Murder on the high street

This month it’s the turn of retailers to feel the beady stare of Lux magazine’s critical eye

American Apparel

Who at American Apparel thought it was a good idea to light their stores with spiral compact fluorescents? It isn’t. The lamps may be energy efficient, but the merchandise appears flat and unappealing, making AA look like a chain of Bulgarian charity shops.


WTF?! The high street shoe brand used no fewer than 42 CDM downlights to illuminate its store window in Oxford Street. If, as the lamps appear, they’re 70W each, that’s a stonking 3kW, just to illuminate about a dozen trainers and a rather poorly-crafted metal sculpture.

The Post Office

Why are post offices lit with louvred modulars, no matter what the ceiling height? Do you see any reflective computer screens? No, neither do we. Perhaps the Royal Mail is preserving the Great Cat2 Cave Effect for future generations to admire.

Holland And Barrett

It’s a health food store. The clue is in the name. So why do you insist on lighting that makes all your customers looking really unhealthy? Is it in the hope that they will buy even more overpriced quinoa and Gillian McKeith recipe books?

Sports Direct

Sports retailers think it’s a great wheeze to install gym-hall luminaires in their stores. You know, the ones that are wrapped in a steel mesh to protect them from impact from balls. But is a gymnasium a place that encourages lingering? Exactly.


OK, you’ve become one of the first retailers on the high street to use LEDs and you’re inordinately proud of this fact. So proud in fact, you keep them illuminated even when it’s daytime. And even when the window is bathed in strong sunshine.


The nutrition chain has clearly copied all its bad habits from Holland and Barrett. OK, so muscle-bound types don’t care what the store looks like as long as they can see their three-litre tub of protein powder, but at least pretend you care.


Perera boss: ‘I’m having a posh dress sale, can you advise me on the best lighting?’ Contractor: ‘ Er, I have a twin T8 fluorescent Pop Pack in the van.’ Perera boss: ‘Excellent’

The lights are on but no one’s home

It’s London, the early hours of a Saturday morning, and it’s deserted. So why are all the lights burning brightly? A special Lux magazine ‘black ops’ team finds out who practises what they preach about energy

Bonkers store lighting

The flagship store of shoe seller Russell & Bromley has one of the most spectacularly profligate lighting schemes in the country. Ray Molony reports