The choice of lamp for an in-store lighting scheme/display is a crucial decision. Especially where the appearance of merchandise and produce is vital (eg. food and clothing).

A new wave of affordable LED bulbs with a high colour rendering index is set to transform the shop scene.

UK manufacturer Integral LED set out to prove the benefits of their ‘Real Colour’ GU10 spotlight, which has a CRI of 95. They chose a hotbed of food retail at London’s Camden Market as the site for a complete lighting make-over; to demonstrate to a sceptical sector, that LED can deliver vibrant colours at an affordable price.

On any day of the week, Camden Food Market is a bustling place. It is packed with tourists and londoners feasting on boggling array of world cuisine that is freshly prepared. The 43 stalls make a wondrous spectacle amid profusion of mouth-watering aromas. Yet the lighting on the stalls left the food colours looking ‘flat’, with an existing collection of fluorescent and first generation LED lamps.

The response from the food retailers to the lighting upgrade was immediate, with many stallholders declaring a boost to sales following the re-fit. “Lighting is the difference between a £50 day to a £500 day” commented Rob Machin, finance manager at KERB food group. “The new lights are making food ‘sing’ and appear vibrant”.

High CRI lights were once the preserve of high-end luminaires. Until this new generation of LED lights, earlier models of LED were struggling to match the accuracy of legacy lamps like halogen.