Window lighting: How to get ahead for the festive season

Category: Lighting
Window lighting: How to get ahead for the festive season

It might be August, but now is the time for retailers to start preparing for the Christmas season. Here’s how to make sure your shopfront will be the star of the show

Picture a busy high street in winter. It’s probably cold, maybe snowing even, but there’s a frisson of excitement and anticipation in the air. Mr and Mrs Greenlite are scurrying from shop to shop, laden with bags stuffed with gifts, party dresses and festive food. As Christmas draws closer, their spending caution has been well and truly cast to the wind.

Brits splashed out an estimated £77.56billion during the Christmas shopping season last year, and there isn’t a store out there that doesn’t want a slice of the action. That means retailers need to think seriously now about how they’ll whip their Christmas window displays into sparkling shape. Think of it as a little black dress detox, overhauling the system so a polished, glittering new look can emerge.

Not only is the window display quite literally the face of the brand, it gives the retailer the chance to reach out emotionally to their customers and hook them in, creating that sensory connection that gives ‘real time’ shopping the edge over online. A window display needs to, quite literally, stop a shopper in her tracks.

So, how can you use your display to wow the Christmas shopper? Greenlite’s Lighting Doctor brings you a few ideas…

1. Install LED track lighting as an essential first layer. Think of it as theatre lighting, which will enable you to create the perfect look and atmosphere on your retail stage. Its flexibility means you can adjust the warmth, colour and beam to suit the mood of every display.

2. A stage needs actors too, whether that’s mannequins or props. If using mannequins try to position them so they look like they’re moving, rather than dead still. It’ll be far more eye catching.

3. Don’t be afraid to be playful. Try movie-style LED light up stars in varying sizes, or spell festive words with neon tube lighting.

4. Use LED spotlights to draw attention to stellar products. If you know that metallic clutch bag will fly off the shelves, highlight it with a well-positioned beam.

5. For a healthy dose of Christmas kitsch, hang several vintage-style filament bulbs. They’re now available as LEDs, making them far more energy and cost effective than they were.

6. Try making a bold statement with big, hanging lights. When visual merchandising experts Minki Balinki did the Christmas display for 67 Hobbs stores, they hung over 2,600 gold bells in varying sizes, illuminating them with bright filaments.

7. To grab shoppers’ attention, use dynamic lighting that can change in brightness and intensity in a set order.

8. If you’re after a more homely feel, try lamps. Use them alongside spotlights to create zones of light and atmosphere.

9. Don’t forget you can have individually controlled LED units. In a bigger store, one window can have a glitzy, party vibe, whilst another looks romantic.

10. Above all, remember that – just like in the theatre – a great show is nothing without great lights.

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