Retail Daylighting Solutions

Retail stores who embrace daylighting often find they have a measurable advantage over their competition, which is expressed in several ways. An increase in sales can be attributed to a combination of better visibility in-store, more attractive product displays showcasing more color differentiation, more relaxed customers which leads to stronger customer loyalty and increased customer frequency and finally, improved employee morale. (Houston Business Journal, Sept. 22, 2000)

Many case studies have been done on the correlation between daylit stores and increased retail sales. It is expected that because all other overhead is already covered, a 10% increase in sales can double a store’s profits: A 2003 study confirmed earlier findings of a similar study that with all factors being equal, stores with optimal daylighting experienced a 40% increase in sales compared to non-daylit stores.

(“Integrated Energy Systems: Productivity and Building Science” report prepared for the California Energy Commission Public Interest Research Program by the New Building Institute Inc., Oct 2003)

The amount of difference could also be attributed to how inefficient the artificial lighting is in the first place.


Color inconsistency is a measurable problem in some retail categories. It can significantly contribute to ‘buyer’s remorse’ in retail settings. As shown in Figure 1, product color can change significantly from store light to daylight. Adding daylighting to a retail environment shows colors in their true shade and hue, and helps to avoid certain product returns.

Figure 1: A color named Poppy viewed in 3 different lights.
Swatch # 1 – Ultralume 3000: custom fluorescent
Swatch # 2 – D65: average noon daylight
Swatch # 3 – CWF: cool white fluorescent
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