Food for thought: LED lighting for food retailers and cafes

Category: Lighting
Food for thought: LED lighting for food retailers and cafes

The latest LED lighting solutions provide food retailers and cafes with the opportunity to illuminate their wares in a more attractive fashion – and even extend product shelf-life. Let the Lighting Doctor explain…

The ability of next-generation lighting, specifically LED-based solutions, to create more appealing and commercially-enticing retail spaces has been well-established by the Lighting Doctor in previous blogs. Moreover, the art of commercial lighting design is developing all the time, making nuanced effects increasingly achievable. But what is perhaps less widely-known at this point in time is the ability of such systems to enhance the appearance of individual food and drink items, and even extend their shelf-life.

To help shed a little light (sorry!) on an area about which there is still a fair amount of confusion and misunderstanding, here are five ‘top tips’ to bear in mind when contemplating a lighting upgrade in food retail outlets and cafes…

1. Engage a supplier with a specialism in food-related lighting.

The good news for customers in retail and cafe operations is that there are so many specialist lighting suppliers, that there are a number of companies to choose from out there with extensive experience in these markets. So it’s worth taking the time to identify and engage with one of these retail lighting design specialists (and yes, Greenlite is one!).

2. Make sure you select the right type of LED lights.

In both retail outlets and cafes, it is a proven fact that food which looks fresh is more attractive to customers. LED lighting can play a decisive role in making produce look appealing by bringing out only the best colours and textures. The best news of all is that different LED lights can be selected to suit certain types of produce, such as fish, meat, bread, fruit and vegetables.

3. Determine the most appropriate light spectrum. 

This is where the services of a lighting specialist can prove to be particularly invaluable. By using a specially selected light spectrum that achieves exact colour temperatures and renderings, food waste can be reduced since produce is kept fresher for longer. A specialist can help determine the precise spectrum that suits a given retail outlet or cafe, paving the way for the client to enjoy significant reductions in food waste – and therefore a diminished negative impact on their overall revenues. Which retailer is going to say ’no’ to that?

4. Ensure the public areas are lit consistently. 

Whether in a food store or cafe, it is crucial that LED lighting is deployed consistently in order to ensure that their wares are illuminated properly and in a way that is appealing to customers. By doing so the operator has a much greater chance of enhancing the experience of the entire site and engendering a fresh, ‘crisp’ look. The result is that customers will be encouraged to dwell for longer, increasing the chance of them making a single purchase or even additional ones.

5. Take the time to think about future changes to your store or cafe.

Nothing stays the same for too long, and that certainly applies to the fast-moving world of food retail, where customer expectations are changing all the time. The great news about LED lighting is that it is fundamentally well-suited to changing usage patterns, particularly when deployed in conjunction with effective control systems. Nonetheless, it is worth taking the time to think about a design that suits the needs of today and tomorrow; by doing so, the costs related to maintenance and replacement can be lowered even further.

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