Great lighting directs customers to the high-end features you want to sell.
“It can improve an individual’s interaction with a space by guiding their eye through the use of luminance and color contrast,” says Greg Barrett, a master electrician with a fine arts degree in lighting design. “By using layers of light, spaces take on an extra degree of dimensionality and interest.”
These lighted spaces can include a builder’s model home or a design center where effective or ineffective lighting design can strongly influence a customer’s purchasing decisions.
This is part one of a two-part series about lighting design. Check back next week for part two.
Barrett, a designer and product manager for Ketra—a manufacturer of fixtures and connected LEDs that produce thousands of colors—says the first choice is between LEDs and CFLs.
While CFLs are energy-efficient, they are directionless and diffuse, tending to wash out the texture and tone of products such as granite countertops and wood flooring and cabinetry.
“CFLs provide little contrast to draw buyers to certain products or create an emotional impact,” says Barrett.
Colored LEDs, on the other hand, help to highlight products and direct the viewer’s eye. The direction, color and brightness of light fixtures are as important as how they look in a home. Light should complement the existing colors in the room, and it’s also important when trying to sell trim packages in a design center.
“By highlighting and using subtle shifts in color to bring out the specific hues in the showcased products, you can draw the buyer’s eye to those products,” Barrett says.
Builders can use contrast in the intensity and color of lights to direct a viewer’s attention and movement through a space.
High-end grocery stores already use this concept to make food appear more appetizing, Barrett says. That emerald-green broccoli, rosy salmon and super-fresh meat are highlighted by specifically colored LEDs or white light close to sunlight. California’s Fresh and Easy and New England’s Star Market have seen the benefits in both reducing energy costs and increasing sales after redesigning their store lighting.
LEDs are ideal for highlighting products, Barrett says, because they don’t wash out colors. Builders can show different looks without changing the fixtures, he adds.
With programmable lights, a master bedroom can look warmer and more romantic in the evening and brighter and cheerier in the morning.
Several LED manufacturers including Ketra, Cooper Lighting and Lemnis Lighting offer products that change the look of a room without changing its physical features by dimming lighting sources and changing their tone or color.