Shop window lighting

The shop window is a window in which to show the most outstanding products or the promotions that our business offers during each season. With an attractive shop window we will be able to attract customers and transmit a good image of our business.

Types of shop windows

According to its configuration, location or the nature of the exposed material we can differentiate several types of shop windows.

Depending on whether the interior space of the store can be seen or not, we can differentiate between open, closed or semi-open back windows. In the latter, the lower part remains closed.

children's shop window

Depending on their location, we can distinguish between façade, corridor and interior shop windows.

Most important areas of the shop window

Various studies define the parts of the shop window where the attention of potential customers is focused.

The central area of the window is estimated to receive 50% of the attention. Among the sides, the left side is slightly more attractive than the right side. On the other hand, the lower third of the window receives 70% of the interest.

showcase scheme

In the image, we can see more clearly how these areas that capture most of the attention when looking at a shop window are distributed.

How to illuminate a shop window

The correct lighting of a shop window is essential for it to fulfill its purpose 100%. No matter how spectacular or impressive it is, without the right lighting it can go completely unnoticed.

Any good lighting system for shop windows must meet certain minimum objectives:

  • Provide light that allows you to appreciate the product, without damaging it, and any labels it carries.
  • To be efficient from the energetic point of view.
  • Its maintenance and configuration can be easily carried out by the store’s workers.

While the first two points may be overly obvious, the last one tends to be systematically ignored.

How much light do I need?

Although in many cases experts recommend a lighting level of no less than 2,000 lux, we must take into account the particularities of our shop window, so that the light sufficiently illuminates the products on display.

shop window sales

The first thing to consider is the colors of the showcase. If dark colors predominate on the walls, we will need more light. On the contrary, with light walls that reflect more light, less powerful lighting may be sufficient.

Just as important as the quantity of light is the quality of the light. This is where we have to pay special attention to the CRI or color rendering index of the luminaires we will install. In this case, the minimum CRI value would be 80.

What color temperature should I choose for my storefront?

As we know, color temperature is measured in kelvin (K). We can distinguish three shades (warm, cool and neutral) according to this temperature value.

light temperature

Warm lights highlight red and yellow tones. The cold ones, in turn, make whites, greens or blues stand out more. Neutral lights, as their name suggests, do not favor any particular type of color.

In any case, the ideal is to have points of light with different temperatures.

The optimum opening angle

Selecting lights with a more or less wide beam of light allows us to generate two different types of shadows: soft or strong.

Soft shadows, which are more natural and create a cozier ambience, are achieved by means of so-called extensive lights. This type of light has a wide angle of light that produces a more uniform light.

Different opening angles at the same height

If we want to opt for more pronounced shadows, which are more aggressive and allow us to create more dramatic scenes, we will install lights with a smaller opening angle. In this way the light will be more concentrated in certain points.

As always, the ideal is to have a lighting system that allows us to modify the width of the light beam. It should be noted that the width of the light beam will be given by the location of the light point, it is not the same that this 2m than 3m high (see how the beam angle interacts with the height of the luminaire in this article).

LED lighting for shop windows

When designing our lighting system for shop windows, LED technology is undoubtedly the best option. It has a minimum energy consumption and a long life, very important aspects for lights that are going to be on for many hours a day.

As we are looking for our system to be as versatile as possible, the first option that comes to mind are track lights. These lights are installed on an electrified rail so that we can move and rotate them according to our needs.

accent lighting - directional track spotlights

Ideally, the rail should be placed in front of the plane where the exhibits will be located. In this way we obtain two advantages: first, the light will not reach them just from above (overhead light is the least flattering in most cases) and second, if we have shelves, we will minimize the shadows created by the shelves.

Depending on the effects you want to create, we will complement this track lighting system with ceiling lights, points of light located on the floor or even lighting from the outside of the showcase.

Ultimately, there is no real right way to light a storefront, but what we must ensure is that our lighting system is versatile enough to allow us to create the scene we want at any given moment.