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Top 5 concepts in LED supermarket refrigerator lighting explained
Exploring concepts in LED lighting for supermarket fridges which help show off products in the most desirable light
1 February, 2022 by
Top 5 concepts in LED supermarket refrigerator lighting explained
Stefan Gutstadt

LED lights have introduced many advantages for supermarkets. But for supermarket retailers showing off products with "light-emitting diodes" or LED for short can be tricky. We've illuminated the top 5 concepts to know in choosing the right LED lighting system for your new supermarket fridge.

 1. Choose the right LED Type

There are multiple advantages derived from the use of LED lighting systems in commercial refrigeration for the exhibition and conservation of food products, such as low heat emission, low energy consumption or high light output.

The selection of the appropriate product is essential to obtain optimal visibility results of the exposed product.

Here the some of the features of typical LEDs to look out for in your unit:
  • Colour temperature (CCT)

  • Color Rendering Index (CRI)

  • Degree of protection (IP)

  • Light power (W/m)

  • Light efficiency (lm/W)

  • Optical angle and light distribution

Each LED is different depending on its location in the cabinet and the light distribution required. LEDs with 170º opening optics are for vertical lighting, 90º for horizontal lighting.

 2. Selecting the best color temperature

We recommend selecting the appropriate color temperature for the application of the fridge. From bright white to mellow yellow or pink hues, there is an LED kelvin or filter fit for purpose.

Here is a quick reference guide:

Kelvin Application
6000KNormally used for frozen products.
4000KCommon in food and is used in general for products such as dairy products, fruit and vegetables, prepared dishes, packaged fish.
3000KFor bakeries, cheeses and hot products.
Meat filterUsed primarily for bringing out the reds and whites in meat.

Lighting Kelvin guide

3. Light dimensioning

Each cabinet has several loations where LED lights can be installed to increase overall wash of light, reduce shadow or to create high and low light effects inside the shelves. 

Top horizontal visor lighting (typically standard).

Shelf lighting. (positioned on each shelf independetly, usually optional).

Upright lighting (usually positioned on beams between doors, usually optional).

Flesh-colored exposure lighting.

Flesh-colored double shelf lighting.

Handrail exposure lighting cool white 6000K.

Double countertop exposure lighting cold white 6000K (optional).

3. Uniformity is key in the light sensation perceived by the human eye.

Therefore, whenever possible, we must select the configuration that allows us to make this distribution uniformly.

Vertical Door Lighting

The distance from the point of light to the product to be highlighted is very important. We want the product to be lit evenly.

For example, if we speak about upright fridges with doors the vertical lighting in the doors as a lighting option a linear distance of >168 mm must be maintained between the LED and the product to be displayed in order to obtain light distribution performance in the cabinet. 


Horizontal Shelf Lighting

A shelf with both a price holder system with built-in LED lighting is ideal. 

With both the light and the product information at hand there is both an attractive location to house product data and also a space to locate the LED strip that gives rich light to the shelf products.

4. Choosing the correct IP Protection Index

Since supermarket fridges are designed to be used in all types of applications including wet, humid and at various temperatures it is advisable to use LEDs with an IP protection index as follows.

  • IP65 for vertical LEDs.

  • IP54 for the visor, shelf and display LEDs.

5. Light Intensity

Medium-light intensity promotes product preservation and a high light intensity enhances product visibility.

Always try to take these conditions into account when selecting light intensity, whenever possible, trying to balance product visibility, energy consumption and optimal product conservation:

Steps to choosing light intensity: Standard or high
  1. Determine the dimension of the shelf for your upright fridge e.g. 300mm shallow or 400mm deep -- to select the optimal distance from the light source.

  2. For shallow shelves choose standard light and for deeper shelves choose the high light intensity. Therefore deeper products will also receive light on products stored at the back.

  3. In vertical frozen cabinets, the standard intensity of the vertical LEDs is optimal due to the combination of the cold white colour 6000K and the number of LEDs.

  4. The shelf lighting in all the models and the visor lighting of the low high back should be of standard intensity since it gives you optimal lighting.

  5. Remember that high light will reduce product shelf life and increase energy consumption.

Top 5 concepts in LED supermarket refrigerator lighting explained
Stefan Gutstadt 1 February, 2022
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