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9 Top Tips For Interior Lighting Design

#2 – 9 Top tips for interior Lighting Design

Interior lighting design is vital in improving shopping experience. Lighting helps promote your products, present your brand, and set the customer’s mood; a positive experience almost always leads to a purchase.


Achieving the perfect interior lighting design is a challenging but fun task to do. Here are the top tips that will help you utilize lighting to improve retail performance.


1) Look at your space


Before installing anything, take a look at your space first to identify the lighting coverage and the amount of brightness needed. The idea is to illuminate every corner of the store with the appropriate amount of light.


According to the Lighting Research Center, it’s recommended for retail stores to install ambient light with a brightness of 1.5 to 2.5 lumens per cubic foot. Calculating the total space to cover will reveal how many lumens you need for the shop.


It’s recommended to put light fixtures within six feet from each other to create enough ambient light. But this may vary depending on the type of light used or on the effect you want to achieve for your branding.


2) Mix and match the lighting fixtures


Introducing variation in lighting inside your store is highly recommended. But you shouldn’t just cram whatever you think looks good.


Fig. 1. Common commercial lighting fixtures
(Source: FitSmallBusiness)


Here’s a simple guideline in selecting which fixture to put in your space:


  • Boutiques promoting a homey atmosphere can use table lamps because these provide subtle ambient lighting.
  • Cash register area should have bright lights to reduce transactional errors.
  • Colored lighting can be used to focus attention on certain areas inside the establishment. It can also be used to break monotonous spaces.
  • Display case lights like under-cabinet, strip, and puck lights should be brighter than the surrounding light to divert customer attention toward the highlighted product.
  • Highlight displays using mounted directional lighting. This kind of fixture also offers flexibility as you can point it in any direction.
  • Valence lighting can add elegance to hotels and restaurants. Put it along the perimeter to add ambient lighting without messing with other displays.


Selecting the appropriate light fixture to use in your establishment can be challenging, especially when you’re presented with an array of beautiful designs to choose from.


Getting help from a bespoke lighting design consultancy like Baseline will get you the best results. Their expertise can bring life to your establishment by creating light designs that ignite the customers’ senses and emotions.


3) Avoid too much brightness


Ambient and accent lighting are perfect together in highlighting important areas in the store. Additionally, studies show that contrasting lights have an impact on the emotional state of customers. The contrasting effect invites curiosity and draws customers to take a closer look at what you have to offer.


With this, you should altogether avoid using extremely bright lights throughout the whole shop. Not only are they ineffective in attracting customers but also expensive to maintain.


Lighting balance is vital to create a vibrant atmosphere that will let customers feel comfortable. By combining accent and ambient light, you can create lasting impressions to customers.


4) Utilize lower shelves for accent lighting


Customers tend to focus more on products placed at the eye-level and give little attention to those found on lower shelves. So, instead of using the lower shelves to display products, you can allot this space for accent lighting installations. This will highlight the merchandise more and create a dramatic effect that will attract customers’ attention.


5) Use LED lighting


LED lights come in a variety of shapes and sizes which make them a versatile addition to your interior design. Additionally, they emit less heat which is ideal for shelves and display cases. They’re also cost-effective and easily replaceable, making them efficient long-term solutions.


6) Match the branding


Are your products directed toward the low-cost or upscale market? The interior lighting design will depend on your branding.


People usually associate the use of ambient lighting with affordable products. The warm, comfortable vibe gives customers the feeling that the products are within their reach.


Fig. 2. Balenciaga store in Paris
(Source: Balenciaga)


On the other hand, the use of accent lighting is often linked to luxury and elegance. Balenciaga, Gucci, and Hermès are some of the chic brands that utilize accent lighting in their stores.


As a general rule: white lights make spaces appear roomier, while warmer hues create a nostalgic effect; warm white lights, which play the middle ground between the two, create a safe and comfortable atmosphere.


7) Light what you want to highlight


Illuminate areas where you want customers to focus their attention. It seems like obvious advice, but many fail to follow it when planning for their interior lighting design.


The ‘hot spot’ trick, where you place the best of your merchandise at the center and put the ‘supporting casts’ around it, is best emphasized with the help of accent and ambient lighting. You can also integrate light strips in the shelves for accentuation.


8) Incorporate the windows


Window displays are your introduction to the customers, so choosing the best items you have in stock will work to your advantage. You can further highlight them by throwing in a mix of bold and soft lights.


Also, utilize the windows in planning your interior lighting design to let in natural light. Not only does this reduce your electricity bill but also create a rejuvenating atmosphere that will keep your customers feeling refreshed.


9) Different folks, different strokes


The interior light design will depend on the store’s objectives and branding. What works for one shop may not work for another because everyone has a different target market and products to offer.


Hardware stores need bright lights to make it easier for customers to see what they’re looking for. Convenience stores also use intense lighting to tell the world that they’re open and ready to serve.


Fig. 3. Inside a Holiday Inn hotel


Showrooms, on the other hand, use more accent and ambient lights to emphasize their products and give a luxurious vibe to customers. Restaurants and hotels use a combination of high-activity, accent, and ambient lighting to create a comfortable atmosphere for customers.


Although there are general recommendations on how to make the most out of your interior lighting design, you should note that each establishment has different branding, location, resources, and customers. There’s no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to interior lighting design.




You can start applying these tips and guidelines on how to make the most out of your lighting design. Remember, though, that not everything will apply to your business. The interior lighting design suited to your establishment will depend on the brand identity and the effect you want to exhibit to customers.


Our lighting designers at Baseline implement different strategies after considering the branding, the objectives, and the architecture of the establishment. We make sure that the atmosphere presented to customers is exactly what they expect from your brand to make sure they would remember the experience of doing business with you.


Our design-to-budget approach makes us highly adaptable to the requirements and resources of our clients. If you’re interested in improving your interior lighting design, you can send us a message through our website.


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