The light temperature influences our perception. It even has an effect on our bodies – something that keeps the chromotherapists busy. That’s why so much attention is paid to finding the right color temperature for the lighting in shops.
So what is the ideal color temperature for displaying meat, fish, vegetables, bread and . . . ?
For red meat, it is best to choose light with a warm white colour (2700 to 3000 Kelvin). This light highlights the freshness of meat products because warm white light contains more red shades. Steaks, rack of lamb, minced meat … all look much more appetizing due to the effects of this warm lighting colour. The red, fresh colour of meat is extra accentuated like this. Cool white light, which contains more blue shades, would lend red meat the completely wrong colour – the meat would even appear to be old under the wrong light.
Fish (white vs. red)
When it comes to fish, we distinguish between white- and red-meat fish. White fish is displayed most advantageously under cool white light. With cool white light, plaice, cod and sole look super fresh. For red fish, such as tuna, a warmer color temperature is more appropriate. The goal is always to highlight and enhance the natural color of the product.
Cheese, bread and pastries
For cheese, light that is just slightly yellow, in other words warm white light, is perfect. This light color attracts the attention and stimulates the appetite. Warm light is also right for bread. It lends the crust an extra crispy, fresh look. Avoid white light that is too warm – it will make the bread appear too brown and unnatural.
Fruit and vegetables
For all types of fruits and vegetables, a light temperature of approximately 3000 Kelvin is recommended. This is the best light to accentuate the bright colours of most types of fruit and vegetables.
Take into account the fact that not all vegetables react similarly to light. It is a good idea to provide high-intensity light above lettuce and other leafy vegetables; this emphasises the bright, green colours. At the other side of this spectrum, though, lie the light-sensitive products – products which, as a rule, grow under the ground – potatoes, onions, asparagus, chicory and mushrooms. These products are best stored in darker conditions to prevent accelerated spoiling.
One more tip: For foodstuffs, such as vegetables, fruit, meat and fish, choose LED lighting. LED lamps do not emit UV radiation and therefore do not cause discoloration. The idea that LEDs do not generate heat is a myth; all light sources produce heat. Although, it is true that with LED lights generate much less heat than halogen lights, so there is much less risk of the food drying out.
Overview table per food category
Warm lighting is recommended for clothing shops – especially in the fitting rooms. Light with a warm color temperature lends visitors a healthy, brown tone. Customers look better, which increases the chance of a sale. Always provide sufficient light – after all, the consumer has to be able to see what he/she is buying.