Light attracts people – Change inspires perception

Light has long been an important tool for merchandise presentation in retail. Since the invention of gas lamps, new technical developments were used for store layouts as soon as possible. Now however, it is no longer just about a set lighting atmosphere. Light should be changeable – during the course of the day and depending on the season. Important for retailers are not only new light fixtures but also new lighting control technologies.

Scenographic light or light that changes depending on the season or time of day make quick changes in shop design possible. Where you needed a new wall color, new flooring or shelves in the past, these days modern staging with different colors of light or varying intensity of light will do the job. Behind all this are new lighting control systems. Dr Jürgen Waldorf from ZVEI explains the advantage of BUS lighting technology and DALI in our interview on this focal topic. In our second interview, we are trying to find out with Dr. Armin Wedel from Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research how far along the development in organic–light emitting diodes, the so-called OLEDS is by now.


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EHI: More natural light and more efficient lighting fixtures

Despite all of the enthusiasm over the new technical possibilities: lighting also remains a cost factor. To cut energy costs, retailers particularly want to invest in lighting that is more efficient. This was evident in the EHI study titled “Energy management in Retailing 2011”. For 77 percent of surveyed commercial enterprises, energy costs increased in 2011 and a further increase of more than 10 percent is expected for the next few years.

The amount of energy costs depends on the industry sector. Just like in the previous year, non-food retail spends around 32 Euros per square meter of sales area annually on energy. At 57 percent, the cost for lighting makes up the largest portion. The propensity to invest in this area is considerable. 93 percent of all retailers surveyed want to spend more money in this area – that’s 15 percentage points more than in the previous year. As concrete measures for energy optimization, the focus is even stronger than in the prior year on energy efficient lighting fixtures, lighting control based on current daily lighting conditions and the use of natural light.


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Nach Angaben des EHI decken die in der Studie befragten Unternehmen rund 37 Prozent des Einzelhandelsumsatzes in der D-A-CH-Region ab. Dem Nonfood-Handel sind dabei 59 Prozent der Befragten, dem Food-Handel 41 Prozent zuzurechnen. Die kleineren Händler sind erfahrungsgemäß inhomogener. Innovationstreibern stehen viele, vor allem inhabergeführte Fachgeschäfte mit einem Investitionsstau gegenüber.

Messe als Schaufenster und Ideengeber

Vor knapp über einem Jahr war die EuroShop 2011 ein spannender Termin. Lichtsteuerung durch Digitalisierung und energiesparende Beleuchtung waren die wichtigsten Themen im Bereich Licht. Dieser Trend setzte sich jetzt bei der light+building in Frankfurt am Main fort. So zeigt sich, dass die aus den USA kommende LEED-Zertifizierung auch in Europa bei den Gebäude-Planern immer wichtiger wird. LEED erweist sich als wesentlich konkreter und auch strenger als EU-Regeln und deren Umsetzungen in nationales Recht. Beispiele sind etwa der Neubau der Verwaltung des Südddeutschen Verlags in München oder die Renovierung der Hochhaustürme der Deutschen Bank in Frankfurt, die LEED-zertifiziert sind.


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According to the EHI Retail Institute, the companies surveyed in this study cover approximately 37 percent of retail sales in the so-called DACH region of Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). 59 percent of this number is attributed to non-food retail and 41 percent to food retailing. The smaller retailers empirically are more non-homogeneous. Innovation drivers are seen alongside many, especially owner-managed specialty stores with investment backlog.

Trade fair as a Showcase and Idea Generator

Almost a year ago the trade fair EuroShop 2011 was an exciting event. Digital lighting control and energy-efficient lighting were the most important topics of the lighting section. This trend was set to continue on the light+building in Frankfurt, Germany. The U.S based LEED Certification takes more and more center stage in building technology. LEED proofs to be more specific and stricter than EU-regulations and their implementation in national law. LEED certified projects are for example the new construction of the headquarters of the Süddeutscher Verlag in Munich or the renovation of the skyscrapers of the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt.

Luminale: Lighting ideas in the city

For the sixth time, the Luminale extends the trade show into the evening and night hours. Streets and town squares, high-rise buildings and churches, museums and galleries from Offenbach to Mainz present themselves in a different light. As already discussed in Düsseldorf the trend towards projections onto buildings and interactive installations was clearly recognizable at the Luminale. The digitization of light is growing ever larger. Media facades from the Zeil Gallery (Zeil Galerie) in Frankfurt, all the way to the Sparda-Bank, the presentations at Tower 185 and the Taunustor (Taunus Gate) highlight the entire scope of design possibilities.

Artists, designers and their installations explore the achievement potential of lighting control technologies, sensors and software and in doing so try out technologies that in turn are the basis for the industry to develop energy-saving and highly efficient products.
Nevertheless it takes the implementation at more than single events to make it more than a technical gimmick. Retail offers a lot of opportunities for that. If shopping should become an event, light plays an important role, because light attracts people.

René Schellbach, First Publication



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