A Bright Idea: Good Lighting Boosts Sales

Smart Energy Saving LightingAmerican retail outlets are known to spend millions of dollars on marketing and promotional materials. But did you know that some simple lighting adjustments can have a huge impact on sales?

Well, that’s exactly what one store did in the Bronx! Modell’s Sporting Goods is a historical landmark in New York City. Established in 1889, the old company is certainly reaping the benefits of new lighting technology.

Energy-efficiency at Modell’s

The management team at Modell’s decided to take part in the New York Energy $mart Small Commercial Lighting Program. The program is funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

One of Modell`s priorities was to stay competitive in this tough market. The team wanted the store to have to the attractive look of America`s big box outlets (like Walmart and Target), even though Modell`s did not have that kind of money to spend. The management staff also wanted Modell`s to look like a fun company to work for — drawing in New York`s younger crowd.

The challenges

Ask any retail design expert and they will tell you that in-store lighting can be really tough to master. Modell’s store in the Bronx boasted nearly 12,000 square feet of retail space, which had to be lit strategically — minus that unpleasant glare so typical of large spaces. Modell’s wanted a brighter store, without the dark ceilings caused by traditional lighting fixtures.

The placement of displays and shelving also affect lighting, so those are some of the other factors that had to be considered in this project. But the planning and negotiations were well worth it if you consider the energy-efficient savings that were to come in the long run.

The plan

Model’s worked with Peter Johnson from Duke Supply, who was hired by NYSERDA to design and oversee the new lighting plan. Johnson came up with an energy-efficient design that used Lamar T-8 low-profile parabolic fixtures for the store’s general lighting system. The lights met the requirements for the `Small Commercial Lighting Program` for glare control. That`s because the Lamar lighting fixtures are known to direct light away from people’s eyes.

Johnson also stuck with Lamar to illuminate the wall displays, using the manufacturer`s T-8 wall-washers. In this setup, the fixtures are actually hidden from the customer’s view. Shoppers can easily see the displays without being exposed to a whole series of bulbs.

The results

This new lighting system has attracted thousands of customers to Modell`s. It is both aesthetically pleasing and visually comfortable. Clothing colors look natural under the new 800 series lamps, which provide even illumination. Older fluorescent lights, like the 700 series, don’t show the true colors of clothing or sporting goods.

Don’t forget the energy savings!

The well-lit, welcoming store is saving money on Modell’s energy bills too. Effective, energy-efficient lighting keeps their expenses low. The T-8 lights last for 20,000 hours on average. And they keep the store cooler, too. Modell’s management team says the store will save at least $9,000 each year on energy expenses!


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