Of the senses we have at our disposal, sight is what we predominantly use to perceive quality and freshness. In today’s market, the anchor for supermarket chains, and independent green grocers alike, is the freshness of their produce. This is why it is crucial to do food lighting displays justice and illuminate them in light with characteristics that are best suited their colouration.
Lighting for Food
Research into how lighting effects human perception and purchasing behaviour strongly supports the notion that good lighting has a significant positive effect on sales in a retail environment.
Light is complex in its nature with many variables that determine the lights resulting characteristics and effects. In the instance of food lighting these variables must be harnessed and controlled to deliver light with characteristics most complementary to their subject matter. The most significant variables are listed below.
In any lighting design colour temperature is a considered factor, be it a classroom or a restaurant, though it is of greater significance in retail applications like food lighting. Some fresh produce lend themselves to very warm colour temperatures, others very cold temperatures; it is important to match them carefully to help elevate their visual appeal.
The tables below illustrates a few typical complementary food and light colourations.
For more information about colour temperatures visit our correlated colour temperature technical section.
Colour Rendering Index (CRI)
The colour rendering index of a light source is a measure of the sources ability to reveal an objects colour faithfully, in comparison to a natural light source i.e. daylight. It is this variable that refers to the capability of the luminaire to render the vivid reds of fresh meats and the oranges and yellows of dairy products like cheese.
Minimal Infrared and Ultraviolet radiation
It is important that the light emitted by a luminaire is restricted to its intended spectrums of light. The likes of infrared and ultraviolet light can have degenerative effects on fresh produce, as such radiation in this spectrum should be kept at least to a level at which it is negligible.
Food lighting with LED
Recent advancements in LED technology have enabled the development of LED’s that not only meet the criteria required for food lighting, but surpass the performance of traditional food lighting solutions.
Utilising the latest generations of Tridonic LED technology and high performance components the broad spectrum of colour temperatures required for food lighting are now obtainable, with adequate colour rendering indices and controlled spectrum emission.
The significance of these developments is that now food lighting installations can reap the benefits of high quality food lighting design, as well as the benefits that are intrinsic with LED lighting.
LED lighting boasts greatly reduced energy consumption in comparison to that of traditional light sources. In addition to operational efficiency savings, there are also savings to be made in terms of maintenance. LED light sources outperform traditional light sources in reliability, with rated lives of 50,000 hours.
The combination of these factors results in impressive savings that warrant very reasonable pay back periods on lighting schemes that elevate food display lighting and enhance sales.