Hide the source;  light the displays. All Rights Reserved © Gaddis Architect, 2014

I am posting this diagram as a way of continuing the previous discussion on retail lighting.  Many retailers don’t consider the possibility of internally illuminated store millwork and fixtures, thinking only in terms of cost and perhaps confused about how and where, in their store, its application might yield the most benefit.  Realistically, it is a topic requiring careful analysis and is best taken up with a professional.  That said, consciously including some basic store fixture lighting configurations in a store owners pool of ideas can eventually lead to improvements that will increase sales.  The diagrams here show four common methods of illuminating merchandise with a hidden light source.  Both inexpensive fluorescent strip light fixtures, or recently more often used LED light fixtures are typical for these applications.

  • Cove lighting hidden in a pocket along the ceiling or top of a store fixture creates a bright perimeter in any application.
  • Repeating it again at the top of an individual fixture emphasizes the front of the displays.
  • Adding back lighting to a shelf provides additional reflected light from the top and behind, putting the merchandise in the brightest possible spot.
  • Top light from the shelf above also works in a similar way.
  • And finally, back lighting behind a diffuse panel illuminates the entire interior and emphasized the profile of any merchandise placed on the shelves in front.