Going to the supermarket can be a bit of a headache, especially for constantly busy Americans. It's not cool, then, when the lighting in the freezer section of your supermarket makes that headache worse with its unappealing florescent glow. Luckily, more and more supermarkets are making the switch to LED lighting in their frozen aisles, thanks to a recent study put about by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The study found that shoppers overwhelmingly prefer LED lighting inside supermarket freezer cases, stating that it helps to make the merchandise more appealing, is easier on their eyes, and provides brighter, more even illumination. More than 300 shoppers were interviewed about their preferences while viewing two test freezers, one using LED lights, and the other using florescent bulbs. (See picture above, with LED freezer on the right!) When the illumination levels in the freezers were the same, more than 86 percent of shoppers selected the LED freezer as their top preference. A second survey was conducted after dimming the light level in the LED freezer, while leaving the florescent freezer at full capacity. Even after dimming, 68 percent of shoppers favored the lighting in the LED freezer.
It turns out that while fluorescent lamps may be an efficient source of lighting, they are not well suited for cold environments. Low temperatures cause the mercury vapor pressure inside fluorescent fixtures to drop, which can lead to a 25 percent reduction in light emission. LEDs, on the other hand, function at 100 percent capacity in cold temperatures. Furthermore, the flexible and lightweight nature of LEDs allow them to be installed in all sorts of tight spaces that florescent lights have never been able to reach, which results in a more effective lighting scheme overall for the frozen food section. Just imagine all of the tight spaces you could fit flexible LED strip lighting! And, LEDs last longer than florescent lights as well, which means reduced maintenance costs for supermarkets.
It’s just another way LEDs are making life a little easier...the next time you’re doing your weekly shopping, keep your eye out for LED lights! And if you don’t spot any, tell the store manager you’d like to see them installed; my guess is: he’ll thank you!