How Lighting Affects Consumer Behavior and Retail Sales?

This is a complete guide on how lighting affects consumer behavior and boosts retail sales. Learn the best ways to light up your store with this in-depth post. Let's get started!

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When we enter a store, our subconscious mind gets active – it starts noticing various things that we see, hear, or feel. And it may come as a surprise to you, but the store’s overall setting, especially the lighting, including ambient lighting and accent lighting, matters a lot.

The different types of lighting in the store can have a huge impact on consumer behavior, hence retail sales.

Although many other factors affect a consumer’s behavior and sales, there is research to back up this big claim! Let’s see what the study on Effects of Lighting on Consumer Responses in a Retail Environment tells us:

  • High-contrast lighting leads to higher levels of approach intention and pleasure.
  • High-contrast lighting with cool color temperature leads to higher attention and arousal levels.

An electronics retail store’s lighting and its setting were analyzed in this study to see how it affects consumer behavior.

retail store lighting
retail store lighting

Why is Lighting Important for Retail Stores?

Once you have set your store, the next important thing you want to consider is its lighting. Research has found that both color temperature and contrast of lighting play a crucial part in influencing consumers’ attention. The contrast of the ambient and accent lighting alone influences intention and pleasure.

For instance, if I was buying grocery in a superstore, I would love to see my fruits and vegetables in bright light with a higher color temperature to determine the freshness of the produce. However, if the color temperature of the store lights is too low, the product will look old to me and not interesting at all.

Therefore, good lighting plays a crucial role in grabbing consumers’ attention in retail stores.

Tips for Lighting Your Retail Store

So many things are considered when designing a retail space, such as flooring options, paint color, item placement, and of course, different types of lighting. Although many stores have enough lighting to make everything visible, they miss out on little details that can really affect the customers’ behavior.

Therefore, don’t ignore the power or lighting – it can boost your sales and create an overall great experience for your customers. Following are some tips you can use for lighting your retail store:

1. Don’t Change the Fixtures – Just Change the Bulbs

If you have already installed the best lighting fixtures in your retail space, you might just need to change the bulbs to the most efficient tech: LEDs. They last much longer and offer higher energy efficiency.

However, if you are starting your retail store from scratch, I recommend taking a professional’s help and getting yourself the latest fixtures installed to provide a better customer experience.

This takes us to the next tip…

2. Hire Professionals

Getting the perfect lighting in your retail store is more of a science than art – and who knows the science behind it better than the professionals? There is a lot of thinking that goes into this. Your customers can be influenced to make a purchase with the right lighting – and if you are doing it yourself without any prior experience – you are just risking your sales.

A professional designer can help you illuminate every nook and corner of your retail store in an efficient way to maximize customer experience, hence sales.

You can contact our expert team, and they would be more than happy to help you in this regard.

3. Spread the Light around Every Corner

The best thing about efficient lighting is that it can help customers find their way through every corner of the store, increasing the average spend per customer. You can diffuse general lighting to help your customers spend more time in the store, walking around, and browsing products.

For this purpose, recessed lights and spotlights are highly recommended.

recessed lighting
recessed lighting

4. Use Ambient Lighting

The perfect balance between accent and ambient lights is the key to your retail store’s design. Accent lighting is great, but if you overdo it, it won’t emphasize anything in particular; hence you will lose the opportunity to make your products pop.

On the other hand, ambient lighting – be it wall-mounted or ceiling – can help the customer better explore, examine, and evaluate your products. If the ambient lighting is too dark or bright, the customers will have difficulty purchasing your merchandise.

5. Buy Quality Lights

Cheap lights won’t do justice to the great products you want to show to your customers. When sourcing your lights, make sure to select a manufacturer that has an excellent quality assurance and dust-free manufacturing system and is ISO9001 certified. Ensuring these things and more can help you choose the best LED manufacturer for your retail space.

Being a professional LED manufacturer based in China, we at RC Lighting ensure that our customers get the perfect products that last them lifelong.

Click here to know how we check our quality and test our LED lights.

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6. Highlight Important Products

If your store has exclusive products you want to bring into the limelight, do it with spotlighting. Moreover, if you have new arrivals or products on promotion or sale, go ahead and highlight them.

In simple words, guide your customers to items you want them to purchase.

7. Choose the Right Color Temperature

Choosing the right color temperature depends on you and your store’s requirements. If you want your customers to see everything easily, go for bright, cool lighting – but it won’t highlight important items. Contrarily, dim, warm light may help your customers focus on certain items but might also make them too comfortable.

If you are aiming for comfort, you want to go for dim, warm lighting – but remember that it tends to bring in more window shoppers than serious buyers. That being said, if you want to fill in your store with bodies to encourage more people to come in, this lighting setup would be right for you.

However, warm, dim lights are popularly used by well-established brands that have a large customer base. Their focus is to improve their customer experience instead of attracting bodies. If you are introducing a new brand, you should install plenty of bright lights to show off your branding and products.

color temperature
color temperature

8. Go for a Flexible Lighting System

When it comes to lighting a retail space, make sure to opt for a flexible lighting system that allows for growth. This is why track lighting has been the best option for retail stores. With this lighting option, retailers can easily move the spotlights on demand and add more if needed.

If you don’t have more room for lighting fixtures, you might have to redo the whole system to make space for more lights in the future, which might break the bank.

accent lighting
accent lighting

9. Be Smart in Choosing the Right Texture

If you have installed the best lighting fixtures and bulbs in your store, but there are too many shiny surfaces or dark finishes, what will happen? The surface will reflect ceiling light and can be visually disorienting and distracting for your customers. Therefore, it is best to be smart in the texture department when it comes to proper retail lighting. For best results, opt for matte finishes.

10. Customize Your Controls

Now that you have light, how are you planning to control it around the store? Dimmers, occupancy sensors, and other controls can help. For example, a cooler display case with an integrated occupancy sensor can automatically turn on the lights when a customer passes by – to grab their attention; and turn off the lights when they walk out of range.

With customized lighting controls, you will have two benefits as a retailer: 1) better customer attention 2) energy saving.


Lighting is your best friend that can help increase sales in your retail space. Right choices in lighting can make your customers feel comfortable and visit you again. Therefore, it is important to know what types of lights to use and where to use them around the store. I hope you like the tips I mentioned above – follow them thoroughly to have more sales than ever!

Ready to Light Up Your Store and Sales?

With so many LEDs and fixtures available on the market, you might get overwhelmed about which ones to go for. For this purpose, our experts at RC Lighting are always ready to help.

Just tell us your requirements and the type of retail store you own so we can have a customized lighting design ready for you. Our experts won’t just help light up your store, but your sales as well.

Send us an inquiry today, and let’s create magic together!

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