For Chris Ryall, understanding lighting as a way to evoke emotion, mood, and behavior is central to his business. As a co-principal along with Dan Bailey at his company, InReality, it is but one element in influencing “the in-store consumer journey.” InReality is a software and services company that helps brands and retailers drive conversion and optimize in-store investments. The company creates unique retail experiences by incorporating sensors and IoT devices that capture and report on metrics such as age, gender, behavior, and movements of a consumer. Sensors detect faces in real time, gathering information and setting in motion the delivery of personalized content, sounds, scents, and lighting on displays designed to stimulate the engagement with the consumer.
“As an example, when a consumer walks up to a shoe display, as they get closer, the display lights up,” Ryall explained. “We can use lighting in that way to trigger engagement.” The company also captures data about what works and what does not in affecting behavior and brings that information to brands and retailers to help them understand their consumers and to set specific marketing strategies.
So it was natural for Ryall and Bailey to want to leverage lighting’s power to illuminate the exterior of the building their Cincinnati offices occupy – the former German National Bank Building – for the city’s October-held BLINK Cincinnati interactive light, art, and projection event. (InReality was an Installation Sponsor for the event, centered on Fountain Square in the city’s heart.) “We wanted to make the building different from any in the city,” Ryall said.
With the blessing of the building’s owner, who had been footing a high monthly bill for an older exterior lighting system, they set out to visit InfoComm in search of the best LED lighting solution for this purpose. Eventually, they found the answer at the Colorbeam NorthAmerica booth. Colorbeam co-founder Mike Teolis presented a cost-efficient, versatile LED system that delivers both colored and temperature-tunable white lighting, and that allows for quickly programmable and changeable scenes. Beyond the initial investment, the costs are amortized over time because the monthly bills are far lower, explained Ryall.
“We’re the first to use Colorbeam in Cincinnati,” Ryall said. And although Fountain Square has other LED-lit buildings, the flexibility of Colorbeam’s system made it possible for the building to be the first in the Square to execute a red-and-green holiday-themed “light show” with varying light patterns this past Christmas. “People would walk by, and they would say, ‘That building just changed color,’” Ryall said. The project has been so successful that a second phase of lights to illuminate the architectural elements of the building is in the works.
Ryall said that being the first in the area to use a Colorbeam solution has drawn notice on several fronts. “We’re not a lighting company, but now we’re kind of a subject matter expert on RGBW.”
He added, “simply doing white lighting is a no-brainer, but to put in a product that can reproduce any colors you want – it really makes for a representation that stands out.”