"Click" – the light comes on. "Click" – it goes out again. Nowadays, lighting in the store is no longer as simple as that. The technical possibilities allow targeted control and precise energy monitoring.
We spoke with Dennis Sczech from Signify DACH about the current potential in lighting management: This includes the Internet of Things, sustainable lighting solutions and in-store navigation. He also explains why it is not always necessary to replace the entire existing lighting system to achieve success.
Mr. Sczech, the Philips StoreFlow retail luminaire was presented at EuroShop 2023 as an innovative lighting solution. What is new about it?
Dennis Sczech: The StoreFlow retail luminaire is the first model from Philips to provide high-contrast lighting while creating a vibrant atmosphere by accentuating the products on the shelves. Shelves at eye level are illuminated brightest, with good illumination from the top to the bottom of the shelf. The design features a sleek, organic shape.
In addition, light cones can be adjusted to shelf height and aisle width as needed, providing flexibility to accommodate individual needs and structural requirements within stores.
What environmental considerations does Signify take into account when developing new products?
Sczech: By making use of existing materials, we can minimize the consumption of new materials. In this way, fewer waste products are generated and scarce raw materials can be used more wisely. Fewer fossil raw materials are used across the entire value chain, which helps to reduce our environmental footprint.
The same applies to our energy-efficient lighting solutions, which not only save money but also reduce personal emissions. We are proud of our Solar Lighting division, and our goal is to implement the principle of a circular economy in every one of our products. For us, sustainable lighting is inextricably linked to the concepts of reuse, repair and recycling.
Especially in times of rising electricity costs, energy efficiency is a decisive factor. How can lighting solutions help retailers save costs?
Sczech: Energy-efficient lighting solutions help save electricity and reduce operating costs. The best way to do this is with our latest-generation LED products, which in combination with our intelligent lighting management systems can reduce energy consumption by up to 80 percent compared with conventional lighting.
You say advanced lighting management is also a way to save electricity and costs. How does it work?
Sczech: A cloud-based lighting management system offers retailers the opportunity to connect multiple stores via a network in order to control and keep an eye on the respective lighting installations. Depending on requirements, lighting control can be linked with the existing building management system, smart meters and alarm systems to create a holistic approach. Finally, intuitive web-based interfaces allow retailers to create custom lighting scenes and schedules that can be assigned to one or more stores. Via the dashboard, retailers can keep a permanent eye on the energy consumption of the lighting and other integrated systems such as air conditioning – even remotely if required.
Are you using the Internet of Things in other areas for retail?
Sczech: Yes, for example as a basis for in-store navigation. This enables retailers to enhance the shopping experience of their customers with location-based services such as directions or promotions near the shelves. Because indoor navigation also collects data on customers' movement and behavior patterns, retailers can optimize their store design in an even more targeted way.
Signify presents a hybrid lighting control system that combines wired and wireless elements. What are the benefits of this system?
Sczech: This is an excellent solution for refurbishment projects in particular. It allows dealers to integrate modern lighting control without the expense of retrofitting cables. The functions of our IoT platform Interact remain fully intact: Connected luminaires can be dimmed, assigned scenes, and equipped with motion sensors for on-demand use to take full advantage of energy-saving potential, with low payback times.
If I want to optimize my lighting design, do I have to completely replace my lighting system or can I upgrade it?
Sczech: We also have solutions that are compatible with concepts from market companions. Here, for example, our Maxos Universal refurbishment lighting support should be mentioned. This can be used to upgrade an existing lighting installation in a cost-effective and straightforward manner, giving our customers the opportunity to benefit from the advantages of the latest LED generations: Optimization of the lighting concept and energy efficiency. In addition, depending on the concept, an upgrade to a wireless solution would also be possible, offering the added value of intelligent lighting control.
Can features like indoor navigation or IoT help retailers to attract the younger shopper generations?
Sczech: The key here is an omnichannel solution that links digital worlds with the on-site shopping experience via an app. Depending on demand, the experience can be extended to include bonus and loyalty programs on the part of retailers. Individualized advertising and targeted gaming integrations can help to retain the younger generation.
What is your vision for the future of retail at Signify?
Sczech: In principle, we always base our developments on the visions we have for the future of retail. There will be an even greater focus on sustainability and, in the process, on reducing waste products and the waste of resources.
In addition, the focus will shift to individuality. It will be a matter of creating experiences, creating the right atmosphere, and offering an omnichannel shopping experience with added value.