LAPD have worked with Next for many years, constantly refining their retail lighting design and specification.
At the beginning of our collaboration, the lit environment in every Next store comprised of metal halide and fluorescent technology. At least 5 rows of luminaires cluttered the ceiling, in each section of the store. Heating and ventilation grilles, sprinklers and speakers added to the clutter.
Briefed to clean up their ceilings, our initial aim was to remove at least one row of downlights. Success here depended on being able to lower the ambient levels while keeping the perception of brightness within the stores. So, we altered the beam angles of the existing fittings and improved the usage of the available light. In doing so, we were able to enhance the perimeter and spine walls, making them appear brighter and more dramatic. The boosted vertical surfaces allowed us to lower mid-floor ambient light levels without damaging perception of the store.
The next step in cleaning up the ceiling was to remove the old spotlights that protruded below the ceiling line. Fully recessed gimbal fittings maintained the signed-off lit effect, with no lighting interrupting the ceiling line.
While improving the lighting within existing technological constraints, we worked to convince Next of the benefits of LED technology.
Introducing the LED Technology:
Firstly, we achieved success with the recessed troughs that had become a hallmark in their stores. Reliable, seamless internal illumination of these troughs provided a good base from which to extend LED technology into the rest of their store environment.
Track-mounted LED spotlights were a natural step, mounted to the track within the illuminated troughs and elsewhere within the store. The reliability and lifespan of LEDs was essential in allowing their use at high level, where access was limited. As fit-and-forget luminaires, the narrow beam, high power spotlights quickly became a staple of the Next lighting specification.
Building upon the use of fully recessed gimbals, we moved to an all-LED scheme. Fixed recessed ambient luminaires with darklight technology and adjustable recessed gimbals with polished reflectors reduced glare to a minimum. In doing so, we transformed the comfort of the Next store environment. Quad gimbals increased coverage and versatility in the mid-floor, while linear triple gimbals dramatically reduced the number of ceiling features. Where there were previously 3 luminaires and 3 ceiling cutouts, now we needed only one.