As you well know, the purpose of commercial lighting design is to create a mood or atmosphere that induces customers to buy the products on display. While accent lighting and featured display cases are a part of this, designers must go a further step and ensure that merchandise – not cases – look their best, and that products are not distorted by cheap, inappropriate light. Increasingly, this requires retailers to understand more fully the effects of lighting on different kinds of products.
In the supermarket industry, for example, scientists have found that light radiation can be reactive with the chemistry of various food products, causing internal heating and creation of bacteria. In other retail applications, such as leather or clothing stores, poor lighting is often responsible for fading and discoloring of merchandise. Promolux lamps protect sensitive flowers and bouquets Indeed, for a wide range of products – flowers, antiques, art, ceramics, cosmetics – the damage and subsequent cost of inappropriate lighting can be substantial.
For this reason, designers need to take into consideration more than just lumens and Kelvin temperature when specifying particular lamps. Designers should know which lamps can make each product look its best as well as how to minimize the effects of radiation on sensitive merchandise.
Promolux can enhance lighting design by first producing outstanding color and low glare. Our lamps have received the highest Color Preference Index (CPI) rating of any lamp in the market. This is because Promolux LEDs and fluorescents are coated with phosphors previously used only for television picture tubes. Such phosphors are much more expensive than those used in regular lamps ($700 a pound vs. $40 a pound), and offer the highest quality color rendering available in any merchandising lamp. Promolux specialty lamps bring out the full, natural range of color in merchandise without distorting or artificially enhancing its appearance.
The second way that Promolux commercial lighting can benefit lighting design is by maintaining the quality of sensitive products for as long as possible. Promolux has developed a proprietary, balanced spectrum coating process, which combines excellent color rendering with special filters that dramatically lower Ultraviolet, Infra-Red and visible spectrum radiation.
Promolux fluorescents and LEDs have been tested by independent laboratories and have been shown to emit 86% lower radiation than regular lamps. This technology translates into reduced shrinkage and extended shelf life for all products.
Promolux LED is the LED Division of Promolux Lighting. A brand of Market Group Ventures, Promolux Lighting was established in 1982 and supplies specialized food and non-food merchandising lighting to the retail industry worldwide.
In 2009 Promolux Lighting began researching and developing LEDs. It started with the quest for a chip manufacturer who could (and would) make high quality, color corrected LED chips. In 2009 (and even today) it was harder than one might have thought. Some chip manufacturers made high quality chips, but none were interested in manufacturing high quality color corrected LED chips. Most all the chip manufacturers were only interested in providing the chips they were already making in large volumes. And in 2009/2010, the consistency and quality just wasn’t there yet for those who did make special color LED chips.
In 2010 Promolux forged a partnership with a specialty LED chip manufacturer – and, after several months of testing engineering samples to ensure proper, consistent and vibrant color rendering, the first generation Promolux LEDs with our signature Platinum Color formula, were born.
Using the same legendary color spectrum as Promolux fluorescents, Promolux LEDs are twice as bright, use half as much energy and are guaranteed 5 years. They are available in a wide variety of types and sizes and have superior thermal management ensuring lower surface temperatures (ideal for fresh food display) and longer life.
In 2012 Promolux developed the Premium White Color series. Much like Promolux’s Platinum Color formula, Premium White LEDs also produce tremendously vibrant colors, but take special care to ensure the best possible white light as well. This combination make Premium White LEDs ideal for merchandising non-food item such as clothing, artwork, makeup and cosmetics and jewelry – anywhere that color is critical.
Today, Promolux continues to supply both Platinum & Premium White LEDs to retailers, distributors and wholesalers across the nation and has added the HD35 Color Series LEDs (high definition 3500K) as well as Promolux quality standard colors (3000K, 4000K & 5000K). All available in a wide variety of types and sizes (including the brand new Plug-n-Play T8 Retrofit LEDs).
Promolux also continues its custom LED development and manufacturing and has to-date developed LEDs for major retailers across the nation – in the supermarket industry as well as other industries.
The mindset that, “an LED is an LED is an LED” is one of the most critical mistakes made in the retail industry; the LED that’s in the ceiling should NEVER be used to merchandise the product you’re trying to sell!
There are a number of things that set Promolux LEDs apart from all other LEDs: the food-safe light spectrum, the physical characteristics of the LEDs themselves and the merchandising value.
Food-Safe Light Spectrum
Unlike fluorescents, LEDs by nature do not emit ultraviolet light. And people often mistakenly think that means that any LED can be used in their fresh food display cases and everything will be fine. However, we still receive call after call from distressed retailers saying that their fresh food is still discoloring, fading and dehydrating a lot faster than it should. The reason is that it’s not only ultraviolet light that is damaging to fresh food, it’s also portions of visible spectrum.
Promolux is considered the pioneer in food-safe lighting because since its North American introduction in 1982, Promolux has worked with engineers, researchers, universities, retailers and lighting designers and taken that knowledge to create a light spectrum that not only showcases fresh food in the best possible light, but also (and equally important) eliminates the portions of visible spectrum (between 500nm-630nm) that are known to damage fresh food. The result is that food stays fresher, longer and maintains its vibrant fresh colors.
The physical characteristics of Promolux LEDs also make them a better, and safer LED. The foundation of Promolux LEDs is the chip technology – partnering with a chip manufacturer who produces quality LED chips has made all the difference.
Promolux LEDs are made using low power chip technology and superior thermal management. When the LEDs are assembled, Promolux uses more than double the amount of quality LED chips (than regular LEDs). The result is that Promolux LEDs can be driven at low power and still achieve a high lumen output. Coupled with superior thermal management, this means that Promolux LEDs have a much lower surface temperature and never dry out and discolor fresh food like regular LEDs.
Using double the amount of chips per LED and a frosted lens ensures the light from Promolux LEDs is evenly diffused with no dark spots or shadows – which is critical in effective fresh food merchandising.
Often, a critical mistake is made when it comes to merchandising… The same LED that’s used in the ceiling is also used to showcase the food that the retailer is trying to sell.
Regular LEDs are designed to illuminate – to give us light, to be as bright as possible using the least amount of energy. This is usually achieved by running the LEDs at higher powers (creating higher surface temperatures) and emphasizing the brighter colors (such as warm white – which emphasizes yellows or cool white – which emphasizes light greens and blues).
Promolux LEDs allow a retailer’s fresh food case to stand out; they create appealing, vibrant visual displays – attracting our attention from across the store. Promolux LEDs have a balanced color spectrum where no single color is emphasized more than another – making them ideal for merchandising fresh meat, seafood and all naturally colorful perishables.
No matter which color series – the merchandising value of Promolux LEDs is unequaled!
Both color series begin with the same balanced spectrum – there is no emphasis on one color over another in order to achieve brightness or a certain ‘tone’. Under both the Platinum and Premium White Color series all colors stand out and are extremely vibrant. This means that either color series can be used to merchandise steak, seafood, produce, bakery, artwork, makeup, and so on.
The difference between the Platinum & Premium White Color series is in the intensity of the spikes in the deep red and deep blue portions of the color spectrum.
Platinum Color Series
In addition to a very balanced spectrum, Promolux’s Platinum color series has spikes in the deeper reds and deeper blues. This is done precisely because overhead lighting is almost always deficient in the deep reds and deep blues and the Platinum color series is designed specifically to compensate for that. The result is that when installed in close proximity to food (such as in a refrigerated display case), Promolux Platinum Color LEDs bring out all the natural colors of food and create the absolute best visual displays.
Premium White Color Series
Also built on a balanced spectrum, the Premium White Color series differs in two ways. First, though there are still spikes in the deep reds and deep blues, the spikes are not as directed as the Platinum Color Series. The Premium White Color Series of course still produces strong, vibrant colors – the spectrum is just designed to blend in a little more subtly with competing overhead lighting.
The second difference is that the red/yellow/blue intersection of the Premium White LEDs produces one of the crispest, brightest and clearest “whites” available – without sacrificing the rendering of the other colors in the spectrum. Premium White is ideal when you are merchandising items where there is a good amount of white around, but you still need to showcase the colorful products – such as a makeup or cosmetic display, seafood case, art gallery, and so on.
Promolux LEDs are first and foremost merchandising LEDS and should be used anywhere where good color is critical.
The Platinum Color Series is the ideal light for supermarket refrigerated display case lighting, fresh food merchandising lighting, etc. The specific areas and categories are:
- Supermarket Display Case LEDs (Refrigerated)
- Supermarket Display LEDs – Spot, Accent & Track
- Art Gallery Lighting – Spot, Accent & Track
- Clothing Retail – Spot, Accent & Track
- Makeup & Cosmetic Counters – Signage, Accent & Track
Service Meat Display Cases (Refrigerated)
- Overhead spot lighting in meat departments
Service Seafood Display Cases (Refrigerated)
- Spot and accent lighting over seafood displays & beds of ice
Service Deli Display Cases (Refrigerated)
- Prepared foods, deli meats, salads, etc
Produce Tables and Displays
- Spot, accent and track lighting for appealing visual merchandising to bring out colorful produce displays
Bakery Display Cases (Refrigerated)
- Showcasing colorful icing sugars, sprinkles and other bakery displays
- Accent lighting for colorful tarts and pastries (Refrigerated and Non-Refrigerated)
- Overhead spot and accent lighting
- Refrigerated Floral display cases
Wine & Beer Displays
- Spot and accent merchandising for wine racks and displays
- Colorful beer displays and refrigerated cases
Promolux’s Premium White Color Series can be used in any and all instances where the Platinum series can be used, and additionally for merchandising and showcasing:
Artwork and Art Displays
- Spot and accent lighting in galleries and exhibits
- Under shelf lighting for merchandising displays
- Spot lighting over colorful makeup and cosmetics counters
High-End Clothing Retail
- Spot and accent lighting where good color is essential for accurate displays
- Spot and accent lighting over new vehicles enabling the true, intended colors to be accurately shown (and seen)
Jewelry Display Cases
- Inside jewelry cases where colors need to ‘pop’
- Spot and accent lighting
Promolux’s linear LEDs (Platinum & Premium White Color Series) are readily available in low wattages in 3ft & 4ft lengths. Other sizes are available, but are non-stocking and require a 45 day lead time.
Promolux PAR LEDs are available in both high and low wattages (Platinum & Premium White Color Series).
Promolux designates its proprietary color formulas by names, rather than numbers (Platinum, Premium White, HD35). Because the Promolux color spectrum is fine-tuned to ensure the best merchandising and protection, a CRI or Kelvin number is not a useful way to understand the color of Promolux LEDs.
In August 2014 the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) wrote a position statement finally recognizing that CRI is an outdated metric with shortcomings, “that limit its ability to fully represent how humans perceive color.” https://www.ies.org/policy/position-statements/color-rendering-index-ps-08-15/
The only real way to know how good a particular LED is at showcasing foods’ natural colors is to see it. How does it make the product look? Is it a vibrant display? Are the reds, “red” and the whites, “white”, and so on? One simply can’t rely on numbers on a piece of paper (ie. CRI, Kelvin, etc) to answer those questions – it’s impossible. You have to see for yourself.
All this being said, if you would still like to know the CRI & Kelvin’s, give us a call toll free: 1-800-519-1222 and we’d be happy to provide them.
Click here or give us a call toll free: 1-800-519-1222 – we’ll be happy to help and discuss options with you
Promolux does custom LED development and manufacturing. Call us toll free: 1-800-519-1222 to discuss.
Ultraviolet light is not the only contributing factor to food becoming damaging from lighting – there are so many other contributing factors.
Portions of visible spectrum cause photo-oxidation and photo-degradation to different kinds of fresh food, and the quality and construction of an LED plays a factor as well. LEDs with fewer chips must be driven at a higher power to achieve acceptable lumen outputs. This causes the physical surface temperature of the LED to be higher and when in close proximity to food (as in a refrigerated display case in a supermarket, grocery store or convenience store) it can fade and discolor and literally “cook” the fresh food.
Promolux eliminates those portions of the visible spectrum that cause damage to fresh food. Select portions of visible spectrum between 500nm-630nm are eliminated to ensure perishable food stays fresh and appealing, and maintains its nutritive composition as long as possible.
Furthermore, Promolux LEDs are made using low power chip technology and quality heat sink. When Promolux LEDs are assembled, more than double the amount of quality LED chips (than regular LEDs) are used. The result is that Promolux LEDs are driven at low power yet still achieve a high lumen output. Coupled with superior thermal management, this means that Promolux LEDs have a much lower surface temperature and never dry out and discolor fresh food like regular LEDs.
In an industry where mass merchandisers and supercenters grind down prices of center store products, supermarkets use fresh food sections as a competitive tool; retailers rely on their perishable food displays to attract customers and promote impulse sales. Fresh foods are a lifestyle choice for most consumers and a strategic necessity for supermarkets.
Consumers can choose from any number of supermarkets in their neighborhood, so retailers spend thousands on advertising – just to get them to come into their store. Then inside the store, supermarkets spend hundreds of thousands designing perishable food departments and purchasing display cases – all in an effort to get consumers to notice and buy their fresh food.
Yet, after all the care and cost put into the perishable department and display cases, the lights used to merchandise the very product they are trying to attract our attention to are often overlooked and the cheapest, most visually unappealing lights are used!
Promolux LEDS are a merchandising tool because decisions to purchase fresh food are subjective! Lighting designed specifically for fresh food merchandising, such as Promolux LEDs ensure perishable displays get noticed and allow food’s vibrant, natural colors to pop creating a visual ‘wow’!
You certainly can buy a $30 LED to put in your display case – but why on earth would you? One of the best analogies to illustrate the benefit of using a proper merchandising LED is a jewelry store.
A jewelry store has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the products they are trying to sell. Quite often jewelry purchases are for special occasions, but some are impulse purchases. If a jeweler wants to sell his or her product on more than just special occasions – they have to showcase it to us in the best possible way.
So do you think the jeweler goes out to buy the cheapest LED they can find? Absolutely not – they look for the BEST LED they can find – one that shows the product they are trying to sell in the best light. One that makes it stand out to us and makes us notice it. That’s how they sell. And that is the same for a fresh food retailer – with one very noticeable difference…
Fresh food has a time limit – it will go bad! So not only does a supermarket or grocery store have to get us to notice and buy their fresh food, they have to do so in a short period of time. It’s not about selling the 5 steaks that are in the refrigerated display case – It’s about selling them quickly so that they can re-stock that case and sell 5 more. Then do it again and sell 5 more – and so on.
That’s what Promolux LEDs are designed to do – and why they are an integral part of any merchandising program – they ensure your fresh food displays get noticed.
So definitely buy the $30 LED – just use it in the ceiling, or in your office. And use Promolux merchandising LEDs to showcase the products you are trying to sell!
Yes! Promolux launched its T8 Plug-n-Play LED in March 2015. It’s available in 3ft, 4ft, 5ft & 6ft lengths in the Platinum Color formula. For the spec sheet click here. Premium White & HD35 Color formulas will soon follow.
Yes! Promolux’s two main color formulas are Platinum & Premium White. HD35 is a new color formula and is a high definition 3500K LED ideal for merchandising when there is a lot of ambient lighting that is lower on the Kelvin scale (3000K). Look for more information about Promolux’s HD35 Color formulas it becomes available. Promolux LEDs are also available in the basic 3000K, 3500K, 4000K & 5000K color temperatures.
Does Promolux do any custom LED development
Promolux is actively engaged in developing custom LEDs for major retailers across the world. Promolux has a wealth of knowledge in LED design, development and manufacturing and is happy to consult with you on your LED project. We can manufacture LEDs in any fixture, any length, specific Kelvin temperatures, specific color spectrums, lumen outputs and wattages. Call us toll free: 1-800-519-1222 and we are happy to open discussions.
The first Promolux LED installation in North America was the summer of 2011 at the Dierberg’s flagship supermarket in Des Peres, MO. One of our regional managers just visited that store this past September (2014) and reported that the first generation Promolux LEDs are still looking fantastic and still providing the best merchandising value for the Dierberg’s group.
Today, Promolux LEDs are installed in refrigerated display cases in supermarkets, grocery stores, butcher shops, ice cream shops, convenience stores, as well as non-food retail stores throughout the world. From Whole Foods Markets, Bristol Farms and Cold Stone Creameries throughout the United States, to Walmart stores in Mexico and Central America, to major supermarkets in Germany, France and Switzerland. If you want to see Promolux LEDs installed in person in a store near you, give us a call toll free: 1-800-519-1222 and we’ll point you in the right direction.