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LED Lighting Over Your Showcases? The Brain Squad Weighs In

do you or don't you: Three in four respondents said yes.





Do you use LED lighting over your showcases?

Yes: 77%

  • Better, more even light. Allow the lighting and displays do the work for you. Any advantage you can affordably gain, you should use it. — Jon W., Virginia Beach, VA
  • There is a range of hues and they emit very little heat. They are less expensive to energize and longer lasting than the halogen. — Donnie B., Gainesville, FL
  • I added LEDs late last year. What a difference. The cases are brighter, yet not glaring or too bright. The jewelry really pops. When the lights are off, I can’t believe I sold so much without the in-case LEDs. When adding the lights, I was careful about the intensity of the lights. One was way too bright and blinding. I decided on the lower intensity since it allows the jewelry to be seen and enjoyed. — Dale R., Loveland, OH
  • The heat factor alone was one of the best advantages, besides not having to climb a 10-foot ladder every six months because of bulb life. — Denise O., La Grange, IL
  • Low energy consumption and 6500 Kelvin makes diamonds look good. — Scott L., Scottsdale, AZ
  • We are in an old building with 13-foot ceilings. We upgraded our LEDs last year to some that provide a lovely amount of white light. We ordered two of them as a trial, and we immediately noticed how much better the gems looks under these whiter lights and quickly ordered another dozen to light up our small showroom. — Cliff Y., Lowell, MI
  • Started with fluorescents with overhead cans with incandescent PAR38 spots … then switched the incandescent lamps with halogen PAR38 narrow spots, which made the gold look great. Changed the fluorescent tubes to halogen pin lamps, which was great for color and yellow gold, but made diamonds all look J color. Changed the pin lamps to first-gen LED RGB, which had a strange coloration. Changed the PAR38 Halogens to mercury halide. Finally changed all out to LED from Eastern Lighting with consistent high color temp and switched the PAR38 halogens to LEDS in the cans after removing the mercury halide conversion gear. All have the same color temp now. The LEDs, given the wavelength they operate on and the angles the light emits from, cause the diamonds to appear to sparkle more as one walks by them. The heat level is 10 percent of the previous solutions, as well as the far-reduced power consumption. On a very few specific cases, I’ve left halogen MR16 lamps to provide lower color temp spectral lightweights. — Rex S., Houston, TX
  • We use LED in the cases and above them in our ceiling lights, but we have several areas with different lighting in our store. This allows us to walk the store with a client so they can realize how jewelry changes depending on the light. This takes away the comment often made by clients, “Your lighting makes them look so good, but they don’t look like that in normal lighting.” Of course, we want to give the best “first impression” by using the best lighting possible, but we also allow clients to appreciate the changes that different lighting environments create. — Joy T., Thornton, CO
  • The color of the light is very good for diamonds … also saves a lot in electricity. Our air conditioners ran 12 months of the year due to the heat from our halogen bulbs. — Laura S., Indianapolis, IN
  • We actually use several different forms of lighting. We worked with lighting specialists to get the most realistic effects possible. — Michelle T., Brookfield, WI
  • Figuring out the best lighting for colored gems was a challenge, but I got it. I like the look and they are cool. — Kas J., Jefferson City, MO
  • Completely renovated my entire lighting system and ceilings two years ago. HUGE difference: As I said to my staff when we were done, “I’m not sure how in the hell we ever sold any jewelry before.” — Tom N., Spencer, IA

No: 23%

  • I would absolutely love to once the budget allows. I’m thankful my front door is close and natural light sells. — Traci H., Harrisonburg, VA
  • I tried new lights in my old lamps that take halogen MR13s. First try, the color was WAY too blue. Made things sparkle, but it just looked fake. Second try, the color was perfect (I think between 3000-3500 maybe?), but the bulbs went out after 20 minutes and I was worried they would break my lamps. So back to halogens. — Casey G., Orleans, MA
  • I had them at one point, removed them when I redecorated. While they made most stones, especially diamonds, look fantastic, many clients commented (or complained) that they never looked as great in real-world situations. A few commented that it seemed like an unfair trade practice. — James D., Kingston, NH
  • Too expensive to change over. — Eve A., Evanston, IL
  • Waiting to upgrade showcases. — Medford C., North Charleston, SC
  • We still have halogen above our floor cases, but our wall cases are wired with LEDs. — Betsy B., San Francisco, CA
  • Don’t like the color. — Lisa M., Fort Worth, TX
  • No need. Shell M., Oak Park, MI
  • Because my building is 98 years old and my store has 12-foot ceilings. Rewiring for different lighting would be expensive, and I doubt my landlord would be interested. Plus, I’ve been here for 29 years and counting, and what I have seems to work okay! — Janne E., Cocoa, FL
  • We have drop ceilings and are attempting to change them out as the old bulbs die. We are halfway there. — Naomi V., Haines City, FL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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