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Lighting is one of the most important elements of a display. If properly used it will aid in selling merchandise and thereby add to the profit of the store

Working with light to make displays and merchandise more dramatic is the goal of every display designer. The main design elements of light and shadow are very important. Too much shadow can hide important details of the merchandise and also change the appearance of merchandise colours

Proper display lighting is vital to selling. It calls attention to merchandise. It pulls customers eyes to the merchandise and encourages them to buy. Lighting should also have the quality and color that bring out the best features of the merchandise


Expert display people use light in the same way a musician uses sound. A musician varies the volume to attract attention and manipulates tones to create a mood. Similarly, a display expert varies the amount of light to pull shoppers over to a display, using coloured lamps, soft light, and so on, to create a buying mood


Phases of Lighting There are two phases of lighting to consider in a discussion of store illumination: Primary Lighting and Secondary Lighting

Primary lighting

Primary Lighting Primary lighting supplies the bare essentials of store illumination. Outside, it includes the, the marquee lights illuminating the sidewalk for the window shopper, and the lobby ceiling lights

Primary Lighting

Inside, primary lighting provides general illumination for the store, including lights along the aisles, an indicator of an elevator, the light in a stairway, and a directional sign at the fire exist, the office, or the down escalator. This general illumination is the minimum adequate store illumination. This type of lighting illuminates both the merchandise and the traffic path in a store.

Secondary/ Accent Lighting

Primary lighting is inadequate for the specialized showing of merchandise. For this purpose, secondary lighting should be added: Spot- and floodlights augment basic window lighting, brightening the shelves, the cases, the counters, and the merchandise. In this phase of store illumination, lighting begins to function as a selling force

Light Source
As Selling Tools: Other than natural daylight, which plays practically no part in store interior or window illumination, there are several sources of light employed by the visual merchandisers. A knowledge of each helps in making the appropriate choice in terms of both visual effect and economy of the operation. Fluorescent Lighting Incandescent Fibre Optic Lighting High Intensity Discharge Neon Halogen

Fluorescent Lighting
For cost effective, cool general lighting, fluorescent is the choice of many retailers. The bulbs come in many shapes, but the long, narrow cylindrical tubes that come in various lengths are used the most. It is largely used in interior ceiling, floor and wall cases, shadow boxes and lighting tracks. They offer excellent colour rendering and come in a variety of colours that can project coolness, warmth, or other desired effects. If colour is needed for a particular temporary presentation, filters are available to encase the standard white

These are low voltage bulbs, which come in spotlight or flood light form, and are known as PAR bulbs or R bulbs respectively. The low voltage lamps bring out true colours of the merchandise, enhance textures, and create spectacular lighting effects. Another advantage of these bulbs is heat reduction. The heat thrown is three times less than the standard sources

Fibre Optic Lighting

Technically, it is comprised of a remote light source carrying glass optical fibres. The benefits of this type are The elimination of ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths Directional spotlighting or flood lighting Simple maintenance, ease of concealment Reduced power consumption Because they give a cold light, heat sensitive objects such as jewelery benefit from their use

High Intensity Discharge

Commonly known as HID`s these bulbs are very small, produce more light per watt than either the incandescent or fluorescents, and are energy savers but still these are ignored by the visual merchandisers in favor of fluorescents for general, overall lighting, and halogens and low voltage incandescent foe accenting purposes

Once reserved for outdoor signs to identify the name of a store, neon lights have entered the interiors as well. One great advantage of neon or cold cathode is that it can be shaped to any form. These lights are relatively maintenance free and cost little to operate. Available in many colours, neon is used by visual merchandisers to build excitement. Although neon is source of light, it is relied on more for special effects than for total illumination.

Basically a whiter and brighter bulb, approximately one- quarter the size the size of a standard incandescent, it ideally enhances the visual image and totally washes the wall. Not only does it afford more light control, more efficiency, and more intense light per watt, but the lamp has a longer life, about double that of incandescent bulbs

Lighting Fixtures
There has been a move towards innovation in this sector recently. The variety enables retailers to acquire distinctive lighting and decorative fixtures to complement any dcor. So attractive are the lighting appliances that they become the focal points of some store interiors

Recessed Lighting
Many systems have lighting systems that recessed in the ceiling. A can or container holds floodlights that illuminates broad areas, and spotlights for narrow illumination or highlighting. Fluorescents, incandescent are also often recessed and are used for overall, general lighting.

Track Lighting
While recessed lighting is considered an attractive as well as functional method of lighting but its placement is stationary. In order to be able to adjust lights in exact positions they are needed, many retailers use track lighting systems. Open-back spot lights Studio lights Wire forms

Track lighting
Track lighting is easy to install, does not require complicated wiring, and can quickly transform an area into one that is attractive and perfectly illuminated. Tracks come in 2`, 4`, 8`, and 12` lengths and can be arranged in many ways with the use of L, T, or flexible connectors. To accent objects on a wall or to wash a wall with light, the track should be placed 3 feet from a wall that is 8 or 9 feet high and 4 feet from walls that are 10 to 12 feet high

Lighting Accessories
In addition to the light fixtures and light sources that are used in visual merchandising, there are a number of accessories that assist in providing special effects for the trimmer. They include dimmers, flashers, framing projectors, strobes, swivel sockets, and gels Lighting Accessories In addition to the light fixtures and light sources that are used in visual merchandising, there are a number of accessories that assist in providing special effects for the trimmer. They include dimmers, flashers, framing projectors, strobes, swivel sockets, and gels

Bringing Change with Lights

Various Kinds of Contrasts-Harmony That Can be Created Using Lighting Light/ dark Diffuse harsh Colour contrast Static dynamic Vertical plane lighting- horizontal plane lighting Pure/ filtered light Warm/ cool light Direct/ transmitted light Front/ back lighting Natural/ artificial light Plane/ volumetric Focused/ defocused contrast

Display Planning
Rules for Display Planning Help the eye in finding the focal point of the display easily. Limit the number of competing elements in the display. Give the display one dominant theme. Use contrast and rhythm to add life to the colors and proportion. Select display props and material having some connection with the exhibited product. Do not allow the display props and materials to take up most of the best space in the window. Avoid anything that conflicts with the sales message. Use colours appropriate to the season. Do not mix the styles. Relax and see if the display sells.

Purpose of Display
The purpose of Display in a store is to attract customers to the store, and ultimately convince them to buy the merchandise. The main purposes of a display can be discussed as under: Sell by show Encourage the shopper to enter the store Establish, promote & enhance the stores visual image. To enhance the customers shopping experience Introduce & explain new products Educate customers by answering to their queries regarding the use & accessorisation of a product.

Functions of a Display
The display in a store functions in the following three ways: It presents the selection of merchandise in a manner that will maximize both space and visibility to customers. To allow store sales associates to interact with customers more effectively. To enhance the visual appeal of a product to encourage customers interest and subsequent purchase

Points to Enhance the Display

Create a strong entrance. Allow front-to-back sightlines. Take advantage of the highest profile location and place the best selling merchandise in this area. Direct and redirect common customer traffic patterns, which will encourage them to zigzag through the store. Wrap it all up at the cash-wrap stand, to enable the customer to reach that point after seeing the merchandise. Maintain an active feeling in your store so that the sales associates do not congregate in one location and do not make the store look static

Types of Display
Approaches to merchandise presentation vary according to the type of display- from special, or feature, areas to regular freestanding assortments and wall units. Special display areas include end-of-aisle end caps, windows and point-of-sale and demo areas. A display is at its best when it simply shows a colour, an item, a collection, or just an idea

Types of Display
Types of displays include the following: One Item Display Line-at-goods Display Related Merchandise Display Variety or Assortment Display Promotional Display Institutional Display Seasonal Display Holidays Display Creative Display

One Item Display

A one-item display is just the showing and advancement of a single garment or any single item. It features only one piece of merchandise-designer gown, automobile, piece of jewelry etc

Line-at-goods Display
It is a kind of display in which only one type of merchandise is shown, (viz; all trousers, all shirts, pots etc.) although they may be in a variety of designs and colours. They could be designed by the same designer, or created with the same fabric or print, or they could all feature a common theme. However, for more effective presentation, and for better comprehension and acceptance by the shopper, there should be some connection or relevance indicated as to why these three or four articles are being shown together.

Related Merchandise Display

When the store wants to deliver a message that says, I am a complete outfit, buy me, it often chooses to feature the outfit or ensemble in a setting by itself. The intention is to entice the customer to buy a total package rather than one or two items. The main merchandise of purchase is set along with all other complimenting merchandise tempting the shopper to but all of them altogether.

Variety or Assortment Display

It is a potpourri of anything and everything. It is a collection of unrelated items that happen to be sold in the same store. It can be work shoes, silk stockings, teakettles, Hawaiian print shirts, nightgowns etc. It is a mlange of odds and ends, a sampling of the merchandise contained within

Promotional Display
This kind of display advances concept, trend and an item. The basis of this kind of display is often the sales. It has a very low margin of profit and thus needs a large sales volume to exist. These display stores generally advertise prices