Lighting rules for shopping centers. Attract, interest, and retain. 8 recommendations


Competition in the commercial real estate market in Kyiv is intensifying. Shopping centers will have to make more and more efforts to attract visitors. The right lighting solutions allow you to attract more guests, to manage traffic inside the object and to increase the time spent by visitors in the shopping center. Let’s analyze: how to do this?

Ukraine expects a boom in commercial real estate in the near future. Only in Kyiv, a number of potentially interesting objects are expected to be completed: Blockbuster Mall, Ocean Mall, Retroville, River Mall, Rive Gauche.

Opening of these objects will turn the fight for tenants and visitors into an epic battle. The winners of this battle will be shopping centers that will bring the comfort of their visitors and what is commonly called “customer journey” to a completely different level.

Light is one of the key elements in creating comfort. Its correct construction and application is a universal background for the concept of a shopping center, its positioning. The light serves as an integrator of interior solutions, a traffic management element, and an integral part of the navigation system. Reasonable use of lighting solutions allows you to keep guests of the shopping center for a longer period, attract more visitors and create conditions for effective trading activities of tenants.

The modern world is experiencing a rapid development of digital technologies, but the principles of functioning of the human body, which were formed over thousands of years of evolution, remain almost unchanged. Humans respond to changes in external factors, such as light levels or changes in the heat of light, just as they did thousands of years ago. In bright light, we become more active, and in softer light, we become more relaxed. Cold, blue-spectrum light accelerates metabolic processes and activates logical brain functions. A warmer, red-rich light makes a person more relaxed, calm, and emotionally positive.

By choosing the right light level and light temperature, a shopping center can significantly affect the speed of movement of guests, the amount of time that a visitor will spend in the shopping center.

More illuminated areas that are visually attractive, as a rule, create the direction of flow towards them. Using this property of human perception of the light level, a shopping center can increase attendance of any areas of the shopping center, for example, atriums, through which the buyer moves to other floors.

Light can become both a “friend” and an “enemy” of the efficiency of a shopping center. If the lighting scene is incorrectly set, the lighting level is incorrectly planned, and the light temperature is not suitable, light can become a factor that reduces visual comfort, turn the best shopping concepts of tenants into “basements”, and reduce the time spent by customers in the shopping center. This is exactly what happened to one of the shopping centers opened at the end of 2016 in the capital. Too high, in many areas over 700 lux, level of illumination makes it almost impossible to create a visually attractive showcase and the appearance of the tenant’s store. Cold, as for a shopping facility, choice of a color temperature of 4500 degrees Kelvin creates additional stress for the visitor. As a result, the time of stay is reduced, irritability and premature fatigue are manifested resulting to unwillingness to return, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. A complete discrepancy between the light scene and planned positioning of the shopping center is likely to lead to the lack of the target audience in the shopping center as such.

In order to prevent such errors, you should carefully approach the light visual image of facades, parking areas, and the territory of the shopping center. Pay attention to the light structuring of the space, choose the level of illumination that will be comfortable for visitors, visually highlight tenants’ retail outlets, and simplify navigation and positioning inside the shopping center.

To plan high-quality lighting accompaniment of “Customer Journey” and to give unforgettable emotions to the guests of the shopping center, you need to follow a few simple rules.

1. The facade and territory of the shopping center should stand out qualitatively from the surrounding ecosystem.  As a rule, the urban space surrounding the shopping center is overloaded with various poorly organized elements, such as advertising billboards, city lights, shop signs, etc. Just making a bright facade is not enough, the facade should be clearly arranged and stand out not only in brightness, but also in light structure.

This will allow you to capture the attention of transit traffic flows in relation to the shopping center.

The project of the facade of a shopping center “PortCity” in Mariupol can be considered a good example of the lighting organization of the facade.

2. The sites in front of entrances should have additional light accents that form a clear idea of the direction of movement to the entrances, as well as serve as a meeting place for visitors arriving at the shopping center separately. There should be enough light for a sense of comfort and safety. People who are located in front of the entrance should be clearly recognizable from a distance of 30-50 meters. At the same time, the light should be soft and comfortable.

An excellent example is the site in front of the entrance group of the Gulliver shopping center on the side of the Sports Palace.

3. The entrance groups of the shopping center should serve as a “switch”. Intensely lit, compared to other elements. Crossing such an area and getting into a zone of intense light for a short time, a person switches to getting new impressions. It’s something like restarting RAM on computers.

4. In the interior of the shopping center, it is necessary to create visual comfort,, light sources should not distract attention, the level of illumination and the choice of light temperature should ensure a relaxed and most comfortable state for visitors.

5. The illumination of the galleries of the shopping center should provide visual accents primarily on the windows and spaces of storeslocated in the shopping center. Inside the gallery should not contain additional light accents, which in turn distract attention from the main purpose of your stay — shopping.

6. With the help of light, the shopping center space is zoned and structured by light levels. By placing brighter zones in a certain order, you can control the direction of movement of customers through the shopping center’s galleries.

7. Modern technologies allow you to create a system of positioning and navigation of visitors without installing additional equipment, using only lighting devices in the shopping center space, as well as to pave the shortest possible way to the desired store, to show where the stores of the desired category are located, and much more.

8. The opportunity, provided by modern lighting control systems, give tools for significant reduction of costs on electricity.

Awareness of the possibilities and application of customer mood management mechanisms with the help of properly constructed lighting solutions will allow shopping centers to attract more guests, increase the time of visitors’ stay, effectively manage customer flows, increase traffic in all zones, increase loyalty to shopping centers and, of course, save on costs.