When retail lighting specialist Retailite, part of Gerard Lighting, was designing a lighting solution for outdoor and camping goods retailer Kathmandu, the key challenge was to bring the outdoor look inside.
“Kathmandu’s active and adventure-based product range is generally used outside, therefore achieving high-colour rendering index as close to ‘true colour’ as possible was a priority for us when designing this store’s lighting,” said Retailite Senior Lighting Design Specialist Patty Tartaglia.
For this project for Kathmandu’s Chadstone Shopping Centre store in Victoria, the retailer’s colourful merchandise was artificially saturated in order to render as close to ‘daylight’ (100% CRI) as possible.
The Quadretto Light fixture was developed, which was similarly matched in CRI, ensuring that colours were rendered consistently across the store, said Tartaglia.
The general illumination was achieved using a dual light layering approach, using Retailite’s newly released Mura wall wash track spot to evenly lift the base line lighting levels of the merchandise to 400 lux.
“This approach distributes 30 W of lighting energy in a soft wide distribution. Such lighting effects are traditionally applied in art galleries, where artworks like large oil paintings require soft and even distributions of light,” said Tartaglia.
“In addition, we then overlaid an accent lighting strategy with our Cilindro track spot to hero products and lifted areas of the merchandise displays to 800 lux, which our design team considered appropriate. This created a dynamic contrast ratio between the 400 lux base merchandise lighting layer to the bright hero elements.
“The intent of a dual layered lighting strategy was to efficiently light the merchandise with less fixtures, whilst employing a visual hierarchy — the theatre of lighting design — and reduce any harsh scallops often caused by a singular lighting strategy.”
The floor plane was also deliberately isolated and set backward from the general merchandise to approximately 160 lux, thereby reflecting a considered retail lighting strategy which regards the floor as the least important element in the space.
To accentuate the interior architecture of the Chadstone store, LED lighting was integrated into the decorative timber slat features. This created a central zone within the space and isolated the point of sale from the entry and perimeter hiking zone (place-making).
The timber LED detail emphasises the height of the suspended ceiling, creating open space. The aesthetic of the Chadstone Kathmandu space is now vibrant, clean and bright with seamless integration of interior architecture with lighting design. Kathmandu Store Development Manager Abigail Wasmer said the whole design process ran very smoothly. “We are delighted with the finished results, and feel that Retailite’s lighting design reflects the vibrant nature of the Kathmandu brand, and complements the store interior style perfectly,” she said. “Given the success of this project, we are working with Retailite on the rollout of additional stores and are eagerly anticipating some more beautiful results.”