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Let’s Talk Jewelry Store Design: Proper Lighting Design Can Make a Huge Difference in a Jewelry Store |  April 14, 2021 (3 comments)


West Bloomfield, MI--My clients often ask me in the initial consultation: “How important is lighting throughout my store and in my cases, and do I need to put a certain budget aside?”  

LED light technology is rapidly changing. It is changing how we light our world in a brighter and more economical way. Therefore, proper placement of lighting is essential to keep your consumers highly interested and increase sales in the jewelry store.

Lost in Window Glare and Shadows

No matter how carefully you plan your jewelry store displays and merchandise, your hard work could all be lost in window glare and shadows. A popular design element is to have a chandelier in the entry to set the stage for the style of the store’s interior. Another option is to use the best lighting: LED recessed cans. This will create a flood of light, keeping the entry bright without creating a focal point the minute you set foot in the store.

This all depends on where you want the customer’s eyes to go, as well as how the entry lighting fits with the overall store design. Simply changing out a chandelier or decorative light fixtures can greatly update the store in your remodel.

First On the Wish List

Lighting makes all the difference to the store’s success, but too often, jewelry retailers neglect its importance. Not only is lighting critical in setting the mood of your store and showcasing your merchandise, it has to be one of the first items on your wish list. Having lighting inside of the showcases can really add sparkle and glitter to your merchandise. Proper lighting is a huge part of what defines your store’s image. See photo above from Zorells Jewelers, Bismarck, ND.

Using only one type of lighting throughout your store will not make your merchandise look its finest. Jewelry retailers always want their stores to have lighting as one of the greatest focal points.  It's best to have a layering approach to lighting throughout the store; avoid just ambient lights.

In addition to general lighting, consider accent lights from the ceiling, specialty lighting built into the furniture or display cases, and decorative fixtures like pendants to match a chandelier. This lighting process by having different lighting LED Kelvin temperatures makes sure that the color of the lighting inside the cases complements the lights above the cases. Having one color of light shining on your merchandise inside the case and a different color shining on your merchandise above is a mistake.

Generally, speaking a Kelvin temperature of 5000K works best inside a case and 6000K or more exotic look for other jewelry. If possible, have the lighting installed on the customer side shining back towards the merchandise in jewelry cases to increase the spread and have a direct impact of the lighting to improve your jewelry sales.

See picture below, also from Zorells for layered lighting approach with LED cove lighting, general recess cans, incase lighting, and custom chandeliers I designed for them. The dramatic lighting that shines on the textured walls along with bright lighting in the niche wall displays show a focal point to the area.

The importance of lighting for diamonds to increase your sales cannot be overstated. As stated before the more interesting and complicated the lighting, the more upscale the merchandise is perceived to be. The end result of poor lighting tends to lead to the loss of potential sales. So let’s light up your stores properly!

About the Author: Leslie McGwire™ has over 35 years in business development, interior design, equipment, furniture sales and marketing services in retail and jewelry-based businesses. Leslie has won 25 national design awards, including the prestigious Salon Today and INSTORE Jewelry Store ​awards. Leslie has a true passion for business, design for the jewelry and retail industries. Visit for more information

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Comments (3):

Great article! You write the below. Do you mean that diamonds and colored stone jewelry should all be lit at 5,000 kelvin? I understood that diamonds should be higher.

Also, can you explain what you mean by “6000k or more exotic look?”

Quote: “Generally speaking, a Kelvin temperature of 5000K works best inside a case and 6000K or more exotic look for other jewelry.

Thank you Leslie!

By Debbie Fox on Apr 21st, 2021 at 3:55pm

The diamonds and colored stone jewelry should not all be at 5000K.

At times, up to 6000K can be appropriate to use.

5000K usually works best inside a case.

6000K is used to give a more exotic look to the diamonds.

By Leslie McGwire on Apr 22nd, 2021 at 11:14pm

Thank you for the article, very educational. I’ve tried to find the right lighting for my front windows and showcases, but unfortunately no luck. Companies have sent me samples, I agreed and get excited to find the right 5 and 6k for both. My diamond bridal and color jewelry, and then can’t even get in touch, they won’t answer the phone. Weird, I know. Please can you recommend a reliable and professional Lighting company?

Raphael Arzate

By Raphael Arzate on Nov 1st, 2022 at 10:17pm

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