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Lighting the Way in Retail Space

Updated: Jul 11, 2019



Visual merchandising is a powerful tool in any Retail Space - Strategic lighting can complement the mood, highlight products and create depth in small spaces in order to influence purchase behavior . Having worked successfully with some of Perth's most profitable Retail Spaces HIL offers the latest in energy efficient lighting and green technologies, through our strategic partnerships with industry and leading global brands. Here's what our team has learnt:


Energy efficiency with smart light controls H.I. Lighting can assist you with dimmed lighting or lighting that can be switched on and off to create changing schemes, time-controlled changes or to individually adjust different lights to add to the experience at different times of day.  Sensors and motion detectors can create responsive lighting or enhance a desired experience of the centre.

It’s often a good idea to hide functional light (talk to us about ways to achieve this!)  as it can create glare - particularly the high efficiency light sources which have a very intense bright light. Light at Night Illumination is what makes the branding and recognition of a building work for night-time use. Buildings often have signage which must be read at night. Selecting the correct lighting for this type of application is critical, as this “brands” the building and the community contained therein. With a building’s signage, it is important to understand that such elements become an extension of the building and have an emotional connection for consumers.  Using aspects such as light intensity or the material through which the lighting penetrates, control of shadow,  colour and even the use of lighting direction can make architectural elements hold true to their three-dimensional configurations and intent of design purpose.

The Entrance Statement An entrance is the gateway to the designed space and should be clearly marked to attract, impress and welcome! This could be done with the light as an effect, for example with luminous surface lighting. The entrance can also just be enhanced with light, like a wall illuminated sign or coloured light. The entrance lighting should complement the expression of the building and architecture, following the same themes. If the light clashes with the architecture, it can be distracting, distorting and visually unappealing.

Directly aimed light has a dramatic characteristic creating an impression of contrast. Soft light from big surfaces creates a smooth illumination with gradient shadows. An indoor entrance or foyer is the extension of the façade, used to impress, inspire and direct people on a pathway.  Our job is to help attract and direct customers using all forms of lighting including spotlights to highlight structure, signs or other architectural features.   Outdoor Entrance Direction The approach from car park, public space or adjoining buildings should use efficient light technologies that help orientate visitors into the retail space.    Bollards or post lights light the ground and surrounding areas to put people at ease.  It’s important to remember the effects that angles play; light aimed from below can be used to dramatic effect, but should enhance the structure in a gentle way.     Communal Area Illumination In food courts and communal malls or outdoor areas where people spend prolonged time, it’s important to accentuate comfortability. The light should enhance the surroundings, but still feel natural so that visitors obtain a sense of the surroundings and connect in an enjoyable way.  Illuminating vertical surfaces helps create an understanding of the room and its spatial dimensions.  There may also be need for additional boosted lighting in dining areas or activity space.



H.I.Lighting Project - Cockburn Gateway Communal Food court

Connecting Corridors Corridors and passage ways serve predominantly to transfer retail shoppers between different areas within the building and the lighting should not compete with the shopping centre retail space.   While the customers need to be able to see the walkway clearly, to interact with other people and to help them to find and interpret their surroundings, lighting should not encourage relaxation, to keep people moving. The level of light shouldn’t detract attention from the experience of the display windows or retail space nor should it glare on glass at the front of stores if possible.   This can be avoided by using high cut off angles or lights with the source deep inside the fixture. Carpark Lighting Depending on the amount of ambient light in the area and perhaps whether the car park is situated in a rural or metropolitan area, car park lighting is both a safety consideration as well as the first experience the shopper has of the Retail centre.

It draws attention to the fact that every aspect of lighting in a commercial or retail space plays an important part of the shopping experience and as such, should be considered with a high level of attention and execution.



H.I.Lighting Project - Cockburn Gateway Car park