Retail Lighting Design Education

Lesson 6: Limbic Lighting

In this video, you will learn what is Limbic Lighting.  How Gruppe Nymphenburg did this study of human emotions with the influence of light, and how this study will be used in the Retail Shop Lighting Design to increase sales.  According to this study, there are 3 main groups which identify the types of customers for retail shops.  These are: Balance, Stimulance, and Dominance.


You may download the white paper here. https://www.zumtobel.com/PDB/Ressource/teaser/en/Study_LimbicLighting.pdf

30 minutes lecture

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What is Limbic Lighting?

"Light defines zones and boundaries." – Light & Architecture

Limbic® Lighting is a study done by the Zumtobel Group, in cooperation with the consulting firm Gruppe Nymphenburg, to identify the attitude and classification of each customer.  Based on this study, Zumtobel was able to identify three different target groups which respond differently to various lighting scenes.  The effectiveness of light is closely related to the buying motives of the customers.  Using the results of this study, it is possible to increase retail profit by up to 10%.  This video  will tell us how Gerry Weber brand increased their sales using this theory in their shop.

These customers have been divided into three groups, these are:

  1. Balance

  2. Stimulance

  3. Dominance

Balance

This first group is people looking for harmony and relaxation (Harmonisers, Traditionalists, Open-minded).  As its name might imply, this group prefers a balance between ambience and accent lighting.

This is the largest target group consisting of quiet, harmony-loving individuals, showing particularly positive responses to moderate accent lighting. The lighting character for this group includes:

  1. Ambient dominated by decent, soft contrasts by mixture of medium spot/flood accent beams, linear cove and vertical lighting

  2.  Moderate accent lighting by medium flood beams

  3. Perimeter lighting by asymmetric vertical flood and completed by spotlights on demand

  4. Standard average illuminance 800 lux on horizontal level

  5. Soft integrated accent lighting using flood beams 

  6. Warm white (3000K) ambient light

  7. Vertical activation by soft accent lighting from mix of accent and flood beams for perimeter lighting using asymmetric vertical flood and spot lights.

  8.  The vertical surface steps out of the low average illumination in the space decently.   

See the images below for an example of Balance design in a retail shop.

Stimulance

This second group is unconventional people, also known as (Hedonists, Adventurers). This group includes adventurous and pleasure-seeking personalities. They respond better to low levels of ambient lighting and noticeable accent lighting on merchandise.

This group comprises of people who are fun-loving Hedonists and risk-loving Adventurers. Hedonists, especially, get bored quickly; they need variety and challenges in their lives.  Lighting scenarios should facilitate a positive state of relaxation, but still keep a certain level of stimulance to avoid boring the target group.  Here, for instance, scenarios offering high contrasts, with a reduced horizontal level of general lighting, will prove beneficial.

The lighting character for this group includes:

  1. Ambient dominated by contrasts - by high accent and vertical light share using tight spot accent beams and decorative ambient lighting

  2.  Accent lighting by spot to medium floods

  3. Perimeter lighting by asymmetric vertical flood and accentuation strengthened by spot lights

  4.  Low average illuminance 500 lux on horizontal

  5. Integrated accent lighting for shelves, niches

  6.  Neutral white (>4000K) ambient light

  7. Contrast driven vertical activation by mix of accent and flood beams for perimeter lighting from asymmetric vertical flood and spot lights with high luminous intensity

  8. The vertical surface steps out of the low average illumination in the space 

See the images below for an example of Stimulance design in a retail shop.

Dominance

This third group is Critical people (Performers, Disciplinarians). They are high-performing and disciplinarian personalities. This group has the opposite response to Stimulance, since they prefer high levels of ambient lighting and little accent lighting.

This group is characterized by the skeptics among the Limbic® Types, in other words, those who are easily unsatisfied and turn away from situations that do not meet their expectations.  This, basically skeptical, target group is sensitive to unbalanced lighting concepts and is best loaded with positive emotions through well-balanced, moderate lighting effects.  

The lighting character for this group includes:

  1. Homogenous ambient - uniformity by high diffuse horizontal light share using wide accent beams, downlights, floodlights and cove

  2. Accent lighting by medium to wide flood beams

  3. Main accentuation by uniform perimeter lighting by asymmetric vertical flood lights

  4. Relative high average illuminance of 1200 lx

  5. Uniform illuminated shelves, niches

  6. Neutral white (3500-4000K) ambient light

  7. Vertical activation by uniform perimeter lighting, free from dark spots from asymmetric vertical flood lights for the complete vertical surface with high luminous intensity.

See the images below for an example of Stimulance design in a retail shop.

To know more about this Limbic® Lighting study, check the PDF white paper here:

Now that we know the Limbic® Lighting Theory, the best example to apply this is probably sportswear shops, where we can identify the target group as Stimulance, while for corporate suit boutiques the target will be the Dominance group.  Customers in stores selling basic clothing for children and maternity might belong to the Balance group.

You can use this study as a guide when designing your retail shop projects.  You must explain this lighting theory to your client and help them identify the character of the target customers of their store.  They may not know it until now, it will be your best chance to impress your client! Good-luck!

Click this link to proceed with the video  presentation about Limbic® lighting, and this video for the tutorial on how to apply this theory in lighting design using Dialux evo software.

There is one best website link to play these 3 lighting schemes online and you will find it here in this link.  You may also download this software called VIVALDI to use for your client presentation.  See this link for the sample video  about VIVALDI.

I will create a separate video tutorial on how to use VVALDI, so watch out for this one.