Over the last 10 years, LAPD has researched, designed and developed the lit environment for Primark. In doing so, we have created vibrant lighting schemes to complement their ever-evolving store identity.
From a flat, 2000 lux average, we have simultaneously reduced wattages, lamp and luminaire types and ambient levels. As a result, we created cleaner and more efficient schemes, with increasing levels of drama and identity.
Culminating in a series of European flagship stores, Primark’s lit environments are now as dramatic and exciting as the stores they light.
We began at their Oxford Street store, where we researched their existing flagship retail lighting design. The lighting, heavily influenced by product aesthetics and convenience, was based on trial and error. A highly visible part of the store environment, the lighting created an overlit, flat environment. An extensive specification with many different lamp types complicated maintenance, procurement and cost schedules.
The learnings we took from here informed our recommendations for a trial store in Tooting.
Our first step was to dramatically reduce the breadth of the specification, reducing the number of lamp types by 50%.
Simultaneously, we worked to demonstrate the effectiveness of a lower ambient light level. The trial store at Tooting featured dimmable fluorescent fittings above walkways and sales floor. Through the use of the dimmable fitting, we reduced the ambient level by 50%. This allowed the accent lighting layer to appear, consequently highlighting merchandise and graphics. In conjunction with the lower ambient light level, we were able to reduce the wattage of the accent lighting. Dropping from 70W to 35W across the main sales floor saved a huge amount of energy. We ensured that light output would not be sacrificed, using high performance reflectors which boosted light output ratios.
Perimeter lighting also saw a 50% reduction in wattage, from 150W to 70W. The vertical surfaces of the perimeters were markedly brighter than the main floor. Although this gave the perception of a brighter space, the new optics created contrast, making it more dramatic and exciting.
While these changes reduced ambient levels and energy consumption, we made minor adjustments to luminaire spacings. The result was a 13% reduction in luminaire quantities. The broader picture, however, was the creation of a dynamic lit environment. Punchy accent lighting, overlaid over an appropriate, 1200 lux ambient level, revolutionised Primark’s store design. This became the basis of all future Primark lighting schemes.