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Retailers and Restaurants Increasingly Use Architectural Lighting to Attract Customers
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Retailers and Restaurants Increasingly Use Architectural Lighting to Attract Customers

With more people shopping online and increasingly taking out food rather than eating at a restaurant, storefront retailers and restauranteurs are increasingly using architectural lighting to enhance the in-person customer experience. Retailers are creating exterior lighting to draw the consumer into the store, and interior lighting to excite them as they walk through the doors and to best show off their product. More restaurants owners are utilizing lighting as part of creating a warm, welcoming ambiance that sets the right mood for a more enjoyable dining experience at the restaurant.

What Are The Three Aspects of Architectural Lighting?

Architectural lighting, whether it be daylighting or artificial lighting, has three major aspects – function, aesthetic, and efficiency. When it comes to retail stores, the aesthetic aspect is particularly important. It is where architects and designers focus on the emotional impact that the balance of lighting and architecture will have on consumers. It is where designers determine how they want shoppers to feel when they walk around a store.

When it comes to an upscale restaurant, low-intensity lighting creates a leisurely, intimate, and relaxed atmosphere. More casual dining restaurants offering quicker service use bright lighting that has shown to increase customer turnover and maximize facilities traffic during the midday rush.

Lighting the Way for Better In-Person Shopping

Through effective lighting, retailers can set the customer’s mood and create a hierarchy among products that makes for a more relaxing shopping experience. Ideally, lighting can help create a brand experience that the customer will remember and want them to return to the store in the future.

Retailers that invest in architectural designed lighting view it as a key part of building long-term sales growth. Studies have shown that retail store lighting can have a significant impact on sales by enhancing a store’s displays and showing products to their best advantage.

Utilizing Light as Efficiently as Possible

Energy efficient lighting is increasingly top of mind in today’s age of green building and stainability movements. LED lighting that consumes less energy lowers a retailer’s overhead. Energy efficiency can also be gained by primarily using task lighting that highlights your priority product and wastes less light.

Creating Illuminating Shopping Experiences

The shopping experience can also be enhanced through the effective use of ambient lighting that illuminates an entire space, as well as accent lighting that can awaken a shopper’s curiosity using colorful and dynamic lighting that stimulates the emotions of people. If a store wall features a different texture, or important products, wall washing can be an outstanding lighting tool. It draws attention to the wall and makes it appear as its own architectural design element that makes it stand out from the entire space. Many retailers use this effectively to draw more attention to wall displays.

Contact the Retail and Restaurant Interior Design Architects at SSP Architectural Group

When I take on an interior design project with a retailer or a restaurant, lighting is considered from the beginning of the design process. Collaborating with the retailer or restauranteur, the SSP design team seeks to integrate lighting that is aesthetically appealing while being energy efficient.

If you are a retailer or restauranteur interested in effectively incorporating architectural lighting into your store’s or restaurant’s interior design to help boost sales, contact me online for a free conversation about your project. I can be reached at 908-725-7800 or

By Tammy Stouchko, Principal of SSP Architects

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