WO2017182512A1 - A retail lighting system - Google Patents

A retail lighting system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2017182512A1
WO2017182512A1 PCT/EP2017/059271 EP2017059271W WO2017182512A1 WO 2017182512 A1 WO2017182512 A1 WO 2017182512A1 EP 2017059271 W EP2017059271 W EP 2017059271W WO 2017182512 A1 WO2017182512 A1 WO 2017182512A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
units
retail
vacant
customers
illumination
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2017/059271
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Ralf Gertruda Hubertus VONCKEN
Joanna REIJGERSBERG-SIEW
Katarina Marie BROCK
Dominika LEKSE
Original Assignee
Philips Lighting Holding B.V.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to EP16166624.3 priority Critical
Priority to EP16166624 priority
Application filed by Philips Lighting Holding B.V. filed Critical Philips Lighting Holding B.V.
Publication of WO2017182512A1 publication Critical patent/WO2017182512A1/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination

Abstract

A system for controlling the illumination of a retail environment from which customers can access a plurality of retail units. The system comprises: a lighting control interface for controlling a plurality of luminaires to selectively illuminate each of the retail units; plus one or more detectors configured to automatically determine a vacancy status of each of the retail units, indicating whether each of the said retail units is a non-vacant unit hosting a going business concern or whether instead it is a vacant unit not hosting a going business concern. The system further comprises a controller which varies one or more light characteristics of the illumination illuminating each of the retail units based on the corresponding vacancy status supplied by the one or more detectors, such that attention of the one or more customers is attracted to the non-vacant units and/or distracted from the vacant unit by the light characteristics.

Description

A retail lighting system

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to a retail lighting system for illuminating a plurality of retail units. BACKGROUND

The emergence and rapid development of e-commerce in recent years, as well as ever increasing global competition, have led to a significant decline in sales through the traditional retail channels. It has been estimated that one in every five high street shops currently in operation faces the prospect of closure by 2018 and as a result, the number of vacant shops in city centres and shopping malls will continue to rise. The decline in high street retail is more prominent in smaller shopping malls, as shoppers are more likely to be attracted to bigger cities and larger malls for a wider selection of shops. In addition, the increase in vacant shops radiates an unwelcome atmosphere and thus creates a negative shopping experience for the visitors, driving their customs to larger municipalities which host relatively more occupied retail units. Consequently, the decline in customer traffic makes an already depressing atmosphere even more unpleasant, resulting in a loss of profit for ongoing businesses and maybe even leading them to closure. Unless such an unappealing atmosphere is negated, smaller municipalities will continue to decline in a downward spiral.

There are many proven ways to lift the overall atmosphere of a retail environment in a municipality or a high street, in order to attract shoppers back from nearby towns and cities. For example, it is common to offer rental discount or other incentives for attracting businesses to occupy vacant units, or to redistribute the existing retailers in a shopping mall so to dilute an area saturated with vacant units. Alternatively, the municipality or shopping mall may invest in facelifts and renovations in order to balance out an unwelcoming atmosphere.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Although commercial means such as advertising and reduction in rent are often used for reducing the number of vacant retail units, as well as improving the aesthetic appeal to mask the existence of empty shops, all these methods required substantial effort and capital investments. Also, the degree of success may prove to be unreliable or unpredictable, and furthermore these means do not readily adapt to changes in circumstance. It would be desirable to provide an automated, technical means for adapting the atmosphere in a retail environment, rather than relying on purely manual and commercial means. To address this, the present disclosure provides a retail lighting system that automatically detects the vacancy status of retail units and based on this acts to reduce the negative impact of vacant retail units on customers in a retail environment.

The present invention provides a mechanism for controlling a lighting system in a retail environment such as a city centre or mall based on the following.

(a) Information specifying where vacant stores or other retail units are located (in relation to lighting devices). For instance data on vacant stores can be provided via a dashboard (city management system, mall building management system (BMS), etc.) or can be detected automatically (e.g. vacant stores block windows with image comprising barcode). This data is mapped to the grid of controllable lighting devices.

(b) Monitoring shopper (pedestrian) traffic, such that shoppers' attention is drawn away from vacant stores. This creates dynamic effects as the flow of people is monitored (e.g. sensors, cameras, GSM signals). Optionally, in an advanced embodiment gaze tracking is used.

Examples of lighting effects that can be realized are: changing the focal point in a light plan to draw attention away from a zone with vacant shops, rendering attention drawing effects, changing the light colour to make a zone with vacant shops feel warmer, etc.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a system for controlling illumination of a retail environment from which customers can access a plurality of retail units, each suitable for hosting a business; the system comprising:

i) a lighting control interface for controlling a plurality of luminaires arranged to selectively illuminate each of the retail units with respective illumination; and

ii) one or more detectors configured to automatically determine a status of each of the said retail units, wherein the status comprises a vacancy status indicating whether each of the said retail units is a non- vacant unit hosting a going business concern or whether instead it is a vacant unit not hosting a going business concern; and

iii) a controller configured to vary light characteristics of the illumination produced by each of the plurality of luminaires;

wherein the controller is configured to vary one or more light characteristics of the illumination illuminating each of the retail units based on the corresponding vacancy status supplied by the one or more detectors, such that attention of the one or more customers is attracted to the non- vacant units and/or distracted from the vacant units by the varied light characteristics.

The kernel of the present invention lies in automatically detecting whether a store or retail unit is vacant, and accordingly (via the lighting interface) either adapting the illumination at a vacant unit to take on an unattractive light characteristic to avoid attracting the attention of customers onto the vacant unit, or changing the illumination at a nearby non- vacant unit to take on an an attractive light characteristic to divert the focus of customers from the vacant unit onto the non-vacant unit. This provides a technical means whereby its effectiveness is reliable and adapts to present conditions, and thus the present invention is advantageous over the above mentioned manual and commercial means of reducing the unpleasantness caused by the present of vacant units.

Optionally, the one or more detectors comprise one or more sensors configured to determine the vacancy status of each of the retail units based on a visual appearance of said retail units. This is based on monitoring the retail units and identifying tell-tale signs of a vacant unit, i.e. lack of window display and dimmed lighting.

Optionally, the one or more detectors comprise at least a data interface configured to look up the status from a central database, said central database comprising a record of the status of each of the retail units. Optionally, said central database comprises a Chamber of Commerce database or a database of a building management system. When used on its own, the method of looking up a database provides an efficient solution for

determining vacancy status of the plurality of retail units in the retail environment.

Alternatively, it can be applied complementary to sensor measurements for validating the vacancy status as detected by sensors.

Optionally, the one or more detectors comprise one or more sensors configured to determine the vacancy status of each of the retail units based at least one of: the number of customers having a facial orientation or gaze directed towards said retail units and/or a rate of flow of customers passing into or out of said retail units. Both of these techniques capture the behaviour of customers, and thus not only yield the vacancy status but also provide an accurate insight on how well on-going businesses are attracting customers' attention.

Optionally, the status further comprises a quantitative visitor statistic indicative of customer traffic to each of the retail units, and based thereon the controller is configured to vary the light characteristics of the respective illumination illuminating each of the retail units based on the corresponding visitor statistic. For example, the system may be used for boosting on-going businesses that attract less custom by proving them with illumination of attractive light characteristics.

Optionally, the system further comprises at least one presence sensor for sensing presence information of the customers; wherein the controller is configured so as, upon detecting arrival of customers or presence of customers in the vicinity of one or more of the retail units based on the at least one presence sensor, to vary the light characteristics of the respective illumination illuminating at the one or more retail units. For example, the change in light characteristic may be implemented prior to the arrival of a customer, or when the customer arrives in the vicinity of vacant units.

Optionally, the detected presence information further comprises the presence of one or more interested customers having or predicted to have a facial orientation or gaze towards said retail units; wherein upon detecting said presence of the one or more interested customer the controller is configured to vary the light characteristics of the respective illumination illuminating at the one or more retail units. The change in light characteristic may be implemented when the system detects the focus of a customer is about to fall onto the vacant shop, e.g. changing facial orientation or gaze direction, or it can be implemented once the customer has fixated onto the vacant units to distract from therefrom.

Optionally, the presence information comprises historical data captured by the at least one presence sensor; and wherein the luminaires pre-emptively vary the light characteristic the illumination based on said historical data. For example, the change in light characteristic may be implemented during certain time of the day, e.g. during weekdays or office hours when the retail environment is quiet.

Optionally, the controller is configured to:

a) vary the illumination illuminating each of the vacant units with one or more non-appealing light characteristics to distract the attention of one or more customers from said vacant units. This includes dimming the illumination or changing the illumination into a "cold" colour; and/or

b) vary the illumination illuminating each of the non-vacant units with one or more attractive light characteristics to attract the attention one or more customers to said non- vacant units. This includes brightening the illumination or changing the illumination into a "warm" colour.

Optionally, the controller is configured to determine a target change in an amount of the one or more customers being attracted to the non- vacant units and/or distracted from the vacant units by the varied light characteristics, to determine a degree of said variation of the light characteristics of the plurality of luminaires based on the target change, to use the one or more detectors to monitor a resulting change in the amount of one or more customer being attracted to the non- vacant units and/or distracted from the vacant units in response to said variation, and if the resulting change does not meet the target change after a predetermined time, to adapt the variation of light characteristic in the plurality of luminaires in order to bring the resulting change closer to the target change. The use of a feedback control ensures the system can automatically achieve, or least achieving a level closer to, the target change.

Optionally, the system further comprises an exceptional event detector for sensing an external environment or detecting exceptional events having an impact on the retail environment; wherein the controller is configured to adjust a degree of said variation of the light characteristics of the plurality of luminaires based on said external environment or exceptional events. The term external environment or exceptional events generally refers to environment events beyond the control of the system, e.g. factors such as weather, seasonal shopping habits and the likes. Upon detecting such exceptional events the controller carries out fine adjustment to the degree of change that would otherwise be implemented, so to offset the impact of said exceptional events on the effectiveness of the system.

Optionally, the controller is configured to implement illumination with one or more light characteristics of a pleasing nature to illuminate the plurality of retail units, so to induce perceived pleasantness in said retail environment. In this embodiment, instead of masking a vacant unit by distracting the customers, the luminaries provides an uplifting atmosphere around the vacant unit so to negate any unpleasantness it brings.

Optionally, supplementary environmental effects are introduced into the retail environment to complement the variation in the light characteristic of the illumination, wherein the supplementary environmental effect comprises sound and/or smell. For example, tunes or songs may be played and/or an alluring scent may be deployed at nearby non-vacant units to divert the customer's attention from vacant units.

The present invention further provides a method of controlling illumination of a retail environment from which customers can access a plurality of retail units, each suitable for hosting a business; the method comprising:

i) controlling a plurality of luminaires to selectively illuminate each of the retail units selectively with respective illumination;

ii) determining a status of each of the said retail units automatically, wherein the status comprises a vacancy status indicating whether each of the said retail units is a non- vacant unit hosting a going business concern or whether instead it is a vacant unit not hosting a going business concern; and

iii) varying light characteristics of the illumination;

wherein the variation in one or more light characteristics of the illumination illuminating each of the retail units is based on the corresponding vacancy status, such that attention of the one or more customers is attracted to the non-vacant units and/or distracted from the vacant units by the varied light characteristics.

The present invention further provides a computer-program product for controlling illumination of a retail environment from which customers can access a plurality of retail units, each suitable for hosting a business; the computer program product comprising code embodied on computer-readable storage and configured so as when run on one or more processing devices to perform operations of:

i) controlling a plurality of luminaires to selectively illuminate each of the retail units selectively with respective illumination;

ii) determining a status of each of the said retail units automatically, wherein the status comprises a vacancy status indicating whether each of the said retail units is a non-vacant unit hosting a going business concern or whether instead it is a vacant unit not hosting a going business concern; and

iii) varying light characteristics of the illumination;

wherein the variation in one or more light characteristics of the illumination illuminating each of the retail units is based on the corresponding vacancy status, such that attention of the one or more customers is attracted to the non-vacant units and/or distracted from the vacant unit by the varied light characteristics. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a schematic block diagram of an embodiment of a retail lighting system according to the present invention.

Figure 2 is a schematic block diagram of a lighting system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 3 is a flow chart showing the operation of the retail lighting system according to an embodiment of the present invention. Figure 4 is a plan view of a retail environment employing the retail lighting system as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 5 is a plan view of a retail environment employing the retail lighting system equipped with sensors as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 6 is a flow chart showing the operation of the retail lighting system employing active or reactive lighting control according to another embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 7 is a plan view of a retail environment employing the retail lighting system employing active or reactive lighting control as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 8 is a flow chart showing the operation of the retail lighting system employing feedback control according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Figure 1 illustrates an example of a retail lighting system 10 according to embodiments of the present invention. The retail lighting system 10 operates in three distinct stages: i) to detect whether a plurality of retail units are vacant or have a going business concern and based thereon, ii) to determine the degree of changes in light characteristics required at luminaries in relation to vacant units and/or non-vacant units, and iii) to implement the changes at said luminaires or implement said changes only upon detecting the presence of consumers.

The retail lighting system 10 comprises a controller 30 in communication with a vacancy status detector 20 and luminaires 40. Said communication may be established by wired connections such as Ethernet, DMX, optical fibre and/or powerline connections; or the communication may be made using wireless communication technology such as infrared or RF based technology, e.g. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or ZigBee. The wireless communication technology herein refers to a wireless communication protocol plus the necessary capability to transmit and/or receive on a suitable medium over a suitable frequency range and for the technology in question (e.g. a certain RF band or bands). Any of the communication may be established using one or more of the above-mentioned communications technologies and/or others.

The vacancy status detectors 20 are deployed for primarily detecting a vacancy status of one or more retail units in a retail environment, e.g. a high street or a shopping mall. Each of the retail units could be any type of unit such as a building (or part thereof), a stand, a booth or a market stall for hosting any business for providing any kind of goods or services to customers, e.g. a store, restaurant, bar, car rental business, and so forth. Said vacancy status is indicative of whether each of the one or more retail units is a non-vacant unit (i.e. an occupied unit being the site of a live business or whether instead it is a vacant unit that is left unoccupied during normal operating hours. A vacant unit may be identifiable in many ways using one or more suitable sensors 22, for example an optical camera equipped with a suitable image analysis algorithm, or other sensors known to the person skilled in the art. A vacant unit can be detected visually by analysing at least one of the following parameters: a) the visual appearance of a shop, e.g. a lack of display of merchandise at a shopfront or an unilluminated shop floor during opening hours; and/or b) statistics on one or more quantitative measurements such as an absence of significant traffic into and out of the shop, or a small proportion of passers-by gandering at the shopfront. The vacancy information may be analysed locally at the sensors 22 or otherwise the raw sensor output (e.g. raw images) may be communicated to and processed by the controller 30, using any signal or image processing techniques known to the person skilled in the art.

Additionally or as an alternative method, detecting the vacancy status may involve looking up or accessing a central database, for example the Chamber of Commerce database, a city management system, a mall BMS or register, or any other database that provides information on the vacancy status of each of the one or more retail units, such as monthly utility bills and ongoing tangency agreements. In some embodiments a plurality of such databases could be consulted to verify the status. Such information may be used to complement the vacancy status measured by the sensor, i.e. to provide an additional safeguard such that a retail unit cannot accidentally be labelled as a vacant unit by the sensor 22. Alternatively when used on its own, the acquisition of vacancy information directly from a database provides reliable and up-to-date information of retail units at a much lowered cost, i.e. there is no need to deploy sensors, nor to incorporate complicated data analysis techniques. The central database is accessible by and in communication with a data interface 24 to identify vacant units that do not have a going business concern (e.g. do not have a valid tenancy agreement). Once the vacancy status of the retail units is acquired, it may be stored locally at the data interface 24 and be updated periodically (e.g. on a daily basis), or else the vacancy status may be monitored continuously via the data interface 24. The data interface 24 may be a standalone unit or it can be integrated into the controller 30.

The controller 30 carries out three main functions. First it is tasked to convert and analyse data output from the sensors 22 or data interface 24. Secondly, having received the different types of occupancy information from the sensors 22, the controller 30 may evaluate the amount of lighting control required based on a predetermined value or live measurements, i.e. feedback from sensors 22 indicates whether more or fewer changes are needed. Thirdly, the controller 30 instructs the luminaries 40 to instigate lighting control in the retail environment according to the output of the evaluation process.

The controller 30 may be implemented on a central server, desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, dedicated building control unit, or any other suitable control units. It may or may not be physically present in the vicinity of the target regions; for example it may be accessed locally or it can be controlled remotely at a control centre through a network. Furthermore, the controller 30 may take the form of a central unit or a distributed control function implemented over multiple units (e.g. embedded in the detectors, sensors and/or one or more luminaires 40). The controller 30 may be implemented in software code stored on a memory (comprising one or more storage devices) and arranged so as when run on a processor (comprising one or more processing units) to perform operations in accordance with the techniques disclosed herein. Alternatively the controller 30 may be implemented in dedicated hardware circuitry, or configurable or reconfigurable circuitry such as a PGA or FPGA, or any combination of software and hardware.

The controller 30, upon receiving the vacancy status for each of the retail units, is configured to assess whether a change in illumination is required and if so, it computes the optimal change to be implemented at the luminaries 40 in order to improve the retail environment in the vicinity of the retail unit. The retail environment refers generally to the immediate vicinity of one or more retail units, i.e. the environment from which their external appearance which comes into direct visual contact with passers-by, but in some cases it can also be referred to as the interior of said one or more retail units, i.e. the interior state of a retail unit also affects the environment of its immediate exterior if it is viewable through shop windows. The luminaires 40 therefore may be installed in the vicinity of retail units for controlling the retail environment exterior of the retail units, and/or they can be placed inside the retail units, i.e. through general utility lighting or lighting decorations at shop windows, for manipulating the retail environment perceivable by customers.

If a vacant unit is confirmed by the sensor 22 or data interface 24 and a change in illumination is called for, the controller 30 will then instruct the luminaires 40 to instigate a change in their illumination in order to distract the focus of customers from said vacant unit. The change in environment may simply be dimming the luminaires in the vicinity of a vacant unit, or the illumination from said luminaries may comprise an unattractive light characteristic in order to avoid attracting the attention of passers-by. In some embodiments, luminaries corresponding to vacant units may instead illuminate with a comfortable light characteristic, e.g. a warm glow, to negate the impact brought on by the vacant units.

Therefore a skilled person will understand that the light characteristic of illumination for a vacant unit may be dimmed or be made more unattractive to avoid drawing attention of passers-by, or it can alternatively be made to be perceived as pleasant to negate the impact of said vacant unit. In some embodiment, luminaires corresponding to nearby occupied units may, additionally or alternatively, provide eye-catching illumination, e.g. to put on a light show or an illumination with attractive light characteristic (i.e. warm and bright) in order to divert the attention of customers from the vacant units to occupied units. In any case, the negative impact to the retail environment brought on by the vacant shops is minimised.

The change in lighting characteristics of illumination emitted by the luminaires 40 may comprise a change in any one or more properties of the light, e.g. a change in any of the output intensity, flickering frequency, colour temperature and/or colour rendering index. For example, a low output intensity or a cold colour temperature may be perceived as unattractive, whilst a deliberately bad colour rendering index may have a confusing effect on the passing customers and so to force them to look into different directions. The perception of occupancy may be further emphasised by directing illumination towards an occupied retail unit for highlighting decorations at shop windows, in order to lift the atmosphere in the retail environment.

Figure 2 shows an example of luminaire 40, which may take any suitable form such as a ceiling or wall mounted luminaire, a free standing luminaire, a wall washer, or a less conventional form such as a luminaire built into a surface or an item of furniture (e.g. street furniture such a bench), or any other type of illumination device for emitting illumination into the region so as to induce a change in the environmental effect. Preferably the luminaries 40 are used as utility lights for general lightings purposes, but they can alternatively be retrofitted in addition to the general lightings that are already in place. In most applications the luminaires 40 will be fixed in place, but in some cases one or more of the luminaires could be portable luminaires powered by battery or a discreet power supply, i.e. the portable luminaire is not connected to a mains socket.

As shown in Figure 2, the luminaire 40 comprises a housing or support (not shown), light emitter 42 and a light control unit 44 in communication with the controller 30 via connection 46. The light control unit 44 serves to control the power supply and lighting characteristic of the light emitter 42, which may comprise any one or more light-emitting elements (lamps)suitable for illumination, for example LEDs, incandescent bulbs, halogen lamps, florescence lamps, arc lamps and discharge lamps. A light control unit 44 serving a retail environment may control the one or more light emitters 42 of said environment, wherein the individual light signatures from each the light emitters 42 for said region may be different or synchronised.

In some embodiments, other environmental effects may also employed complementary to the luminaries 40, in order to further enhance the effect of projected illumination. When a change in illumination is called for, the controller may instruct an environment controller 50 to deploy said environmental effect, in addition to the change in light characteristic in the luminaries 40. Some examples of environment controllers and their corresponding environmental effects include but not limited to: speakers for playing sound effects or tunes and/or olfactory technologies (e.g. perfume or air freshener dispensers) for generating a smell.

For example, the use of positive sound, olfactory and/or other environmental effects may be deployed at nearby occupied units for distracting the attention of customers from vacant units. Using sound effects as an example, the attention of customers may be distracted from vacant units through the use of sound systems deployed at nearby occupied units. In one embodiment, an attractive audio output, i.e. a tune, may be played near occupied units for attracting the attention of customers to the occupied units.

In another embodiment, a pleasant tune or sound effect may also be played in the vicinity of vacant units to create a more pleasant atmosphere. The purpose of playing a pleasant sound effect, in this case, is to negate the impact of said vacant unit. The sound system comprises a speaker, which may be any speaker known to the person skilled in the art, for example moving-iron speakers, piezo speakers or magnetostatic speakers. Furthermore, the sound system is optionally connected to a media player for supplying the sound system with an audio signal. Said media player may be any media player known to the skilled person in the art, for example optical disc player, cassette player, digital media player, radio and internet media player. There may be one or more speakers deployed in a retail environment, wherein the individual acoustic effect and volume output from each of the speakers in said retail environment may be different or synchronised.

Similarly, olfactory technologies (not shown), including air fresheners and digital scent technology, may be deployed in shopfront 130b corresponding to vacant units 120 to improve the pleasantness in the retail environment, or they can be deployed at the shopfront 130a corresponding to occupied units 1 10 for attracting customers' attention to the occupied units. The controller 30 may carry out lighting and/or environmental control automatically based on pre-set algorithms or instructions, or the controller 30 may be controlled manually via a user terminal (not shown) by a user. For example the user terminal may take the form of a mobile user terminal such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop, or a dedicated remote control unit controller; or alternatively the user terminal could be a non- mobile terminal such as a wall-panel or desktop computer provided locally or remotely through a network. The user terminal comprises a user interface (not shown) operatively coupled to the controller 30. The user interface comprises a screen and means for receiving a user input to initiate or dynamically adjust and control the environment effect in the target areas, as well as inputting new algorithms to be used in automatic crowd management. For example, the user interface may comprise a touch screen, point-and-click user interface or buttons for receiving user input.

The method of operating the retail light control system 10 may be summarised in a flow chart 200 in Figure 3. The process begins 210 with accessing vacancy information by looking up 220 a central database via a data interface 24 and/or by detection 224 using the sensors 22. The captured data will then be analysed 230 by the controller 30 to decide whether a lighting control is required and if so the extent of change should be implemented. If no lighting control is required, i.e. there is no vacancy units in the whole retail

environment, the process may terminate and restart again 210 after expiry of a predetermined period 232, or upon occurrence of a triggering event such as a manual restart. On the other hand if there exists a vacant unit and a change of illumination is indeed called for, the controller 30 may instruct the corresponding luminaires 40 to implement 240 a change in their light characteristic. The process may terminate 250 once the change in illumination is completed, or the process may begin 210 again after expiry of a predetermined period 232, or upon occurrence of a triggering event such as a manual restart.

Figure 4 gives an example of deploying the retail lighting system 10 in a walkway or passage of a shopping mall or a shopping arcade with a plurality of retail units 1 10,120. The person skilled in the art would readily understand that the lighting system 10 is also applicable in outdoor environments such as high streets and town centres. For illustrating purpose, there are two vacant units 120 surrounded by multiple non-vacant units (i.e.

occupied units) 1 10, each of the retail units having a shopfront visible to customers 140 passing through the walkway. However, the retail lighting system is applicable in any retail arrangement comprising a plurality of retail units where at least one of the plurality of retail units is vacant. As illustrated in Figure 4, there is deposited a plurality of luminaires 40 along the passage, each illuminating a retail environment 100 in the vicinity of its corresponding retail unit 1 10, 120, i.e. a shopfront 130. The ambience of the shopfront 130a of occupied units 1 10, and shopfront 130b of vacant units 120, may be influenced by varying the light characteristic of luminaries 40a and 40b respectively. Optionally, environmental control units such as speakers and air fresheners may be installed in addition to, or in place of, the luminaires. As an example, by dimming the output of luminaires 40b responsible for illuminating the shopfront 130b, the appearance of the vacant units 120 are made less prominent than that of the occupied units 40a. Likewise, turning up the output of luminaries 40a increases the presence of occupied units 1 10 and their shopfronts 130a. As a result, a customer 140 passing through the walkway of the shopping mall is more likely to ignore the presence of vacant units 40b and shopfront 130b. It is important to point out that the aim of lighting control in relation to vacant units 40b is to make them inconspicuous to passing consumers, rather than making them any more unpleasant than they already are.

Other than making the shopfronts 130b of vacant unit 120 less attractive to customers 140, the luminaires 40a corresponding to nearby occupied units 1 10 may additionally or independently provide illumination with a pleasant and attractive light characteristic, i.e. a warm and bright illumination, such that the attention of customer 140 may be distracted from the vacant unit 120 to the shopfronts 130a of occupied units 1 10.

In some embodiments, the vacancy status of each of the retail units 1 10, 120 may be assessed by solely looking them up in the central database using the data interface 24 as described. Once a retail unit is confirmed vacant by the data interface 24, the controller 30 proceeds to implement changes in light characteristics at luminaires 40b and/or 40a as shown in Figure 4. The implemented changes in light characteristics and/or environmental effect, may be maintained until the data interface 24 receives further updates on the vacancy status of retail units 1 10, 120. For example, dimmed luminaries 40b corresponding to a vacant unit 120 will only resume full illumination once the vacant unit 120 is registered as occupied on the central database.

In another embodiment, as shown in Figure 5, there is provided one or more sensors 22 at various locations along the walkway. For illustration purposes, optical cameras 22 are installed for detecting the vacancy status of each of the retail units 1 10,120, based on at least one of the parameters such as visual appearance of the retail unit, customer traffic, and/or the amount of attention paid to the retail units 1 10, 120. For example, the cameras may be able to trace and recognise the content being exhibited at a display window of a retail unit for any goods or signs indicating the particular retail unit is occupied and being in business. In contrast, the cameras many sense a lack of display at the shop windows and therefrom confirms the vacancy status of the retail unit. In some cases, a machine readable sign or label may be placed onto the facade of vacant units so that the sensors 22 may recognise said vacant units with greater accuracy.

Optionally, the camera 22 may monitor the amount of light intensity, i.e. the ambient lighting, inside a retail unit in order to determine the occupancy status of said retail unit. This can be accomplished by detecting the interior of the retail unit through a display window. For example, an unlit retail unit exhibiting a dimmed interior during most of the opening hours of a day is a clear indicator of non-occupancy. A suitable photodetector such as photovoltaic cells or photo-resistors maybe employed as a simpler alternative to the camera 22 for measuring the amount of light intensity inside retail units, i.e. they may be installed inside each of the retail units or any other suitable locations. In addition to the above optical means, microphones (not shown) may be used for detecting the vacancy status of the retail units by monitoring their ambience noise level. Similar to an unlit unit, a vacant store is expected to be quiet during normal opening hours, and so vacant units can be readily identified if the microphones fail to detect noises typically associated with customers, e.g. conversation and/or footsteps.

Optionally, the optical cameras 22, when equipped with any suitable image analysis algorithm known to the person skilled in the art, can be used for tracking the facial orientation and/or gazes of each of the customers 140 passing through the walkway, in order to determine if said customers 140 are distracted by the display of the retail units. For example as discussed herein, retail units running a live business often have goods or other exhibits being displayed at their shop window for drawing attention form the passers-by. Therefore a retail unit having a statistically high occurrence of attracting the attention of customers 140 indicates it is a non- vacant unit having an on-going business. In comparison, a vacant retail units with their lack of display, are expected to attract much less attention from customers 140, and so this statistical measure provides a reliable means for detecting vacancy status. Moreover, since the present retail lighting system 10 serves to reduce the attention customers paid to vacant units 120, the measurement of facial orientation and/or gazes additionally provides instantaneous feedback on the effectiveness of the retail lighting system 10, by monitoring the drop in customers being attracted to the vacant units before and after the implemented change in illumination.

Optionally, the status of vacancy of a retail unit may also be determined by monitoring the customer traffic into and out of the retail unit during normal opening hours. For example, a retail unit may be considered to be vacant if there is an absence of people visiting the shop (i.e. a count of zero visitor per day), or it can be considered vacant if the daily traffic to said retail unit does not reach a pre-determined traffic threshold (e.g. <5 visitors per day). The use of pre-determined traffic threshold allows non-customer traffic, e.g. janitors, to be taken into account. The detection of visitor traffic may be carried out using camera 22 or other techniques known to the person skilled in the art, for example IR sensors or physical sensors such as tile embedded load cells, or other means such as thermal sensors or microphones to sense the heat signal and noise level generated by visiting customers. Moreover, the sensor 22 may comprise a motion sensor, passive IR detectors or reed switches from a pre-existing security system already installed in the retail unit. Optionally, the sensors may alternatively or additionally comprises device connectivity signal sensors for detecting the number of mobile devices (e.g. mobile phones and/or tablet computers) in the retail unit 1 10,120, i.e. the number of mobile devices detected inside the store can be used to determine the presence of customer inside the retail unit. The device connectivity signal sensors may be one or more of WiFi signal sniffers, Bluetooth signal sniffers, GSM signal sniffers, 4G/LTE signal sniffers or any signal sensors known to the person skilled in the art.

If optical cameras 22 are used, they may be digital still or video cameras with storage capacity for storing captured images or videos, or they can be any optical cameras known to the person in the art. The optical cameras 22 may be Smart Camera comprising processors where suitable image analysis technique and algorithms are carried out locally for the various parameters as described herein, i.e. the controller 30 is at least partially integrated in the Smart Camera. As a result of the front-end processing, the controller 30 receives a much simplified signal, i.e. since there is no need to transfer high quality video feeds, the bandwidth requirement in the communication between the cameras 22 and controller 30 is much reduced. The use of these Smart Camera are most suitable for retail lighting system relying on wireless communication technologies.

Alternatively, the optical cameras 22 may feed the captured images and videos to the controller 30 to be processed therein; in this case the controller 30 is not integrated into the optical cameras 22. This enables the use of cheaper optical camera or sensors and provides an economic solution if a large number of cameras or sensors are required, e.g. to cover a large area such as an entire municipal.

The skilled person would readily understand that although for illustration purpose a plurality of cameras 22 are shown in Figure 5, the same effect may be achieved using only one camera (or sensor), as long as the single camera or sensor is able to determine the vacancy status in each of the retail units 1 10, 120 simultaneously through a broad field of vision, or by monitoring said retail units in an alternating manner.

In some embodiments, the vacancy status of a particular retail unit may be determined by any one or more of the above mentioned techniques, namely detecting by the one or more sensors 22: i) the exhibits displayed at its display window, ii) the amount of light and noise originating from the retail unit during normal opening hours, iii) the number of customers whose attention are attracted to the retail store, iv) the amount of traffic into and out of the retail unit, and/or v) looking up a record at a central database via the data interface 24. In some other embodiments, a retail unit is only considered to be vacant if the above techniques i) - iv) or i)-v) unanimously confirms the vacancy status of the retail unit.

In some embodiments, once a change in light characteristics, and/or other environmental effects, is implemented at the luminaires 40, then this change remains in place until further changes are called for, i.e. an update in vacancy status, as described in Figure 3.

In some other embodiments, the change in light characteristics is only applied when the presence of a customer is detected by presence sensors. A flow chart 300 is provided in Figure 6 to illustrate the additional steps required in between the stage of defining 230 the amount of change in light characteristic is required and implementing 240 changes in light characteristics the luminaries. Upon confirming that a change in light characteristics is required, the controller 30 consults the sensors 22 (i.e. presence sensors) on whether there is any customer present in the vicinity of vacant shop 120 who may be influenced by a change in light characteristic, i.e. the retail lighting system 10 does not implement a change in light characteristic until it detects the presence of customers. For example, the presence sensors may detect 234 the physical presence of one or more customers in the vicinity of the vacant units 120, or it may be able to determine if the customers' attention is being attracted to the vacant units 120 by recognising the facial orientation and/or gaze of customers. Either way the controller 30 carries out reactive change 240 at the luminaries 40a, 40b so to distract the consumers from the vacant units 120 upon detecting one or more customers being attracted to the vacant units 120. In some cases the retail lighting unit only activates when two or more customers are attracted to the vacant units 120.

Alternatively, the presence sensors may also predict 236 the onset of customers gaining a direct line of sight with said vacant shop 120, i.e. either the customers are moving into a position that offers unobstructed view of the vacant shop 120 or their facial orientation and/or gaze direction is turning towards said vacant shop 120. The controller 30 then carries out active change 240 at the luminaries 40a, 40b to avoid attracting the attention of consumers to the vacant units 120, when they comes in visual contact with said vacant units 120.

Figure 7 shows an embodiment where sensors 22 for monitoring vacancy status are additionally used as presence sensors for the detection of an approaching customer 142a. Note that although the sensors 22 as shown here are used for detecting both the vacancy status of retail units 110,120 and the presence of customer 142a, there can alternatively be separated sensors 22 dedicated for each of the tasks. The presence sensors can be any sensors that are capable of detecting the presence of customers, for example optical cameras, IR sensors 26, active ultrasound sensors, microphones, thermal sensors, device connectivity signal sensors physical sensors such as tactile switches and pressure sensing tiles.

The presence sensors 22a illustrated in Figure 7 may be provided to monitor the presence and/or behaviour of customers 140 already present in the walkway, or the presence sensors 22b, 26 can be installed at strategic locations leading to the walkway to monitor the traffic heading towards the retail units 1 10, 120. The presence sensors 22a, 22b, may be able to detect the presence of a single customer 142a, or it is equipped to measure more complicated parameters such as the throughput (i.e. rate of flow), and the direction of the customers 142 moving towards. In some embodiments, the sensitivity of sensors 22 may be made adjustable so that the retail lighting unit 10 can be activated upon detecting the presence of a single person, or it can be triggered by a plurality of people, i.e. it activates upon when the detected number of customer rise above a given threshold.

In some embodiments, a suitable image analysis algorithm may be used to analysis the output of optical cameras, in order to detect the facial orientation and/or gaze (i.e. gaze tracking) of the customer in order detect their focus of their attention. For example in Figure 7, where a change in light characteristic is not yet implemented, the presence sensors 22a, 22b analyse the facial orientation and/or gaze of customer 140 and signal to controller 30 that the attention of said customer 140 is currently being attracted to the vacant units 120. The controller 30 will then reactively prompts a change in light characteristics in luminaries 40a and/or 40b so to distract the customer 140 from shop front 130b and vacant retail units 120 to the shop front 130a and occupied unit 1 10. The changes in light characteristic may be reversed and the luminaries 40a and/or 40b revert to their original operating state once the customer 140 has been successfully distracted from vacant unit 120 or have left the shopfront 130b. In embodiments the retail lighting system is also capable of implementing an active (or pre-emptive) control. For example the presence sensor 22 may, upon identifying a customer, detects an impending shift of attention to the vacant unit 120, e.g. recognising a shift in facial orientation and/or gaze of customer 140 towards the vacant unit 120, or detecting an imminent arrival of customer 142a to shopfront 130a. The controller 30 then promptly instruct the luminaires 40a and/or 40b to implement the required change in illumination before the attention of customer 140,142b is fixated at the vacant unit 120, or prior to their arrival at shopfront 130b.

In another embodiment, regardless of whether the retail lighting system 10 is operating an active or reactive control, the controller 30 may implement a pleasant light characteristic and/or other environmental effect in the shopfront 130b upon detection of a customer 140,142. In this case the illumination in shopfront 130b is not dimmed but to irradiate a light characteristic that is perceived to be pleasant to the customer, i.e. a warm and bright light characteristics, in order to lift the perceived atmosphere in the retail environment 100.

In some embodiments, the degree of change in the light characteristic of illumination stays constant for a given vacant unit 120 regardless of its external environment, i.e. the exact amount of change in illumination at a retail unit 1 10,120 is always implemented in the luminaires when a change is called for. In some other embodiments, the degree of change in illumination depends upon the variation in the retail unit's external environment; said variation in external environment may be detected by an exceptional event detector. More specifically, upon detecting the occurrence of an exceptional event the controller may implement a step-wise degree change in the light characteristic of the illumination. For example the degree of change in illumination may correlate to a high concentration of vacant units 120, i.e. more prominent changes are required to combat the accumulative impact of multiple vacant units situated within sight of each other. Or as another example, the degree of change may also increase when the retail environment 100 receives a reduced customer traffic, i.e. rainy days or outside peak hours, in order to enhance the environment of a relatively empty retail environment 100.

In some embodiments, the retail lighting system 10 implements feedback control, i.e. the degree of the latest change in light characteristic is also used as an input for determining whether further changes are needed. The implementation of feedback control is best illustrated in the flow chart 400 in Figure 8. For example, after implementing 240 a first degree of change the controller 30 monitors 260 if the desired objective has been achieved, e.g. whether a vacant unit 120 attracts less customer's attention than previously detected. The degree of the latest change in environmental effect is also used as an input to evaluation process 230, to evaluate if a more prominent change in light characteristic is required. For example, if the crowd failed to promptly react to a change in the light characteristic and/or an environment effect, i.e. the vacant unit 120 attracts the same level of attention from customers or only reduced by an insignificant amount, the controller 30 may opt to increase the degree of change in illumination and/or environmental effect to a higher level, in order to achieve the objective of distracting a significant amount of attention away from the vacant shop 120. Optionally, the feedback data may be stored for the controller 30 to implement said higher level of change in illumination for any future applications.

In some embodiments, the change in light characteristic may partially or entirely depends upon a set of historical data. In this case the quantitative output from the presence sensor (e.g. a measure of customer traffic and/or the amount of attention a vacant unit attracts) may be compiled into the set of historical data, for example indicating a daily fluctuation of customer traffic. The controller 30 may then interpret the historical data and therefrom derive a lighting schedule for the retail lighting system 10. As a result the temporal change in light characteristic may be implemented according to the lighting schedule and instead of being triggered by the presence of customer as shown in Figure 6. For example, if the historical data shows that a high value of customer traffic is expected during lunch hours, the controller may instruct the luminaries to adopt a change in light characteristic during said hours, as per instructed by the lighting schedule. Another example may be where a particular vacant unit 120 historically attracts more attentions than other vacant units in the retail environment 100, e.g. due to its prominent location or a larger shopfront. The controller senses a hike in customer attraction in the particular unit in the historical data and so implements locally a higher level of change in light characteristic and/or environmental effect than other vacant units in the retail environment 100. Controlling the retail lighting unit 10 based on historical data is distinct from the previously described embodiment where an elevated degree of change arise from live feedback control.

In yet another embodiment, the retail lighting unit 10 uses a change in light characteristic to attract the attention of passing customers to an occupied unit with a low customer traffic, in an attempt to lure the shoppers towards shops that attract less customs. This mechanism may be applied on its own or complementary to the other techniques described herein. The quantitative historical data as previously described additionally comprises traffic information such as daily visitor number to each of the occupied units 1 10. The controller 30 analyses and identifies occupied units with relatively lower customer traffic, i.e. target occupied units, using any statistical means known to the person skilled in the art, and implements changes in light characteristic and/or environmental effect in the luminaries corresponding to said target occupied units, so to increase their attractiveness. In some embodiments there could be a combination of three different light characteristics for different retail units, i.e. whilst a normal illumination is used for lighting an ordinary occupied unit, light characteristic with lessened or heightened attractiveness may be applied for vacant units and target occupied units respectively.

Other services and utility sensors presented in the retail environment 100 may be linked to the retail lighting system 10. For example, garbage bins might be equipped with level sensors, such that when they require empting the level sensor signals the controller 30 to implement a change in illumination at a nearby luminaire 40. A janitor upon observing the change in light characteristic in said luminaire may then be notified.

Other variations to the disclosed embodiments can be understood and effected by those skilled in the art in practicing the claimed invention, from a study of the drawings, the disclosure, and the appended claims. In the claims, the word "comprising" does not exclude other elements or steps, and the indefinite article "a" or "an" does not exclude a plurality. A single processor or other unit may fulfil the functions of several items recited in the claims. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to advantage. A computer program may be stored/distributed on a suitable medium, such as an optical storage medium or a solid-state medium supplied together with or as part of other hardware, but may also be distributed in other forms, such as via the Internet or other wired or wireless telecommunication systems. Any reference signs in the claims should not be construed as limiting the scope.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A system (10) for controlling illumination of a retail environment (100) from which customers (140,142) can access a plurality of retail units (1 10,120), each suitable for hosting a business; the system (10) comprising:
i) a lighting control interface for controlling a plurality of luminaires (40) arranged to selectively illuminate each of the retail units (1 10,120) with respective illumination; and
ii) one or more detectors (22) configured to automatically determine a status of each of the said retail units (1 10,120), wherein the status comprises a vacancy status indicating whether each of the said retail units (1 10, 120) is a non-vacant unit (110) hosting a going business concern or whether instead it is a vacant unit (120) not hosting a going business concern; and
iii) a controller (30) configured to vary light characteristics of the illumination produced by each of the plurality of luminaires (40);
wherein the controller (30) is configured to vary one or more light characteristics of the illumination illuminating each of the retail units (1 10, 120) based on the corresponding vacancy status supplied by the one or more detectors (22), such that attention of the one or more customers (140,142) is attracted to the non-vacant units (1 10) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) by the varied light characteristics
wherein the controller (30) is further configured to determine a target change in an amount of the one or more customers (140,142) being attracted to the non- vacant units (1 10) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) by the varied light characteristics, to determine a degree of said variation of the light characteristics of the plurality of luminaires (40) based on the target change, to use the one or more detectors (22) to monitor a resulting change in the amount of one or more customer being attracted to the non- vacant units (1 10) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) in response to said variation, and if the resulting change does not meet the target change after a predetermined time, to adapt the variation of light characteristic in the plurality of luminaires (40) in order to bring the resulting change closer to the target change.
2. The system (10) as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the one or more detectors (22) comprise one or more sensors (22) configured to determine the vacancy status of each of the retail units (1 10, 120) based on a visual appearance of said retail units (1 10, 120).
3. The system (10) as claimed in Claim 1 or Claim 2, wherein the one or more detectors (22) comprise at least a data interface (24) configured to look up the status from a central database, said central database comprising a record of the status of each of the retail units (1 10, 120).
4. The system (10) as claimed in Claim 3, wherein said central database comprises a Chamber of Commerce database or a database of a building management system (10).
5. The system (10) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the one or more detectors (22) comprise one or more sensors (22) configured to determine the vacancy status of each of the retail units (1 10, 120) based at least one of: the number of customers (140,142) having a facial orientation or gaze directed towards said retail units (1 10, 120) and/or a rate of flow of customers (140,142) passing into or out of said retail units (1 10, 120).
6. The system (10) as claimed in any preceding claims, wherein the status further comprises a quantitative visitor statistic indicative of customer traffic to each of the retail units (1 10, 120), and based thereon the controller (30) is configured to vary the light characteristics of the respective illumination illuminating each of the retail units (1 10, 120) based on the corresponding visitor statistic.
7. The system (10) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, further comprising at least one presence sensor (22) for sensing presence information of the customers
(140,142); wherein the controller (30) is configured so as, upon detecting arrival of customers (140,142) or presence of customers (140,142) in the vicinity of one or more of the retail units (1 10, 120) based on the at least one presence sensor (22), to vary the light characteristics of the respective illumination illuminating at the one or more retail units (1 10, 120).
8. The system (10) as claimed in claim 7, wherein the detected presence information further comprises the presence of one or more interested customers (140,142) having or predicted to have a facial orientation or gaze towards said retail units (1 10, 120); wherein upon detecting said presence of the one or more interested customer the controller (30) is configured to vary the light characteristics of the respective illumination illuminating at the one or more retail units (110, 120).
9. The system (10) as claimed in claim 7 or claim 8, wherein the presence information comprises historical data captured by the at least one presence sensor (22), and wherein the luminaires (40) pre-emptively vary the light characteristic the illumination based on said historical data.
10. The system (10) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the controller (30) is configured to:
a) vary the illumination illuminating each of the vacant unit (120) with one or more non-appealing light characteristics to distract the attention of one or more customers (140,142) from said vacant unit (120); and/or
b) vary the illumination illuminating each of the non- vacant units (1 10) with one or more attractive light characteristics to attract the attention one or more customers (140,142) to said non- vacant units (1 10).
1 1. The system (10) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the system (10) further comprises an exceptional event detector for sensing an external environment or detecting exceptional events having an impact on the retail environment (100); wherein the controller (30) is configured to adjust a degree of said variation of the light characteristics of the plurality of luminaires (40) based on said external environment or exceptional events.
12. The system (10) as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein supplementary environmental effects are introduced into the retail environment (100) to complement the variation in the light characteristic of the illumination, wherein the supplementary environmental effect comprises sound and/or smell.
13. A method of controlling illumination of a retail environment (100) from which customers (140,142) can access a plurality of retail units (1 10, 120), each suitable for hosting a business; the method comprising:
i) controlling a plurality of luminaires to selectively illuminate each of the retail units (1 10, 120) selectively with respective illumination;
ii) determining a status of each of the said retail units (1 10, 120) automatically, wherein the status comprises a vacancy status indicating whether each of the said retail units (1 10, 120) is a non- vacant unit hosting a going business concern or whether instead it is a vacant unit (120) not hosting a going business concern;
iii) determining a target change in an amount of the one or more customers (140,142) being attracted to the non-vacant units (1 10) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) by the varied light characteristics;
iv) determining a degree of said variation of the light characteristics of the plurality of luminaires (40) based on the target change;
v) varying light characteristics of the illumination based on the determined degree of variation; wherein the variation in one or more light characteristics of the illumination illuminating each of the retail units (1 10, 120) is based on the corresponding vacancy status, such that attention of the one or more customers (140,142) is attracted to the non-vacant units (1 10) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) by the varied light characteristics;
vi) monitor, using the one or more detectors (22), a resulting change in the amount of one or more customer being attracted to the non- vacant units (110) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) in response to said variation; and
vii) if the resulting change does not meet the target change after a predetermined time, adapting the variation of light characteristic in the plurality of luminaires (40) in order to bring the resulting change closer to the target change.
14. A computer-program product for controlling illumination of a retail environment (100) from which customers (140,142) can access a plurality of retail units (1 10, 120), each suitable for hosting a business; the computer program product comprising code embodied on computer-readable storage and configured so as when run on one or more processing devices to perform operations of:
i) controlling a plurality of luminaires to selectively illuminate each of the retail units (1 10, 120) selectively with respective illumination;
ii) determining a status of each of the said retail units (1 10, 120) automatically, wherein the status comprises a vacancy status indicating whether each of the said retail units (1 10, 120) is a non- vacant unit hosting a going business concern or whether instead it is a vacant unit (120) not hosting a going business concern;
iii) determining a target change in an amount of the one or more customers (140,142) being attracted to the non-vacant units (1 10) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) by the varied light characteristics;
iv) determining a degree of said variation of the light characteristics of the plurality of luminaires (40) based on the target change;
v) varying light characteristics of the illumination based on the determined degree of variation; wherein the variation in one or more light characteristics of the illumination illuminating each of the retail units (1 10, 120) is based on the corresponding vacancy status, such that attention of the one or more customers (140,142) is attracted to the non-vacant units (1 10) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) by the varied light characteristics;
vi) monitor, using the one or more detectors (22), a resulting change in the amount of one or more customer being attracted to the non- vacant units (110) and/or distracted from the vacant unit (120) in response to said variation; and
vii) if the resulting change does not meet the target change after a predetermined time, adapting the variation of light characteristic in the plurality of luminaires (40) in order to bring the resulting change closer to the target change.
PCT/EP2017/059271 2016-04-22 2017-04-19 A retail lighting system WO2017182512A1 (en)

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