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Retail Lighting and the Influence on Consumer Behavior

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

As competition in the retail industry intensifies, retailers are constantly looking for new ways to attract and retain customers. One innovative approach that has been gaining popularity in recent years for retail lighting is the use of tunable white and circadian lighting. By adjusting the color temperature and intensity of light throughout the day, these lighting technologies can impact consumer behavior and drive more sales.


comparison of lighting in a book store and grocery


So, how does it work? The science behind tunable white and static circadian lighting revolves around our biological clocks, also known as circadian rhythms. These rhythms control our sleep-wake cycles, hormone levels, and other important bodily functions. Exposure to natural light helps to regulate these rhythms, but artificial light can disrupt them. By using tunable white and circadian lighting, retailers can mimic natural light patterns and enhance the shopping experience for customers.


One way retailers are using this technology is by adjusting the color temperature of light based on the time of day. In the morning, blue-toned cool light can help customers feel more alert and energized. As the day progresses, warmer, yellow-toned light can create a more relaxing ambiance, encouraging customers to stay longer and browse more products. This approach is especially effective for retailers with longer operating hours, such as department stores and supermarkets.


Another way retailers are using tunable white and circadian lighting is by incorporating it into product displays. For example, a clothing store could use cooler, blue-toned light to highlight athletic wear during the day, while using warmer, yellow-toned light to showcase cozy loungewear in the evenings. This not only draws attention to specific products, but also creates a more dynamic and engaging shopping experience.


So, what are the potential benefits of using tunable white and static circadian lighting in retail? Research shows that lighting can have a significant impact on consumer behavior. A study conducted by the Lighting Research Center found that shoppers spent more time in stores with higher-quality lighting, and were willing to pay higher prices for products in these stores. Additionally, improved lighting can lead to increased foot traffic and sales. A report by the GE Lighting Institute found that a 1% increase in sales could be achieved by upgrading store lighting, while a study by Phillips Lighting found that retailers using dynamic lighting reported a 14% increase in sales compared to static lighting.


In conclusion, tunable white and circadian lighting is an innovative and effective tool that retailers can use to drive more sales and enhance the shopping experience for customers. By understanding the science behind circadian rhythms and using lighting to mimic natural light patterns, retailers can create a more engaging and dynamic shopping environment. So, the next time you're out shopping, pay attention to the lighting - it could be influencing your behavior more than you realize.

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