You’re probably familiar with LED (light emitting diode) lighting by now, right? It’s all over the place and getting far more popular by the day, it seems.
But why? What’s the deal with LED anyway?
Well, about a hundred years ago or maybe a little more, the incandescent light bulb ruled the world. Edison’s invention of self-contained electric light revolutionized everything from household living to retail sales… especially retail sales.
The problem, though, as you might imagine, was – and still is – that incandescent lights are hot, short-lived and bulky. They just don’t lend themselves well to lighting products. This is especially true in today’s fast-paced multi-media world.
Along comes florescence and neon. Now there was something new – a way to generate bright light without using a fragile filament, that could be easily shaped and that could also cut down on the electric bills. By the 20’s, red and green neon lights seemed to cover the world – storefronts, bar decorations, retail décor outlining and even open and closed signs.
However, even neon and florescent lights have their limits. That’s why a breakthrough in solid state lighting was needed and finally peeked out onto the scene during the depression.
It took a while, but eventually, the properties that make LED lights for retail superior began to shine. The truth is that LED is superior to every other form of lighting – and in today’s retail displays, LED is rapidly becoming the lighting option of choice.
LED has it all over other lighting because:
- There are no filaments to burn out – in incandescent lighting, 90% of the energy used is given off as heat, or infrared radiation, and only 10% as visible light.
- There are no gases or harmful elements in LED – Even the relatively safe and efficient florescent lights and neon, require gases to react to the energy, a small amount of mercury and even a coating of phosphorous to convert the invisible light into a visible spectrum.
- They give off little or no heat – with little energy loss, LED lights are cool and bright.
- They use 90% less energy overall.
- LED has a tremendous lifespan because there are no parts to deteriorate – just a crystal that reacts to electric current.
How to put LED to work for you
You don’t need to be told that lighting is a huge component in creating a successful retail display. In fact, in today’s world, the relatively new concept of sensory branding expands on just the visual by adding sound and scent elements into the mix as well.
With LED-based lighting and display elements, you’re no longer limited by size, heat, energy consumption or even the shape of your lighting. The sky is the limit and your creativity shines brighter than ever.
Imagine creating a customized retail display using LED lighting in any way that you choose. From outlining to back-lighting and virtually invisible spotlights that highlight your products. You can integrate light elements that can be randomly or purposefully brightened, dimmed and can even change colors with flat screen video displays, hidden speakers and even scent-producing components that draw a customer in and give them the full experience.
Let your imagination shine
Of course, how you design your LED retail display depends on many factors. Your products, your customers and the environment you’re trying to create. Here are a few ideas of how you can put LED retail display to work for you:
Islands of light
This is one of those lighting techniques that most people know well. It’s used to great effect by jewelers. You walk into a jewelry store and find that the ambient lighting is very low. However, the glass cases are lit up with brilliant white light that sparkles on a sea of gold, silver and precious gems.
One of the best features of LED is that its brightness and color can be altered at will and can be controlled remotely. This means that depending on the time of day, or perhaps even the sound level of your store’s music, you can change or have a computer-controller change, the display light and color on one or more of your retail displays.
Similar to the last tip, it’s relatively easy to create complex animations using even simple LED light systems. Movement and color draws the eye and gives the human brain a signal that this is something to which it should be paying attention.
As we’ve mentioned, LED lights and video displays can be wired together along with sound and scent elements to create an incredibly powerful sensory immersion experience for your customer. This is one of the most effective and modern retail display methods being used today and is far easier to create than you might think.
The story of LED goes back nearly a century, and it’s only just beginning. For those of you who are looking to draw in customers and add profits to your retail businesses, LED is going to become an integral part of the retail future as well.
Good luck and happy creating!