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A lighting plan in brief

The importance of light in a store is often underestimated. What lights do you need and how can light be used to get more out of your store? In the following 3 steps, we briefly and simply explain how to create a lighting plan for a store.

We start at the beginning, the division of a store. Normally, a store can be divided into two areas, the presentation area and the general areas. One of the purposes of lighting is to emphasize the products, which is why we start with the presentation area.


Presentation lighting

The most important thing is to put your products in the spotlight. Therefore, a lighting plan begins with the presentation components of your store, such as the counter or wall presentation. These parts of the store are highlighted more brightly than the rest of the store, this allows the customer to pay more attention to these parts.

Now that you know this, we’ll tell you more about the lighting you can use to illuminate the presentation area.

Type of fixtures

Normally three different types of fixtures are used, these are: recessed spots, surface-mounted spots and track spots (also called rail spots). Which lamps are used depends in part on the ceiling and your preference. The advantage of track spotlights is that they are very flexible. That is, you can later relocate the spotlight as you see fit or turn it off. This way you can easily create a modular lighting plan. The model and color can be chosen according to your own taste.

Presentation lighting produc type


The lumen value indicates the light output of a light source (lamp). So by lumens (lm) we mean how much visible light a source gives in all directions. So it is important not to confuse this with watts. The wattage tells us more about energy consumption. With lumens, more is not always better; it’s about the right combination of amount of light sources, application and power. Our general recommendation for presentation lighting is 3000 lumens, however, for ambient lighting it is around 500 lumens.

Overview lumen presentation lighting

The overview above gives the rules of thumb regarding the number of lumens per application.


The color temperature or “warmth” of light is expressed in Kelvin (K). A low Kelvin number indicates that the light is more yellow (warmer) and a high number indicates whiter (colder) light. We recommend using 3000 Kelvin spotlights for store presentation lighting. However, for example, for hospitality or bread presentation lamps with 2700K can be used for better atmosphere creation. In contrast, for workspaces we use colder light, normally of 4000 Kelvin.

Specific colors

To achieve the best product presentation of fresh items, we use specially developed food colors. This way, the light color better matches the fresh product, making for an attractive presentation. Some applications can be seen in the fish department at Hanos or this butcher shop.


Mounting presentation spotlights

The number of lights you need in the lighting plan depends on the area you need to present. The rule of thumb here is one spotlight per 1 to 1.5 meters to have enough light. Here it is important that the distance between the spotlights be equal.

The plan assumes a hanging height of 3 meters. This height can be achieved by pinning the rails with steel wire for proper results. However, a different height is also possible if desired. The special presentation area is the shop window. The storefront must be well lit to gain from daytime sunlight. The idea is to create as much stopping power as possible so that consumers enter your store. Because of this, we choose to hang 2 to 5 spotlights in front of each window, this depends on the size of the window. To get the greatest possible contrast, the light from these spotlights is directed straight at the ground.


General lighting

The final step of the lighting plan addresses the dark areas. After installing presentation spotlights, there may still be some areas where few lights are hanging and therefore not well lit. Common locations include: the work area (behind the counter), the restroom and hallways.

To illuminate these areas, we use downlights, or spotlights that shine straight down. For this, we recommend using one downlight per two square meters.

Personal advice

Every store is different. Similarly, every lighting plan is different, so there is no one-fits-all. A proper and balanced lighting plan is essential for a store and increases sales. This is why we believe that personal advice regarding a lighting plan is important. For an introductory meeting or advice, please feel free to contact us.


This blog was written in collaboration with our partner in store design Peack Interior.


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Harry Rijnders

Light Design Manager