Transforming Your Space with Lighting
Hey guys! I’m kicking off a new blog series this morning, with a focus on lighting. Lighting is super crucial when it comes to selling anything. If the lighting is good, customers can see the products well. Lighting can also make or break the products. The bottom line is: good lighting sells.
Having worked for major retailers in stores building displays, I see a lot of parallels between visual merchandising and staging. Essentially, you are doing your best to make the space looks attractive so your products will sell themselves without much hard sell from the salesperson. Lighting is a big part of this. If the product is not lit correctly, it may not look as great as it can be. Same with the commercial photo shoots I had worked on, no matter what we are shooting, food, products, clothes, etc. the lighting is incredibly important. Good lighting can draw viewer’s attention to the focal point, highlight the details and accentuate the product. Bad lighting can make great products look boring or bad, then the products will not sell as well.
Light is essentially a form of energy. Our early civilization planned around natural lights like the sun, the moon, the stars and indirect light, such as reflection. Ancient architecture like Greek amphitheaters and oculus (It was widely used in the Roman times where there is a circular opening in the dome ceiling.) leveraged lighting as well.
Lighting also invokes moods. Just think about fireworks, concert lighting, memorial, restaurant lighting, department stores, etc. All these different types of lighting evokes different feelings you have.
Different lights have different CRI values. CRI stands for Color Rendering Index. A CRI is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reveal the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source. Light sources with a high CRI are desirable in color-critical applications such as neonatal care, photography and cinematography. (source)
All this is saying is that the same object under different lighting may appear differently. The color may look completely different. Here is an example of the same set of sofa & accent chairs in studio light vs. natural lighting.
This is the same exact sofa in both pictures shown above. The one above is shot in a photography studio by the consignment service we used. Below is a photo from one of our old staging project. As you can see, there are quite a bit of difference between studio lighting and natural lighting.
This is also why when sellers ask me for color recommendations, I always tell them to test the colors first. Because depending on the type of lighting you have in the room (natural, indirect and / or the type of light bulbs you have), colors will look different.
We also have to think about what lighting will do to the product, such as color rendering value and temperature. We can also layer your lighting (as you know, layering is my jam), which means blending artificial lights with natural lights and the ability to control various sources of lights. It sounds very technical, but it can just be like having sunlights through the window and overhead lighting.
There are also different kinds of lighting, mainly 4 categories: ambient, task, accent and decorative. By layering different types of lighting, you can have both functionality and beauty. Win, win! That’s why I love layering so much, because you can have a lot of fun with it and injects personality into your space.