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Why Lighting Design is Essential for Outstanding Customer Experience

#1 – Why Lighting Design is essential for outstanding customer experience

Why Lighting Design is essential for outstanding customer

Lighting is one of the most underrated components in designing an establishment, despite having a significant effect in enhancing customer experience. The layout of the store is often the major concern, with lighting design just an afterthought that business owners usually care little for. To many, as long as there’s light and the merchandise are visible, then that’s enough.

But that isn’t the case nowadays, nor has it ever been even decades ago. Restaurants, hotels, convenient stores, and even barbershops have been utilizing lighting design to drive customers to their business. For retailers who haven’t invested yet in their lighting design, this is the time to understand how it affects brand perception and more.

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


Here are the ways lighting design affects customer experience:



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

Fig. 1. Lacoste branch in China


Showrooms work 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 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 a lighting design studio like Baseline.


Poor lighting can make individuals uncomfortable since they may have trouble distinguishing a product’s features. There’s also the possibility of pickpockets lurking in dimly lit areas that security cameras may inadequately monitor. Too much brightness isn’t any different either, as it produces glare that makes it harder for cameras to clearly capture activities from certain angles.

Fig. 2. Inside a well-lit, multi-story parking space


Lighting design should provide the right balance of intensity and hue to give customers a sense of security. The brightness of the establishment should be enough for customers to see their surroundings. Taking this into consideration, though, shouldn’t affect the ambiance and branding the business wants to present.


In any case, pathways and emergency exits must be well-lit, so customers know where to go in crucial situations. The lighting in these areas must always work even if there’s a power outage.


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 and color of the products without interference.


Humans naturally react to light intensity as dictated by the 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’re open and have anything people might need at that time.

People sometimes even go to a convenience store even if they’re not planning to buy anything except for the simple reason of being attracted to the bright light. And since they’re there, they’ll usually buy something affordable and easy to consume.

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’s best to plan it carefully and get help from professionals like Baseline if possible.


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.

Fig. 3. Maje clothing store in Hong Kong

Retailers are using these bits of knowledge to subtly direct customer attention toward specific products or areas inside the store. 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 won’t notice they’re 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.



People enjoy doing business with brands that provide excellent customer experience. Since lighting design arouses emotions, it’s easier for customers to recall 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.

Fig. 4. Elegantly designed dinner table

In a restaurant setting, lighting design makes the food more appealing. Many businesses have already added lighting setup to their marketing strategy, taking salivating pictures of their menu to share on social media. Presenting an ‘instagrammable’ environment has been proven effective in today’s internet culture.

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

Lighting is an integral part of any establishment. Aside from the arrangement of equipment, merchandise, and decor, 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, anticipating they won’t like anything the business will offer.

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.

If you’re a business owner whose objective is to provide extraordinary customer experience, you’ll never go wrong utilizing lighting design to your advantage. Baseline is a lighting design consultancy agency that can help your brand evoke the senses and emotions of your customers. Just send us a message through our website and we’ll have our team of experts attend to your business needs.



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