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Bright ideas: How the right lighting can add more sparkle to your bottom line

What are the specs for other merchandise types?

Subtle lighting on the front of the showcases and on the walls add dimension, detail, and interest to this luxury store's décor. Professional planning and installation assistance have proven their value.
Subtle lighting on the front of the showcases and on the walls add dimension, detail, and interest to this luxury store’s décor. Professional planning and installation assistance have proven their value.

Most coloured stones look best with lighting between 3000 K and 4200 K. If the pieces include diamonds, use the lighting solutions discussed in the previous section. If you segregate coloured-stone jewellery into different cases, consider 3000- to 3500-K bulbs for the warmer colours like yellow, red, and orange, and 4000- to 5000-K lights for cool greens, blues, violets, and all pearls. Yellow gold jewellery tends to look best under 2800- to 3500-K bulbs, while white metals shine in 4000- to 5000-K light.

Can I expect to see some savings on my electric bill?

Yes. LED lights can reduce energy consumption by 60 per cent over metal halides and 80 per cent over halogens.

Can I retrofit my existing cases?

Yes. Enlist the help of a qualified supplier before beginning. Ask for and confirm references to ensure you are getting quality products and advice. This process is expensive—it is critical you get the most for your investment. If you are unsure of your supplier, get another opinion. Look at lighting in other stores and ask questions before you commit.

Had enough specifications? What does it all mean?

Notice the two different lighting strategies at work in this store.  The fashion-oriented left side is brighter, while the right half is more subdued in keeping with the higher price point merchandise.
Notice the two different lighting strategies at work in this store. The fashion-oriented left side is brighter, while the right half is more subdued in keeping with the higher price point merchandise.

The ‘takeaway’ from all this technical overview is very simple. Decide first what you want to accomplish and enlist the help of a qualified expert to help you accomplish it. The overall goal is to make your merchandise easier to see and therefore, easier to sell. Place your lights at the appropriate distance to the merchandise to make it more attractive. Use the right lights for the right application and don’t overdo things. Avoid glare and pay attention to colour rendering. Remember, like quality showcases and new displays, lighting is an investment in your sales. Done correctly, it can pay big dividends.

Larry B. Johnson is senior vice-president of Texas-based Pacific Northern, a designer and manufacturer of visual merchandising fixtures and displays for the jewellery, optical, and other specialty retail industries. In his role at PN, Johnson directs the division responsible for the independent jeweller market. He is the author of The Complete Guide to Effective Jewelry Display and a frequent lecturer on visual merchandising topics at industry events. Johnson is the holder of multiple patents for his designs and innovations in display related fields. He can be reached via e-mail at johnsonl@pacificnorthern.com or (972) 512-9072.

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