Retail in Asia

In Telligence

How retail lighting design affects customer experience?


Lighting is one of the most underrated components in designing an establishment, despite having a significant effect in enhancing customer experience.

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Nowadays, the trends are changing. Restaurants, hotels, Luxury stores, retail chains, supermarket, convenient stores, and even barbershops are calling on lighting design to drive customers to their business. For retailers who have overlooked their lighting strategy, this is the right time to understand how it affects brand perception and drives sales, isn’t it?

Lighting design does more for an establishment than simply making products visible or telling customers they are open for business. It has an impact on customer’s experience that can affect instantly a consumer’s decision on whether it is worth dealing with a brand or not.


1) Enhances product appeal

Lighting affects a person’s brand perception. Product quality, customer service excellence, level of competence, and price position perception can all be hinted by the lighting design alone.

Baseline lighting design concept (The Club) for Lacoste across Asia. Source: Baseline

The concept works because of its excellent lighting design that highlights the most exquisite products in the collection. The lights help present a luxurious appeal consistent with the brand. That effect attracts customers the moment they see the merchandise through the window.

Different color temperatures of light evoke different emotions, which is why many businesses are meticulous on the lighting design to be used to represent their brand. The safest method to ensure the appropriate fixtures are selected is through consulting an expert lighting design studio like Baseline.

2) Helps build trust

Good lighting has a psychological effect that the business has nothing to hide – no hidden defects, fees, or catch. It represents transparency which every customer expects from a business. With this, spaces should be adequately illuminated to ensure customers can clearly see the quality of material and color of the products without interference.

       Ceiling light set up.                                            Light color temperature. Source: Baseline

3) Rouses positive emotions

Humans naturally react to light intensity as per circadian rhythm. As a result, light can create behavioral nudges which indirectly suggest the mood appropriate for a certain situation.

On a busy street, a small restaurant or a café with warm lighting will attract attention because it gives a homey feel. Usually, people will want to go to this kind of place to relax and take comfort in the intimate atmosphere the establishment emanates. During the night, convenience stores stand out the most because of their bright white lights. The lighting design shouts out that they are open and have anything people might need at that time.

The direction, color, intensity, and distribution of light in a space creates a specific effect that impacts the emotional state of customers who see and experience it. Lighting design can prompt transparency, intimacy, or curiosity in customers, which is why it is best to plan it carefully and get help from professionals such as Baseline.

Baseline lighting design concept for Serge Lutens. Source: Baseline

4) Directs customers naturally

Lighting helps people differentiate the purpose of an area. Bright lights are often found in lobbies and reception areas, while darker lights are present in locations inviting a more intimate interaction.

There are 3 types of retail lighting which can be used to create specific effects and direction inside an establishment:

1) Ambient lighting – reflects the concept the whole store wants to emphasize.
2) Accent lighting – acts as the spotlight that highlights the products in the store.
3) High-activity lighting – brightens every corner of the store to make sure every
item is presented to customers.

According to a study from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, people were more drawn to areas with contrasting brightness compared to brightly lit spaces without any variation in intensity. Additionally, blue light was found to be more invigorating too compared to other light colors. Warm lighting, on the other hand, makes customers feel comfortable, encouraging them to linger longer in an area.

Baseline lighting design for Time Vallee store in China. Source: Baseline

Retailers who would use these bits of knowledge to subtly direct customer’s attention toward specific products would WIN. A combination of ambient and accent lights can highlight a spot where the best merchandise can be found. Natural light from ceiling windows can also provide the same effect at a lesser cost.

A perfect lighting design can be used to control the way customers navigate the store. Since human physiology naturally reacts to light, people will not notice they are being discreetly pulled into entering an establishment. Customer experience is already kicking in the moment people see the excellent combination of lighting in a shop.

5) Increases sales

People enjoy doing shopping with brands that provide excellent customer’s experience. Since lighting design arouses emotions, it is easier for customers to recall, unconsciously, the experience they had with the brand. Whenever customers want to relieve the satisfying emotion they felt, they’ll deal with the same brand again and again, which eventually makes them loyal customers; it is common knowledge that loyal customers bring in the most profits to a company.

Baseline lighting design for Longchamp in Singapore. Source: Baseline

Lighting design is considered effective when it can invite customers into the shop. But its purpose does not end there since it also must make customers comfortable during their stay. The longer a customer stays in an establishment, the higher the chance that they will make a purchase.

Lighting is an integral part of any establishment’s atmosphere. Aside from the arrangement of equipment, merchandise, and décor, placing the right kind of light enhances the environment for the customers and gives them an unforgettable experience that will always be associated with the brand.

Well-thought-out lighting design can influence the customer’s behavior and brand perceptions. It greatly contributes to customer experience from the moment they see the display window up to the time they exit the establishment. One look at the lighting of a store is enough for customers to decide whether they should enter and give the brand a try, or steer clear from it.

Improving customer experience is one of the objectives businesses aim for nowadays. Knowing how lighting design contributes to an outstanding customer experience, the demand for consultants and experts in the field has never been higher.

Baseline lighting design for Decathlon in Asia – Before and after new concept. Source: Baseline

If you are a Retailer whose objective is to provide extraordinary customer’s experience, you will never go wrong utilizing lighting design to your advantage. Baseline is a lighting design consultancy agency – with a twist of Sensory marketing approach- that can help your brand evoke the emotions of your customers. Just send a request through their website & chatbot and their team of experts will attend to your technical needs.