What to Look for in LED Lights for POP Displays, Store Fixtures, and Retail Environments

As we discussed in our last blog, LED lights are becoming increasingly popular in retail store environments and in store fixtures. Today we will take a look at the criteria that is most important in selecting an LED light for POP displays or for your store environment. While there are many things to consider in selecting an LED light such as price and the reliability and experience of the supplier, let’s take a look at the most important LED lighting specifications.

The next time you are considering LED lighting, we would encourage you to focus on 3 important specifications:

1)    CRI- CRI stands for Color Rank Index. It is a quantitative measure that explains a light source’s ability to reveal colors. CRI ranges from 0-100. The higher the CRI, the more vivid the colors look. The light bars we use in our retail merchandising work exceed 90 CRI which enables them to create amazingly vivid contrast in the colors of the products they illuminate.


2)    Efficiency- Efficiency is a relative measure of how much energy an LED light requires to produce the same amount of light. LEDs with higher energy efficiency produce more light per watt. Be sure to look for light bars that have over 125L/watt.

3)    Color Consistency- Color binning is how LED lights are selected within a given color temperature. There are up to 16 different colors of the same warm/cool/day light white.  We suggest using an LED light that uses single rank color binning for consistent color from diode to diode.


In addition to these 3 important specification considerations, there are a number of other considerations we typically incorporate in our LED lighting selection for our display work. These include the following:

  • High Lumen Output (At least 450 lm/ft)
  • Low energy consumption (i.e., high efficiency lights as described above
  • Custom sizes- We like to use sizes that range from 2” to 108” which are available in 2” increments.
  • Long lasting life span- Look for LED lights which can last for at least 50,000 hours without brightness reduction.
  • Low voltage system (12V DC)
  • 3.6W/ft- This is our standard requirement.
  • Suggested Power Supply Usage- Be sure you have enough power supply for your lights. To calculate what you will need, multiply the length of the LED lights (ft) by the Watts/ft x 1.3 (We suggest a 30% buffer.).  The maximum linear run for the 3.6W/ft lights we generally recommend is 14 feet before running home to the transformer.

Selecting the right LED lights can make a huge difference in creating the right store environment or giving your product maximum appeal in the eyes of shoppers.  Below we show just a few examples of the before and after impact of using the right LED lights.

The first example shows a jewelry showcase that was retrofitted with LED lights.

        BEFORE                        AFTER


The second example shows how LED lighting can make product pop in a wall-mounted slatwall fixture.


The third example shows the progression from fluorescent lights to LED lights in Saks Fifth Avenue fixtures. Look carefully and you can see the difference in brightness.

Fluorescent (left)                               LED (right)                                    LED Installation


The fourth example is jewelry showcases with LED lights.


Finally, below is an example of LED light bars in all showcases, toe kicks, and display shelves.


LED lighting can have a huge visual merchandising impact, but defining the right specifications is critical to selecting the right LED lights for your retail situation.

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