Have you ever heard your customer complain that they can’t see the jewelry in your display case because the light is bothering their eyes? There’s a name for this nuisance we frequently come across while practicing the art of jewelry display lighting – it’s called glare. Glare comes in different degrees. Sometimes it is barely noticeable, while other times it will cause your customer to look away and see spots. While it can be difficult to completely eliminate glare, there are some strategies you can use to minimize its deleterious effect on your customer’s shopping experience.
First, it’s important to identify the source of the glare. Glare comes from either the light source itself, or a reflection from the light source off of a glass surface. Usually it is the top glass of a standard jewelry showcase, or, the glass door that covers a wall case. Now that jewelry stores are using more LED lighting, the issue of glare has become even more pronounced.
Regarding glare from the light source there are a few helpful hints. If you are using a LED retrofit par lamp in a recessed can, the socket inside the can should be adjusted slightly upward by a few inches. This will help to hide the light source and minimize its effect on the esthetic feel of your store. Another option is to use LED retrofit bulbs that are compatible with a dimmer switch. Then, if a customer is bothered by glare, you simply dim down the lighting. Yet another option is to try using LED retrofit bulbs that are of the COB (chip on board) design. This design utilizes a reflector to throw the light, like traditional par lamps used to do. The glaring light source at the center of the light is covered with diffusing material which makes this option easier on the eyes. The COB style of LED lighting has gradually entered the architectural specification lighting market over the last few years.
When deciding where to position your lights over the showcases, remember that the glare becomes more visible to the person on the opposite side of where the lights are positioned. For example, if you position the lights over the showcase closer to the customer’s side of the case, the customer will tend to not see the glare as much as the sales person. Some fixtures can also be fitted with louvers and barn doors to hide the glare.
Lighting wall cases can be a vexing problem if you try to “wash” the wall case with light aimed from a track fixture or mono plate mounted light. There is almost no way the glare won’t be highly visible to anyone in the store looking through the glass of the wall case. A better idea is to light the case with linear led fixtures positioned either vertically or horizontally inside the wall case. As long as the back of the wall case doesn’t have a mirror, this lighting method will give you very even and glare free lighting that will draw your customer’s gaze to the merchandise inside the wall case.
If you are having a specific issue with glare inside your store, don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our knowledgeable jewelry lighting experts here at Eastern Lighting, Inc.