How to light a garden centre

Garden centres have changed a lot in the past few years. There is more emphasis on high value items such as furniture, mowers and barbeques rather than plants and flowers. Garden centres have become much more like retail outlets.

In this respect, you can use many of the lighting design techniques used in conventional shops. 

There is one major difference between a garden centre and a normal high street shop and that is that the garden centre will have a lot more daylight. In order to maximise the selling space on the walls, roof lights are used instead of windows. These often have blinds that cover them at night to insulate the roof and reduce light shining into the sky. End walls are often completely glazed.

In order to maximise energy saving, the artificial lighting should be able to respond to changes in the daylight level. You should make sure that any changes are made slowly, you don’t want the lights switching off simply due to a passing cloud.

Another difference is that garden centres are more open to the outside air and are likely to be more humid than usual. You don’t need high IP rated luminaires but some protection against moisture is advisable.

The size of the garden centre shown in the images is about 12m x 12m.  The lowest part of the ceiling is 4m and 6m to the ridge. 

Highbays are always a likely option for garden centres. They are powerful enough to provide good levels of illumination even from the top of the apex. This Ledvance IP65 highbay can also be aimed so you can illuminate the walls and tall objects in the middle of the store. It can operate in temperatures up to 50C which is useful when mounted high up in a glazed roof.

Since only a few highbays are used, the ceiling is clear to hang signage and advertising boards.

These stores are often large and so we have highlighted the entrance with a cluster of vintage gold coloured pendants. These can be used with heritage type filament lamps.

We have also used some LED battens as fill-in at low level. 

At-a-glance

Luminaires

Ledvance 120W highbay and vintage pendant

Optical control 

Lenses

Arrangement 

Just four highbays are used

Pros

Keeps a clear ceiling 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A common way of improving industrial buildings is to fit a dropped ceiling. This enables you to hide the services and a white ceiling helps to make the space look brighter.

We have emphasised the display with this 350mm diameter dropped dish opal diffuser unit. These are placed over the island display units to provide a high level of illumination. This contrasts with the darker aisles, thus emphasising the goods on display.

The 18W dished LED units are typically used to replace an old, twin 18W compact fluorescent unit.

Along the shelving and aisles, we have used a simple 14W downlight with a wide 100° beam.  This enables the client to change the equipment on display without having to alter the lighting.

At-a-glance 

Luminaires

Circular 350 and Downlight 14W

Optical control

Pmma diffuser

Arrangement

Clustered over islands and along aisles

Pros

Gives much more localised lighting
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where the budget is tight, a good solution is to use more energy efficient luminaires on a one for one basis with the older ones.

Here, we have used 30W LED damp-proof IP65 sealed units with plastic bodies to replace older 58W fluorescent battens. 55W LED damp-proof units can also be used to replace twin versions. The diffuser is made of polycarbonate and sealed in place with stainless steel clips. 

This is a simple and economical scheme that almost halves the energy consumption of the old scheme and avoids the need to replace the fluorescent lamp.

A few of the Ledvance spotlights or 10W floodlights could be used to enhance this scheme at very little extra cost.

At-a-glance 

Luminaires

Damp-Proof 1500

Optical control

Polycarbonate diffuser

Arrangement

Runs along trunking

Pros

Simplicity and low energy

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