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Lighting up for the holidays

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The planning for any store upgrades for the holiday season usually begins well before the “official” start of the holiday season.  One of the easiest ways to get ready for the holiday season is to upgrade the lighting.  If a store is simply looking for a quick fix for the holidays then a smart thing to do is to upgrade the lighting for the bridal cases and window displays.

The most popular time of year to get engaged is during the holidays.  More engagement rings are purchased during the month of December than in any other single month.  Because of this, it makes the most sense to upgrade the bridal case area lighting.  There are three ways to do this.  First, the lighting inside the cases can be improved; second, the lighting above the cases can be improved; and third, both inside and overhead lighting can be improved. 

The best way to get merchandise inside of the cases noticed is to make sure that you install lighting that will make the diamonds sparkle and pop. Getting them noticed is the first step towards making a sale. 

In my experience, the best lighting for inside of a case is LED as this light source will create the most scintillation in your diamonds.  There are several types of LED lighting available from low quality inexpensive tape/rope LED lighting that can sell for as little as $20/ft to high quality custom made LED case lighting that can sell for $90 - $120/ft.  There is a vast difference in the power and quality of the light between the inexpensive tape/rope LED and a custom made LED incase fixture.

The best color ranges for these lights are between 4000K and 5000K.  Anything above 5000K will start to take on a blue tone and will make the diamonds vastly different when taken out of the case and viewed on the glass top.

Overhead lighting should match the lighting inside the case in terms of color, quality and light power.  If the lighting inside the case is far more powerful than the lighting above the case then the merchandise will look different when viewed in both areas which could result in the loss of a sale. Depending upon the height of the ceiling, LED lighting can be used overhead.  If the ceilings are very high ceramic metal halide might work best.   

The other area that has to be considered for lighting upgrades before the holidays are the window displays.  If potential customers walking past your window displays are not dazzled by what they see there is little chance you will lure them in if they had not already made a decision to visit your store.  If the window displays are not well lit they will not get noticed.  The lighting should be as powerful as is possible, stopping short of being so powerful that it washes out the merchandise.  If the window display is one that is facing the sun then there needs to be double the amount of light than would be necessary for an indoor window display to offset the power of the sum shining through.

If your window display has just gold pieces and warm colored stones, they would do best under lighting between 3000K and 4000K.  Diamonds and cooler colored stones would do best with a light source between 4000K and 5000K. Since the distance from the light source to the merchandise in a window display is usually fairly small, LED’s can be utilized here as well.  Depending on the structure of the display they can be recessed or a track can be installed and LED track lights can hang from the track.

When deciding to purchase LEDs, make sure that the warranty on them is at least 3 years for in case lighting and 5 years for overhead lighting. Many of the inferior LEDs come with warranties of 1-2 years.

If buying your LEDs from an online vendor, make sure that the vendor is a “real” company that will actually be in business tomorrow or will actually honor a warranty.   Also be wary of warranties that are excessively long as the companies that offer extremely long warranties may do that to induce someone to buy with no intention of ever honoring the warranty. In addition, make sure that you are buying a commercial grade LED and not one made for residential use. If someone is boasting that their LED will last for 50,000 hours, make sure that is not based upon 3-4 hours of daily use.   

Getting a quick upgrade for the holidays does not have to be an expensive endeavor. Focusing on improving the lighting in these two areas can yield very favorable results.   

Howard Gurock is President of Econo-Lite Products. For more information contact Howard at 800-345-9652 ext.16 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You may visit the company website at www.econo-lite.com.

 
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