Does it make sense to switch your refrigeration display lighting to LED?

The retail lighting industry was turned upside down with the introduction of LED. Owners were hesitant to adopt at first as prices were high. Now designers have an established lighting tool for creating exciting and enticing retail experiences, one which offers proven cost reductions and not just on the shop floor.

We see many success stories as retailers and warehouse operators take the plunge and swap or refurbish to LED. We all understand the benefits of LED to retail and we have seen the rewards, however, often overlooked is the impact LED can have on refrigerated display cases. Today LED presents a cost-effective alternative to fluorescent lamps in retailer’s hot, chilled and frozen cases. So, does it make sense to switch to LED within the display case?

LEDs perform better at low temperatures and do not produce radiated heat like their T8/T5 counterparts. This absence of radiated heat helps to extend products shelf life and reduces the loss of perishable goods, while cooler colour temperatures create impressive merchandise displays. LEDs are really helping the ‘closed fridge door’ movement which is sweeping across Europe, aiding energy savings and creating delightful displays.

LEDs for creating impactful merchandising
In refrigeration and freezer display cases, lighting can have a huge impact on the overall feel, influencing the buying experience. Display cases should be a place of colour and contrast. With planned and controlled use of the right light in the case, you can enhance the customer’s journey, draw their eye and encourage them to explore and discover produce in new and exciting ways.

LEDs by their nature are slimmer and can be invisible and discreet within the case, leaving the produce centre stage. They cover a wider range of the colour spectrum, offering excellent CRI and a choice of colour temperatures, allowing products and packaging to be displayed in their true colours. Furthermore, information on packaging labels will not fade as there are no IR and UV wavelengths emitted. Ambient contrast and theatre can be created using LED solutions, as they are extremely directional and uniform, eliminating any spill or waste light onto the floor and surrounding areas. When applied properly they remove dark spots with minimal glare.

LEDs offer a win – win
With LEDs in your display cases you can have it all, increased performance with reduced cost of ownership. The energy savings with LED are outstanding. For example, when replacing fluorescents with Orion horizontal and vertical LED solutions we can achieve up to 90% energy savings, whilst directing the light exactly where it is needed.
LED are instant, even at -30C, so the lights are ready as soon as your customers are, ensuring displays are always alive and inviting. Minimal service and maintenance effort is required due to long operating lifetimes of up to 50,000 hours.

In conclusion the answer is yes, there are many benefits to be gained from switching to LED lighting within your display case. Unfortunately, as LED has become the norm, so too have cheap and poorly designed lighting solutions. Despite using LED, the quality of the light output can negatively impact the buying experience and a poor build quality can quickly lead to escalating maintenance costs. Andrew Cronin, Vice President of Product Research & Development at Nualight details “Good lighting will go a long way to encouraging a sale, bad lighting even with LED can have detrimental consequences.”

To discuss the most cost-effective and impactful LED solution for your refrigerated cases contact our customer service team at