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The way retailers light their stores is experiencing a major transformation as more and more retailers adopt LED lighting solutions. The experts at PowerSecure Lighting ( spoke with Chain Store Age about LED lighting trends and LED retrofits.

What is the biggest trend you are seeing in retail lighting?

The shift to LED lighting. If you walk a mall anywhere in North America, chances are the majority of the stores will have some sort of LED lighting in the ceiling. Regardless of the size, look, quality or performance, some form of an LED light source will be present. This tells us that LED lighting has become mainstream and accepted in the retail world as a light source for general applications — not just for accent lighting as was in the past.

Are there any changes with regard to lighting quality?

We’re seeing a shift to better-quality LED light. Not all LED lighting is created equally. You can take a 3000K LED lamp from five different manufacturers and the chances of them all looking the same are slim to none. This has to do with the quality of the LED chips being used and the technology driving it. Retailers have become more sophisticated in demanding the best quality LED lighting. Great LED product manufacturers now offer true color LED technology that renders colors even better, which makes merchandise come to life.

What is happening with lighting fixtures?

There is a trend toward smaller aperture light fixtures. Bigger is not better in this case. In the early days of LED lamps, we saw retailers wanting to stay in their comfort zone and replace a large PAR38 halogen lamp with a PAR38 LED replacement lamp. Same large size, same large footprint in the ceiling. But with manufacturers offering more powerful lumen outputs, we started to see LED lamps generate higher lumen output in smaller form sizes like PAR30s and PAR20s — allowing for smaller footprints in the ceiling and ultimately more attention from the customer on the sales floor.

What do retailers need to know about using LEDs in general-lighting applications?

There are several factors influencing the successful selection, installation and operation of an all-LED retail store for general-lighting applications. These factors affecting the difference between a poorly lit and properly lit store include the following: light output, center-beam candlepower, quality of light, maintenance, payback, aesthetics and warranty. When selecting an LED option for your lighting location, it is imperative that the retailer compares apples to apples and makes sure that it is buying its products from a reputable manufacturer that will be in business years down the road should the warranty become an issue. Overall, LEDs in general-lighting applications are used by the majority of retailers and have proven that the light levels are of equal quality to traditional light sources in the majority of the applications.

Do retrofits still exist for LED upgrades?

Yes, they absolutely do. Many people in the industry believe that once you fill a socket with an LED lamp or fixture, that socket will be filled for the next 10 years with that product due to its long-life characteristics. This is not the case. Similar to high-end electronics, LED products evolve and change constantly, making the LED product you installed two years ago inferior to the same LED product offered today. Lumen depreciation may take longer with LED products, but it still happens. Therefore, even a retail store with the latest and greatest LED products installed today will likely need new LED products in the next four to five years to maintain the ultimate quality of light.

Give us an overview of PowerSecure Lighting.

PowerSecure Lighting, a division of PowerSecure International, is the fastest-growing, most technologically relevant, LED product manufacturer in the United States. Our retail-focused brand, Solais Lighting, has led the industry with its actively cooled Luxiance technology, producing the highest-output-producing LED products. PowerSe-cure Lighting is continually looking to push the innovation envelope.

PowerSecure Lighting’s other brands include EfficientLights, a leader in supermarket LED lighting applications, and EnergyLite, which manufactures exterior area LED lighting products.

What advantages does PowerSecure Lighting bring retailers?

Our Solais brand has always been a retail-focused manufacturer. It was among the first LED product manufacturer to offer custom housing colors on its lamps, snooted LED lamps, and the highest lumen packages on its LED lamps and fixtures.

Solais always pushes the innovation envelope and provides its clients with the latest technology to enhance its retail environments. The latest innovative product introduction features its VioLight technology, which transforms the retail environment and enhances the colors in merchandise to bring them to life. Solais works with the nation’s leading retailers, and we encourage our potential clients to talk to us for a free sample mock-up to see how well our products enhance your retail store.

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