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Lighting your shop, café or restaurant windows to pull in the crowds


Lighting your shop, café or restaurant windows to pull in the crowds

We are all familiar with the look of a typical high-street lined with fashion retail shops, hairdressers, health & beauty retailers etc. We also all know that the competition between retailers is fierce, which brings up the crucial question of how to make your business stand out from the crowd. Our advice would be: by focusing on your display window lighting. Light draws the eye and attracts attention. A window lit in an unusual and intriguing way will always be able to draw more people into your shop.

Light is a powerful tool for attracting people and hence for boosting your sales, and in this guide, we will explain how to use window lighting to maximum effect and what mistakes to avoid.


1.  Why light is a powerful tool for boosting your sales

Shop window lighting is often the last thing on retailers' minds – but only because they are not aware of the power of their windows. Furthermore, the right lighting will turn any display window into a glittering stage – and put every product you are displaying centre stage. It is also at that point that your products – be that fabrics, beautiful jewellery or interior accessories – will turn into highly desirable objects and prompt people to buy.

2. How to create the perfect display window

Creating a perfect display window depends both on the right lighting and setup. However, another important element is to change the display regularly to continue to inspire interest.

One of the key aspects of successful window lighting is the window's depth, which should ideally be no less than 1.5 to 2 metres. This will allow the light to ‘unfold' in the very best possible way. This is because it enables all of the light sources to be fitted at a sufficient distance from the display objects to ensure that they are evenly illuminated. If they are too close, the lighting can become unpleasant and glaring, as is often the case when windows aren't deep enough or mannequins are too close to the window pane.

If the display area is boarded off at the back, this back wall will be perfect by way of acting as a frame for the display space, and as a surface for reflecting back the light.

3. Stay flexible – by using power tracks and spotlights

In order to be truly perfect, your lighting solution will have to be able to keep up with the changes to your display, which means that using a combination of power tracks and spotlights would be ideal. Installing the power track as closely as possible to the glass pane will furthermore give you the best possible angle for lighting your products from the front.

Why not take a look at our reference projects to get inspiration for attractive ways to light a display window using tracklights.

4. Always illuminate your products from the front and above

Light can only have an effect if it can actually be seen. This is why it is important for products to be lit from the front in order to show them at their best. Light aimed at the back of mannequins heads will not have any effect at all and might actually blind people passing the window. When working with small but very high display windows, it might be effective to fit power tracks on both sides of the window. When doing so, again make sure to light your products from a narrow angle from above.

Daylight always comes from above – this is why low lighting that shines upwards should be avoided at all cost because it will always have a somewhat artificial and spooky feel.

5. Using the perfect number of spotlights and using the right angles

The greater the number of lights, the greater the perceived depth of your window display. One of the most successful ways of achieving this effect is to use at least two LED spotlights for illuminating larger objects. This means that a mannequin, for example, could be illuminated by pointing a spotlight at the left shoulder and right hip. In an ideal scenario, this would be complemented with a third floodlight for softly illuminating the entire space. Any contrasts that are too strong can actually be disturbing – which is why you should never point a light at a mannequin's face so as to avoid creating unpleasant shadows.

Display window package



The solution: we have put together a lighting solution package that contains all of the elements needed to light one metre of a display window to best effect. Take a look our display window package


Expert tip: Spotlights with adjustable lenses are perfect for maximum flexibility because they can easily be turned from a spotlight into a floodlight and vice a versa. Please contact us for more information on this option at info@lichtbasis.de.

A decorative pendant or floor lamp can add yet another special touch to a display window – and, for inspiration, do take a look at our Bailey lighting range.

6. Using rich colours with the right colour temperature

The colour temperature of a light source indicates whether the light will be perceived as white or amber (warm) or blueish (cool). Every colour temperature will create a different mood: warm white light (around 3000 Kelvin) is associated with the kind of muted light of the setting sun and is suitable in particular for creating a cosy atmosphere and for use late in the evening. Neutral white light (around 4000 Kelvin) is most similar to mid-morning and afternoon light and creates a balanced and invigorating ambience.

When selecting a colour temperature, it is also important to take into account the colour of the objects on display. Warm white light will make red and amber tones more intense, while neutral white light will amplify blue and white tones.   

Keep away from coloured light sources when it comes to creating the perfect lighting for your display. Coloured light will falsify the colours of your products and tends to be off-putting. Coloured lights can only be used to good effect when shone onto the boundary surfaces of a space.



7. Make your lighting more dynamic by using a lighting control

A lighting control is a very simple way to bring movement into your display. Casambi's lightning controls are ideal for creating different kinds of atmospheres in no time at all and for intuitively calling them up on an app. Relaxing light during lunch, a gradual change from warm to neutral tones over the course of the seasons – all of that and more, simply using a bluetooth control. The perfect way to change your display window's atmosphere on a regular basis at the touch of a button.

8. What about smaller displays?

One of the deciding factors of a successful display window is the proportion and distance between an object and a light source. Large tracklights can be too powerful when used to light small objects such as jewellery. This is why smaller display items are best lit from a short distance and with LED strip lights or mini spotlights.


As you can see: light is absolutely crucial to lending a unique touch to your shop and making it stand out. We are also happy to help you with planning your lighting concept and with selecting the right luminaries.

Write us:

We support you with your shop window lighting. Write us: info@lichtbasis.de.

Make it easy - with our Display window package. Complete set for your shop window lighting.

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