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Retail Display Lighting

Apr 27, 2008
Retail Display Lighting constitutes a very complex science and generally requires the help of a lighting designer or display lighting expert who can help you choose the right fixtures, bulb types, voltage settings, and lighting controls for your store. Any online query will quickly produce an endless array of retail display light fixtures that can quickly overwhelm your senses and your pocket book if you are unsure of what you need. While specialty lights will always have their place in the world of design and merchandising, it is normally not necessary to try to buy a different type of fixture for each separate display in your store. In most cases, custom-built linear lighting strips can be mounted in a variety of environments and provide optimal, safe, efficient, and high quality luminance that will place your products in the best possible light.

Under Cabinet Light

Under cabinet light fixtures are often used for retail display lighting anytime a shelf beneath a cabinet offers sufficient room for merchandising. Linear strip lights are usually the best source of illumination in these cases because they tend to blend more with the under belly of the cabinet that do puck lights and fluorescent undercabinet fixtures. Also, they can be fitted with any number of bulb types that are both dimmable and free of ultraviolet light - something fluorescents lights are notorious for producing.

Any type of leather goods such as handbags, wallets, or small travel bags can be merchandised very effectively using linear retail display lights fitted with xenon bulbs. Xenon light is very bright and very white and brings out the texture in refinement of fine leather. It is also excellent for merchandising clothing. Light-colored clothes tend to look better under xenon lights, which is renowned for its ability to render "cool" colors at a very high CRI (color rendering index). Other applications include: Custom cabinets, kitchen cabinets and architectural linear cove lighting.

Window Display Light

Retail lighting here has to be cost effective before it is anything else. Some window displays are left on 24 hours a day and can run a light bill straight through the roof if energy saving low voltage lighting and cost effective lamping technologies are not utilized to offset power consumption.

Any number of linear strip lights for retail displays can be fitted with low voltage transformers to curb electrical usage. The Phantom Linear Lighting Strip, for example, can be custom manufacturered as either a 12V or 24V fixture, and it can operate incandescent, LED or xenon bulbs at much lower costs than line voltage puck lights, flex lights, or even overhead fluorescent panels.

Even better, consider investing a little more on the front end to fit your retail display lighting fixtures with LED festoon lamps. Even on a line voltage system, LED bulbs use only 20% as much power as incandescents and xenon. On a low voltage window lighting strip, there is an exponential multiplication of power savings.

Display Cases

Virtually any type of accessory case can be fitted with linear retail display lighting fixtures. The only exception to this rule is any case with a mirrored back plane. Linear strips contain many small festoon lamps that will appear like white or golden dots along the top of the mirror, ruining the aesthetic of the display. However, if the case is made from clear glass, or even better, has a dark backing or display cloth on which the merchandise is laid, linear strips provide some of the very best display lighting for retail display cases you can imagine.

The type of low voltage lighting you choose really should depend on what type of merchandise will be showcased your display. Toys look great under incandescent light because it makes them glimmer slightly with a bright aura. Ladies clothing accessories such as hats and scarves look better under xenon. The slightly golden aura it casts about the items makes them look well worth the price tag.

LED lights can be fitted to retail display light strips to create a near equivalent effect to either incandescent or xenon. This all depends upon the color of the bulbs used, and it also depends on the sophistication with which the festoon lamps themselves are designed. Phantom linear strips use a patented lamping technology that combines LED bulbs into a combined radiant equivalent to incandescent bulb types.

In cases where very expensive fabrics colored with highly sensitive dyes are showcased, it is best to use LED cabinet lights because any ultraviolet output from other bulb types could cause the color and material to degrade over time.

Jewelry displays can be lit with virtually any type of bulb. The colour temperature and lighting levels, however, should be carefully adjusted to match the types of precious metals and stones that compose your selection. For more information on retail jewelry display lighting, click here to read our full-length article on the subject.
About the Author
Phantom Lighting is a manufacturer of high end lighting projectors and linear strip display lighting fixtures. Phantom operates throughout North, Central, and South America through a network of agent representatives. Visit http://www.phantomlighting.com/retail-display-lighting.htm and http://www.phantomlighting.com for more details.
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