Many contractors, facility management professionals and retailers are in the dark when it comes to effective use of lighting in the shopping center environment. Osram Sylvania's new collection of educational CD-ROMs, including Retail Lighting and Lighting 101, is a fast and easy way to shed light on the subject.

Shining a light on retail Retail Lighting features demonstrations on using light sources and techniques to enhance the image and productivity of retail environments.

"By viewing examples of real lighting installations, users better understand what lighting can do to promote sales, save energy and increase safety and security," says Pamela Horner, general lighting education manager at Danvers, Mass.-based Osram Sylvania.

The CD offers advice on how lighting can help direct customers, decrease returns, increase sales, enhance image, increase productivity and gain repeat business.

Organized in five sections, Retail Lighting is ideal for students, new employees or as a refresher course for lighting and retail veterans. The overview section highlights the latest trends in retail lighting; the lighting techniques section demonstrates how lighting adds life to merchandise and drama to store architecture; and the Osram Sylvania mall section demonstrates interactive examples of how retailers creatively use lighting styles, lamps and merchandising systems to optimize their selling environments. A lighting information page is always a click away for tips about watts, lumens,foot-candles, color and other lighting basics. The final exam at the end of the program tests users on what they have learned.

The Retail Lighting CD-ROM is full of colorful animation and special effects, is Windows compatible and allows users to start and stop at any place on the disk, surfing freely through the learning landscape. Users can access reference materials to assess which Sylvania lamps provide the best solution for a particular application.

Lighting 101 Osram Sylvania also offers an introduction to lighting CD, featuring general lighting information. "This CD has been very popular among lighting wholesalers, design engineers and educators," Horner says. "Users learn how lighting products work, how they are constructed, and where they are applied. Important issues such as color and energy efficiency are discussed at length."

Lighting 101 covers everything from basic concepts and terminology to the workings of halogen lighting and the difference between a rapid and instant start ballast. Sections include: lighting basics; incandescent and halogen products; fluorescent and compact fluorescent products; high intensity discharge products; and electronic control systems.

Within each category, the CD presents specifics on performance characteristics and common applications, Horner says. Multiple-choice questions at the end of each section allow users to monitor their progress through self-testing. The final exam at the end of the program tests their knowledge of all material presented.

For more information about lighting education or Osram's Sylvania's Lightpoint seminar schedule, call 1-800-LIGHTBULB or visit the website at www.sylvania.com.