High tech LEDs a bright idea for supermarkets

News /
15 May 2016

In the midst of the current high tech revolution that is changing the way people live their lives – online shopping being an example – another rapidly evolving technology set to change supermarket shopping is connected LED lighting.

It is easy to understand the decision to choose LED lighting. With lighting being an important feature and operational cost for supermarkets, and with energy costs increasing, the potential for cost savings that LEDs offer compared to traditional incandescent and fluorescent lighting is hard to ignore.

International trials and pilots are also showing just how fast lighting is evolving to provide a range of other benefits.

Philips has developed lighting options for supermarkets called ‘light recipes’, which are optimised light spectrums that help make fresh fruit and vegetables look more attractive by bringing out their natural colour. Philips light recipes help highlight the freshness of different types of food on display, and can also help to reduce light-induced discolouration of foods such as sliced meat.

In a trial conducted by Philips with the EHI Retail Institute and a supermarket in Germany, sales volume of selected fruit and vegetables in the fresh produce department rose by 4.7% (3.5% increase in revenue) using these Philips ‘light recipes’.

Australian supermarkets have also noticed benefits from the latest LED lighting. For example, Coles have found that, as well as reducing power consumption dramatically, because there is no ultra-violet light from LEDs there’s less heat diminishing the quality and freshness of food.

At the forefront of innovative lighting, Philips is piloting in Europe a connected LED lighting system for supermarket shopping. The system uses intelligent LED in-store lighting to communicate location-based information to shoppers via a Philips-developed smartphone app which they can opt to download. The lighting communicates with the app to send special offers and information to the shopper, relevant to their location in the store.

The system works by using connected lighting fixtures that form a dense network that not only provide high quality light but also acts as a positioning grid. Each fixture is identifiable and able to communicate its position to an app on a shopper’s smartphone. This enables the shopper to get information related to their position in the store as they move around and location-based services, such as offers or specials, to be triggered.

This Philips connected retail lighting system will benefit shoppers by giving them greater personalisation in their shopping experience. Retailers will benefit by enabling them to target information and discount coupons to shoppers at their precise position in the store, building customer loyalty and sales.

The sheer wow factor of this technology is turning heads, but it’s also worth noting that retailers don’t have to invest in additional infrastructure to house, power and support location beacons because they’re already integrated into the connected lighting system.

As well as cost savings, connected LED lighting is now potentially game-changing for supermarkets in a range of other ways as well. With the latest sophisticated advances in tailored lighting solutions becoming available, it will be no surprise if New Zealand supermarkets also take advantage of it.


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