Whether you’re building a new commercial space or renovating an existing one, it’s important to consider how the space is going to be used, what you want to highlight and how people are going to get around. These considerations will inform the decisions that you make about lighting in your space, from where the lights are placed, to how strong the light should be, to what types of fixtures you’re going to use. Visual information is an incredibly important piece of how we process the universe, so you want your business to look perfect when a new client walks in the door. Proper lighting is key to making the right first impression.

There are three basic types of lighting to consider when evaluating your commercial space. The first and most obvious is ambient lighting, the kind that’s around so that people can see when it’s dark outside. You can certainly go fancy with ambient lighting, but you don’t need to; how ornate the fixtures will be, then, depends largely on your personal aesthetic preferences. The amount of ambient lighting you will need and where to place it depends largely on who is going to be at your place of business and at what hours. Reception areas, hallways clients are going to walk through and retail spaces should be very well lit; broom closets probably don’t need as much focus. In short, if your customer is going to be in a space, light it up! There are exceptions to every rule, of course; ambient lighting does evoke ambiance, after all. Restaurants where you want a more formal, date night atmosphere should still have sufficient light fixtures, but you can take the opportunity to dim the lights to create the perfect mood. When ambient lighting is used for a romantic mood, ornate fixtures can be appropriate, because the lights are dim enough that you can look at the fixtures without hurting your eyes.

The second type of lighting to look into is task lighting; these are the lights that you need to work. You might have task lighting in your home; a lamp that you use to read before you go to bed might fall under this category. Task lights are generally focused, not diffused over a large general area; they help you with jobs that require focused vision. Anything that requires visual-spatial reasoning, from woodworking to electronic device repair, might be well suited to task lighting. You can have task light fixtures installed if workspaces in your business are fixed; alternatively, you can opt to purchase lamps or other portable lighting devices to keep things brighter in a given area.

The final type of lighting you’ll want to consider is accent lighting – this might be the most important kind for retail spaces! Accent lighting illuminates a particular surface; it might be spotlights shining onto a mural you’ve created, or lighting in a shoe display to highlight your newest wares. The fixtures here should not be overly ornate, as you want the eyes being drawn to what’s illuminated, not what’s doing the illuminating.

Now that you’ve thought about all the different kinds of lighting and what you’d like to install where, you have to consider the more holistic approach. Each light is going to provide a certain amount of illumination, so if you want something to be particularly well lit, it may be to put accent lighting there and not to put ambient lighting nearby. That way, the area around what you’re lighting up will be darker and what’s lit will be extra bright, drawing the eye through contrast.

The best way to make sure you have a complete, holistic and incredible array of lights in your place of business is to contact Winnipeg electrical contractors who know how to make it happen. Their electric expertise, coupled with the eyes of an interior designer, will help you make sure you have the right amount of illumination in the right places. Light up your world with beautiful new fixtures, and shine a light on what makes your business great!