Lighting accents and nuances. New approaches to shoe store lighting
17.05.2022 7014

Lighting accents and nuances. New approaches to shoe store lighting

The pandemic has changed consumer behavior and forced retailers to reduce the costs of offline retail. Today, the buyer spends less time in the store, more often chooses proven brands, and makes a purchase decision faster. On the other hand, there is a tendency in stores to reduce the number of sales staff. All this makes the quality presentation of the product important, in which lighting plays a key role. This article contains recommendations from Natalia Frolova, an SR expert on lighting solutions in fashion retail, about new approaches to store lighting.

Natalia Frolova Natalia Frolova -

lighting expert in shoe and fashion retail.

It is no secret that almost all retailers today have switched or are switching to LED lighting due to its exceptional advantages. Recall that the main ones are the long service life and high efficiency of the light source, given its compact size.

In the process of transition of retail to LED equipment, new approaches to lighting began to take shape, which is due to new opportunities that appear in the process of evolution of LED devices. We will talk about these opportunities today in the context of shoe retail.  

New approaches to lighting as well as more efficient light sources today provide the designer with the tools to meet the challenges and ever-changing demands of the retail world and the rising cost of energy.

Let's look at several lighting options for different price categories of shoe stores.


Spotlights on busbar, focus on details, high color rendering

The classic approach, often used in premium brand stores, is to arrange LED busbar spotlights or built-in gimbal fixtures in a geometric order, taking into account the arrangement of furniture:

For premium brands, it is very important that with an external discreet form factor of the device, it gives very high-quality light: the texture of the leather, the color nuances of the collections must be fully transmitted to the buyer and look “delicious”.

Such a classic light distribution scheme is based on the principle of accent lighting. Each lamp (or their group) allows you to draw the attention of buyers to the product. At the same time, directional light can highlight the areas of the store: podium, showcase, wall space, checkout area, etc. The atmosphere of such a store is often associated with a museum, and the brand thus emphasizes its uniqueness.

When choosing lighting equipment, the emphasis is on the quality of the LED module that is part of the lamp. 


Linear illumination, uniform illumination

For some categories of stores, the emphasis on details and a high level of color rendering are not important. These are, as a rule, department stores of the mass market segment, large chain discounters, outlets. In this case, usually the budget spent on opening a new store is the determining factor.

Navigation in such a store is also determined by the shelves with goods placed in a certain order, but, unlike premium brands, the choice is made in favor of linear LED pendant lights. They most often use optics, which provide uniform illumination of the entire retail space.

Non-standard shape of the light spot:

Variable Beam Luminaires

In recent years, new devices have appeared on the lighting engineering market, thanks to innovative developments and all kinds of optical "steps". Some of them were “peeped” by museum lamps, which are entrusted with a very important task – ideal lighting of art objects, masterpieces of painting, graphics and other works of art. One such interesting solution is lenses that can change, compress or expand the beam of light, thus increasing or decreasing the area of ​​illumination. For example, if you need to highlight one or more pairs of shoes in a new collection, a narrow beam of light will come in handy. Non-standard, non-circular light spots are also finding their way into retail today. With an ovalizing lens, you can create a stretched oval-shaped light spot, which is suitable for highlighting wall shelving. The light spot from the ovalizing lens has smooth, soft edges, and “bells” do not appear on the wall (Remember: this is what professionals call extra light spots with a sharp edge that appear on the walls. They distract the buyer from the product, create visual noise and unnecessary lighting walls (See Shoes Report No. 190, 2021 for more on this and other shop floor lighting errors). Visual noise from shadows is reduced and the store looks neater.    

New - linear double asymmetric

The latest development of our team, which can be used for stores in the middle price segment, is very technological and effective. Here, a busbar spotlight is retained to highlight accents, and busbar linear luminaires with various special effects are used as the main light: soft illumination at 90 ° and division of light into two sides (double asymmetric). Such an innovative development allows one device to illuminate, for example, a wall and a free-standing gondolas (table) with goods. And when rearranging furniture, the lamps can also be rearranged on the busbar to another location.

A very cool and unusual effect is created - elements of a boutique or a store, each area with a product is softly lit, a separate product is emphasized more brightly. At the same time, the cost of creating such lighting is comparable to the budget for standard lighting.

The pandemic has changed consumer behavior and forced retailers to reduce the costs of offline retail. Today, the buyer spends less time in the store, chooses trusted brands more often, accepts…
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