Lighting is an essential tool for retail and other colour-critical environments, where visual elements such as presentation and colour accuracy matter. To show the product in “the best light”, the most appropriate light source must be chosen.

Many factors contribute to selecting the perfect light sources for retail spaces, such as the lumen output, level of efficacy, colour temperature, etc. However, research has shown that the Colour Rendering Index or CRI is fundamental in promoting and increasing the purchase of merchandise.

To understand how CRI can boost sales, we must understand what CRI is and how it can highly affect retail.

IGA Supermarket, Victoria, Australia.

CRI, or colour rendering index, is an industry-standard rating for how accurately a light source renders the object’s colour it illuminates. This index ranges from 0 as the lowest to the highest CRI value of 100.

1. Lighting with high CRI can present and enhance a products’ true colour and quality of material.
In a clothing retail store, the right CRI can make white appear pure, bright and crisp while at the same time making other colours appear warm, saturated and intense.
At a grocery store, CRI can create a unique colour impression that makes fresh food, such as fruit and vegetables, look attractive and can bring out the natural brilliance of colours; reds, yellows and greens—making them look fresh and appealing to customers.

2.If we combine spotlights with excellent CRI, we can highlight features and display products as we choose. The CRI will enhance the featured product’s colours, forms and textures.

3. CRI plays a role in creating an aesthetically pleasing shopping experience. For example, if a vibrant atmosphere is desired within a shop, a high CRI rating will enrich and bring out the colours of product within the space.

Retail Station, ENOC Service Station, UAE.

With all the points mentioned, a retail space which incorporates an excellent CRI will effectively promote merchandise and create a pleasing shopping experience. Customers excited about their shopping experience will extend their stay and be more likely to return.

Mlight offers a variety of products with CRI 90+, such as the Kleo X and Ligera Range. You can contact your local product consultant or our projects team if you have any queries about choosing the best CRI option for your business.

Freyssinier, J. P., & Rea, M. (2010). A two-metric proposal to specify the color-rendering properties of light sources for retail lighting. International Society for Optical Engineering, 7784-7829.

Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies ASSIST. (2010). ASSIST recommends…Guide to Light and Color in Retail Merchandising. Lighting Research Center, Troy, NY.

Lee, S., & Yoon, Heakyung. (2018). Evaluation of Color Rendition indices for LED lighting in merchandising spaces. International Journal of Innovations in Engineering and Technology (IJIET).

California Lighting Technology Center. (2013). Retail Lighting.California’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

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