The common denominator in all these situations is lighting. Just think, would you want to eat dinner on a bright factory floor, or pack boxes by candlelight? The lighting in your business has a huge impact on customers and employees alike. When determining the lighting goals for your business, ask yourself the following questions:
What Is the Primary Purpose of the Space You Are Lighting?
As we noted, different spaces require different lighting strategies. Determine the primary purpose of your space, and then design lighting solutions around that. Is visibility your number one goal? Are you trying to create ambiance? The answers to these questions will determine the lighting that you ultimately select.
What Mood do You Want to Establish?
This question is important to help you refine your answer to the first question. In a restaurant, for example, the mood can be upbeat and communal, or intimate and personal. In a retail space, do you want to look professional or hip? Once you have decided, you have a much better picture of the quality and quantity of lighting you need to use.
What Resources Do You Have to Work With?
This can help you separate dreams from reality. Unless you are building a space from the ground up, you will need to work with the resources you have in place already. What is the lighting like in your present space, and what would it take to improve it? Do you have a budget you need to work within? Would a lighting upgrade require shutting your business down for any period of time? Figure out what you want, and then evaluate what it will realistically take to achieve it.
What are the Consequences of Bad Lighting?
This is one question that business owners often ignore. But if you have ever been to a poorly lit store, a dingy factory, or a blindingly bright restaurant, you understand how bad lighting affects the people inside. Keep this question in mind as you are installing and redesigning your lighting strategy – how would you feel if you had to spend all day in this space, or pay money to be in this space? The answer can help you keep your redesign aligned with your end goals.
Once you have a clear idea of how your business should be lit, identify the lighting technologies that will help you realize your design as easily, flexibly, and economically as possible. The simpler the upgrade process is, the more ambitious you can be.