LED ‘needs rebels and risk takers’

Making the most of LED technology means experimenting and taking risks, retail lighting experts said at LuxLive last week.

Dave Tilley, Lux’s lighting economist, said that LED technology enables lighting engineers and designers to experiment more easily than with traditional technologies.

‘It’s important to work with the environment and to select different luminaires for different areas in-store, such as wine, beauty and shoes,’ he said during a debate on LEDs in retail.

‘If you make savings, you can reinvest going forward,’ he said, when asked about the pros and cons retrofit solutions. ‘It may not be of detriment to the store: Our advice regarding retrofitting is to try, or you’ll never know.’

‘The real challenge is to maximise the opportunity,’ he added. ‘LED has been in shelf lighting for longer than in ceiling lighting. Lighting designers can inject more drama into a scheme, they can use lighting for what we know it can deliver. It’s about challenging ourselves and taking risks. For instance, do we really need to put so many lights in the ceiling?’

But Toby Marlow, engineering manager at Waitrose, while overwhelmingly positive about the benefits of LED solutions, warned not to rollout LED ‘for rollout’s sake’. ‘It needs to add value,’ he said. Make sure you choose the right luminaires, the right LEDs and the right design.’

‘Consider what you want the space to portray,’ said Arup’s Jeff Shaw. ‘Is it a museum? A high-end boutique… It’s important to bring in daylight where possible, he added, and to make customers feel comfortable. ‘The space needs to be well-lit and fit for purpose. If you just look at cost, sales will go down. It’s about brands, products and display.’

Who are the rebels of LED? Join the discussion in the Lighting Talk group on LinkedIn