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SLL publishes first retail lighting guide

The Society of Light and Lighting is delighted to announce the publication of its brand new Guide for retail lighting, filling an important gap within the SLL’s existing portfolio of practical advice for both lighting professionals and those in related industries.

‘We wanted to create a Guide to help designers with limited experience with retail lighting, as well as providing an insight for shop owners, architects and interior designers.’ – Simon Robinson FIET FCIBSE FSLL FIMechE, LG17 lead author and Chair of the Society’s Technical & Publications Committee. 

The guide is not aimed at those who are either experienced retail designers or owners/managers of large retail chains with easy access to those skills.

The Society is aware that guidance such as LG17 is often treated as reference information, with people reading sections relevant to their situation rather than the whole document. To help that type of reader, LG17 opens with a chapter on the approach to designing retail lighting. This chapter sets the scene and covers a range of topics that are expanded on later in the guide. It can be thought of as a foundation for the book, including useful tips such as making sure you have the right information about how the owner intends to operate the shop before the design process commences.

LG17 considers the following factors in relation to lighting for retail premises:

  • Should daylight be optimised or excluded?

  • What tasks are going to be performed by staff?

  • Will staff be located in specific positions or moving around the shop floor?

  • How critical is colour representation for the merchandise?

  • Will merchandise have small text that customers will need to read?

  • How important is the vertical surface?

These types of questions can inform the whole design process and may lead the reader to consider something that had not occurred to them before.

The creative elements of a design will need to draw heavily from the intended use of the retail space and the owners aspirations for their business. Trends in shopping habits and interior design can be strong influences and lead to customers expecting a particular “look” to a space.

The Guide includes practical examples of design approach, from small to medium general purpose retail spaces, to high street jewellers and car showrooms. 

It would be easy to focus solely on the way lighting in retail spaces can be used to attract customers and display merchandise to the greatest effect. However, this Guide also takes staff welfare and energy use into account. Retail spaces are places of work for millions of people around the world and there occupational health and safety has been addressed in the new guide. 

The guide recognises that energy reduction is a fundamental part of any design project, be that general or retail lighting. LG17 aims to strike a balance between appropriate use of energy, the use of accent lighting to highlight merchandise or sales banners and the need to provide an inviting environment for customers.

Members of the Society have unlimited online access to all SLL guidance via the CIBSE Knowledge Portal, as well as discounted rates to purchase hard copies.


Click here for further details of what is covered and to get your copy