High-quality SSL products are becoming increasingly important as a tool to boost sales as recent case studies at retailer Tumi and vegetable-oil specialist Ölmühle an der Havel illustrate.
Solais Lighting has announced a solid-state lighting (SSL) project at Tumi stores where LED-based products with color-enhancing VioLight technology are used to increase sales of the company's colorful travel bags and luggage. Meanwhile, vegetable-oil maker Ölmühle an der Havel opened a specialty store adjacent to its Berlin factory and has turned to LED-based spotlights from Erco GmbH to focus attention on retail displays and subtly render the colors and 3-D shapes of the bottles that hold the all-natural oils pressed in the factory.
Making luggage pop
In the case of Tumi, the company long known for functionality in black-on-black bags also sells luggage and lifestyle products in a rainbow of colors as the travel-bag industry mimics the fashion industry. LED retail lighting has been deployed in Tumi's flagship New York store located at Rockefeller Center to make the colors pop, as designers like to say — essentially making the saturated colors appear more vivid.
"Our new lighting has a lot more impact when you walk in and focuses on the product, not the lighting, allowing the merchandise to be the hero when you enter the store," said Glenn Trunley, Tumi’s senior director of global store design. "Our foot-candle level has increased dramatically, the light is much whiter and crisper than before with no maintenance, and the fixtures really deliver the aesthetics we were looking for."
The aesthetics are delivered by the VioLight technology that Solais developed in house. The LED-based fixtures use multi-channel light engines with a mix of LEDs to enhance color rendering and white point, although Solais won’t describe in detail how their implementation differs from color enhancing technology from the likes of LED-manufacturers Soraa and Lumileds. Solais has previously deployed the VioLight products in watch-maker Fossil stores.
The Solais technology caught the eye of lighting designer Tori Cole of Regency Lighting, who was behind the Tumi project. She said the fixtures "enable black hues to look richer and more vibrant and whites to appear crisper, while still allowing other colors to pop."
Solais 22W Xi24 and 15W Xi20 fixtures were used in the Tumi store. The products combine precise beam control with the color-enhancing technology for the LED retail lighting application. For example, the Xi24 delivers a 15° beam pattern. "The fixtures’ small aperture beam with a hex-cell louver further cuts down on glare, while the high center-beam candle power optimally supports Tumi in highlighting specific bags and design features to really make them stand out," said Cole.
Tumi's Trunley indicated that the retailer will open 40–50 new stores in the US per year and will retrofit an additional five to ten store each year with LED retail lighting. And the company plans to use the VioLight technology in all of those projects.
"The Solais products really perform ahead of our expectations and allow us to achieve our goals by using the same amount of energy to get more light," said Trunley. About VioLight, Cole added, "There is a noticeable difference in perceived light quality between LED fixtures with VioLight technology and standard LED technology. Solais’ VioLight technology is very innovative and truly represents a breakthrough product for retail."
Olive oil merchant
Oil merchant Ölmühle an der Havel, meanwhile, has turned to Erco LED spotlights in its new retail outlet located in Berlin, Germany. The company wanted to ensure that the oils were displayed in a natural state, and Erco Optec LED spotlights provide such illumination in the LED retail lighting project.
When Ölmühle an der Havel contemplated the new space on the mezzanine of the building housing its factory, the operator was also confronted with the fact that the building and its inherent fabric, dating to the Gründerzeit era, afforded little room and options for a complex lighting installation. The LED sources, however, were able to light the sales rooms efficiently while displaying the products in the desired light.
The Optec luminaires are compact and easy to mount, but the output can be customized with a variety of interchangeable lenses. The merchant was able to mix spotlight and floodlight distributions in zones to provide effective accent lighting and pleasant ambient lighting throughout the space.
Erco has had prior success supplying LED retail lighting projects. For example, the company announced a deployment at clothier Lüdenscheid last year.