If you think lighting installation is the final step in a beautifully lit retail environment, think again. Although it can be easily missed, light focusing is a final step that is key to making retail lighting more purposeful and impactful. Without focusing spaces can appear darker, vital lighting problems like glare control can be ignored and a customer’s attention can easily be drawn away from the brand’s intended customer experience. 

Lululemon, Amsterdam – example of lighting making clothing colours pop

Because focusing makes such a difference to retail stores, it is a key part of the service offered by Shoplight. We asked Shoplight’s Focusing Manager, Terry Vann, why focusing is so important in retail lighting:

“Focusing allows you to control the spread of light and pops of colour on the shop floor. It transforms buying from a process to an experience, creates a desired ambience and can even make a retail space appear larger and more spacious. There’s no doubt that walking into a store which is inviting and vibrant with well-lit merchandise is going to make you want to buy more!


Once the lighting has been installed, light focusing starts with a thorough walkthrough of a retail space. 

Quite often when walking a store with a client I discover more about what they want to achieve and can spot areas of lighting that need improving. The process involves adjusting beam angles and the spacing of the light fittings. We can do all sorts of things like balance light levels, remove dark spots, and highlight key merchandise. 

Light focusing is a skill that depends on instinct and experience. Additionally, a crucial part of light focusing is collaborating with our lighting design team and using our lighting concepts as a guide. Some brands have specific requirements that must be followed in every store. It’s incredibly rewarding to see our clients feel involved and happy with the result”.

HOP, New Bond Street – example of focusing which highlight branding and colour (Image Credit: Save As Studio).

Overall, Shoplight highlights seven key reasons why focusing is an essential part of their retail lighting service. 

  1. Branding and ambience

Retailers often have a specific brand image or theme they want to convey to customers and the way lighting is used can reinforce this identity. Shoplight provides a focusing service to ensure lighting reinforces the store’s branding by creating consistent and memorable visual experiences for customers. 

Lighting has a significant impact on the overall store ambience. How you focus light can create a different feel, mood or atmosphere depending on the store’s brand or type of product. 

For example, a high-end boutique may use focused, warm lighting to create an intimate and luxurious atmosphere, while a tech store might use bright, cool lighting to convey a modern and efficient vibe. Consistently applying these lighting choices across all stores helps reinforce their chosen brand identity.

  1. Colour

Focusing a light fitting with a specific module adapted to the merchandise improves product colour accuracy and adds to the ambience. For example, using a bakery module or dimmable lighting option.

  1. Highlighting products and improving visibility

The primary objective of retail lighting is to draw attention to products. When lighting is focused on the right things it can have a direct impact on sales. Focusing is ideal for highlighting logos, signs, and accent colours for a memorable impression. By accentuating specific merchandise and display areas and highlighting featured products such as new seasonal items, light focusing plays a key role in the performance of retail spaces.

Additionally, using focusing to ensure products are well-lit makes it easier for customers to see and evaluate what they are buying. This helps customers make informed choices about things like colour, texture and usability.

  1. Creating visual interest

Properly focused lighting can create visual interest and drama. Light and shadows can be used to draw attention to specific elements, add depth, dimension, and spatial definition, and enhance the overall aesthetics. These tools can make a store more visually appealing and engaging. 

  1. Guiding traffic flow

Focused lighting can be used to strategically to guide customers through the store. Light focusing can highlight specific pathways or displays, influencing the flow of traffic and encouraging customers to explore the store in a certain way. 

  1. Sustainability and reducing energy costs 

Focused lighting can be more energy-efficient compared to using diffused or scattered light. Directing light where it is needed minimises waste and increases energy efficiency. As a result, retailers can reduce the number of fixtures and the amount of electricity required to illuminate the space means cost savings over time. As sustainability becomes increasingly important to both retailers and customers using lighting in a more sustainable and energy-efficient way is important. 

  1. Minimising light pollution

Focusing light helps prevent light spillage and light pollution, which can be a concern from an environmental and regulatory perspective. By directing light only where it’s needed, retailers can reduce their environmental footprint and comply with lighting regulations more easily. 

As you can see focusing light in retail settings is essential to achieve these practical and aesthetic outcomes. It helps showcase products, create the desired ambience, save energy, and enhance the overall shopping experience, all of which can contribute to visual appeal, customer satisfaction and the success of the store.

Little Dobbies, Cheltenham – carefully selected chips enhance the depth of green


If some or all of these factors are important to your retail brand, then reach out to Shoplight on the following channels: