Avoid These 6 Retail Lighting Design Mistakes

cmi lighting retail lighting design

Retail lighting design depends on a delicate balance. Avoid these mistakes to create your best environment.

Detailed lighting matters, and with retail light design, mistakes rarely go unnoticed. Even the less noticeable lighting mistakes impact sales negatively. A company specializing in interior and exterior lighting services can help you avoid oversights, ensuring that your retail lighting is consistent, sharp, and suitable for your brand. With that in mind, here are six avoidable retail lighting design mistakes. 

Failing to Highlight Focal Points 

You can drive sales in a particular direction by using accent lighting to highlight products you need to sell because they’ve been sitting on the shelf for a while. The best ratio of general and accent lighting ensures you properly light your entire store while highlighting the products you want your customers to notice. It’s best not to let your end caps hide away in the shadows. Additionally, it’s best not to neutralize new items with overhead lighting. In other words, you don’t want to use too much general lighting. 

Forgetting About Contrast

There should be some contrast in your retail lighting design. Many stores fail to use lighting contrast to direct people toward specific spaces. However, we caution that you want your lighting to have subtle differences versus having harsh, jarring lighting that makes it hard to focus. 

Ignoring Lighting Codes

Your business will be at its best when you make retail lighting design choices that please your customers and inspectors. Otherwise, correcting this mistake will be costly when you don’t consider lighting codes initially. You’ll face failed inspections, delays, add-ons, additional installation costs, and other migraine-inducing feats. Lighting codes shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead, it would help if you incorporated them into your building’s design. 

Discounting Light Color

Does your store have a sleek and clean theme or feel, or is it cozy and rustic? Lighting color can make or break however you want your store to look and feel. Furthermore, specific displays within the same store might need a different lighting color to mesh well with the designer’s intent. Consider the lighting in a jewelry store. Platinum, silver, and white gold diamonds look best under cool lighting. In contrast, yellow gold looks best under warm lights. 

Using Outdated Technology

Outdated lighting technology detracts from your store’s style. However, it will also hurt your wallet because it costs energy, materials, and labor. Inefficient lights cost less upfront. However, it hurts your pocket and how people perceive your store in the long run. For example, a customer might notice that a light is out or flickering, making the store look bad. 

Neglecting Existing Lighting

It’s best to relamp and clean the fixtures you invested in to maintain an appealing store. It would help if you changed your lamps promptly and on schedule. Ballasts and power supplies also need a quick replacement before they start failing. Many businesses fail to keep up with upkeep this kind of maintenance, diminishing the initial investment. Thus, this leads to higher maintenance costs while detracting from visual appeal and efficiency. 


With over 35 years in the industry, CMI has an array of equipment to handle the logistics of any in-house job. We also frequently provide solutions to property managers and upcoming developments. CMI Companies provides services in the Mid-Atlantic Region and proudly serves clients in Northern Virginia, Maryland, Richmond, Southern Virginia, Manassas, Prince William County, Fairfax County, Rockville, and Prince George’s County. Also, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023 at 5:52 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.