Opinion

MAKE 2015 YOUR “YEAR OF LIGHT”

The United Nations has designated 2015 as the International Year of Light, a global initiative to raise awareness of the importance of light and light–based technologies. The campaign (www.light2015.org) aims to highlight how dependent we are on light for our very existence and human development and to explore how science and lighting technology have combined to create solutions in energy, education, and health.

BY THOMAS MARK

On a personal level, we can all identify with light as something that affects our well-being. It is well documented that people in Northern Europe, for instance, can be adversely affected by the limited daylight hours in winter. Often their treatment involves light to lift moods and dispel depression. The widespread use of candles in Scandinavia is a practice designed to lift the mood and create a cozy atmosphere in the darkest months of the year.

We have also come to recognize light as playing an integral part in celebrations. From magnificent festive lighting schemes in cities such as Stockholm, traditional German Christmas markets, cultural events like Christmas, Chinese New Year, and Diwali, and simply illuminations put up at home for family celebrations – effective use of lighting accentuates and creates atmosphere.

The emotive nature of lighting is what makes it so charming. Light makes us happy. Light makes us feel good about ourselves and others. Light improves the quality of our lives and our well-being every day and in every way. By making clever use of the emotive qualities of lighting, experts in the field of decorative lighting have extended the capability of displays to become powerful storytelling tools, and a way of creating positive vibes, stimulating moods, improving security, and encouraging customers to spend money.

In environments such as shopping centers and public spaces, lighting displays with an engaging narrative can touch customers’ emotions and positively influence consumer behavior through the creation of a memorable shopping and social destination. If a center or public space is able to create an emotional experience, visitors will enjoy shopping, increase their dwell time, spend more money, and repeat their visits.

As the United Nations’ “Year of Light” gets underway and brings to the public’s attention the importance of lighting, now is a great time to evaluate how your lighting displays can have a positive impact and bring commercial benefits to your business location. Make light work for you. The rewards could be significant.

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