or managers have a duty to ensure a workplace is safe for their employees. Part of that duty is to provide or create a space that is practical and functional, and a place where employees are content and comfortable.
This is office ergonomics.
Lighting is a sub-division of office ergonomics. Indirect lighting positioning reduces glare from windows and computer screens, while warm white lights are functional yet pleasant and gentle.
Some workplace injuries are even caused by the contorted positioning of one’s body to avoid glare or impractical light positioning. These are all important considerations you need to make!
Good lighting is critical here for two reasons: to show off your products, and, if you’re an apparel store, to show off your products on your customer.
As superficial as it might sound, if a customer isn’t loving what they see when they’re in your fitting room, it’s probably going to be harder to convert a sale.
That’s why fitting room lighting is so important, too. We’d be lying if we said we’d never taken a sneaky fitting room selfie and sought an opinion from a friend. People want to look good when they’re considering buying your product, so the two main factors you must consider are:
- Lighting colour
- Lighting positioning
Vertical lights running down each side of the mirror is a common and flattering lighting placement; harsh overhead lighting causes awkward shadows and doesn’t put one in the best light (pardon the pun).
Hair and beauty salon lighting
Similarly, hair and beauty salons requires strategic lighting design and installation, putting you and your customers in a good light – both literally and figuratively.
Lighting in a salon needs to fulfil two goals:
- 1. Lighting needs to be strong and bright enough that a hair stylist can comfortably and correctly perform a range of styling and hairdressing tasks.
- 2. Lighting must be natural and not distort the perceived hair colour of a client. If lighting is too bright or too dull, perceptions are skewed this can affect the outcome of a dye job.
A balance between artificial and natural lighting addresses both the need to create a comfortable and pleasing atmosphere in your salon: artificial lighting creates the right atmosphere and ambiance, and enhances the look of your salon, but natural lighting is also needed so colour interpretation is not distorted – especially important in hair colouring and styling.
Further, shadows are not only unpleasant and distracting to look at, but they can also distort a client’s perception of their hair and particularly their colour. Avoid shadows, just like in fitting rooms, by using mirror or wall lighting.
The photo below is from our customer Sabuki Salon, a hairdressing salon in Sandringham. We designed and installed a customised lighting solution, providing a bright and realistic atmosphere.
Car park lighting
From apartment car parks to shopping centres and airports, commercial car park lighting is imperative for safety and security. Car parks house not only cars but pedestrians, too. Clear pathways and crossings, illuminated by strategic lighting, keeps these people safe.
You can read more about car park lighting in this blog post.
Commercial lighting designs and solutions
At the end of the day, no matter your business type or industry, good quality lighting, led by a solid and strategic design, is especially important in creating the right atmosphere.
LED lighting is a popular choice not only for its energy efficiency, but also because it comes in a variety of intensities that create the exact illumination you require.
A retail and commercial lighting expert covers the aesthetics of a store or office as well as the practicality. Each one is just as important as the other! If you own or manage a retail store or are planning to open a new one, you need a carefully planned lighting strategy. Follow the light and let Briggs Electrical help. Contact us here or call now: 1300 300 222.