According to the Carbon Trust, getting lighting right is essential for the energy efficiency of a school, but as importantly for the wellbeing of its occupants.
In the second of this special series of education lighting guides, Energys will explore how LED lighting for schools help to create the right learning environment for students and teachers to excel.
Of course, efficient LED upgrades save on bills and the environment. But the right level and the best quality of light is crucial to alertness, accuracy and the overall enjoyment of those working and learning in schools.
LED technologies have been proven to help deliver pupils the best light levels, to improve health and wellbeing and learning application.
‘Higher illumination levels lead to increased concentration,’ claims one study. Both natural light and modern LEDs can therefore dramatically benefit children’s happiness and intelligence.
‘Especially in education, a conscious mind is important for good concentration during lessons. It doesn’t matter if the person is an elementary scholar or a student. Both can benefit from an optimised lighting environment in a direct or indirect way,’ argues a report on the benefits of lighting upgrades for schools.
Pupil wellbeing on dark days
There are of course times when natural light is lacking, for example on dark days or in poorly designed legacy buildings. In these circumstances, new lighting retrofit technologies has a crucial role to play.
Here, LED upgrades ensure that pupils have the best light levels, the right colour gradients and the cooler temperatures modern solutions provide. The sun doesn’t always shine, but LEDs are always available for classroom lighting.
Blue is better
‘The right light in the morning, that has sufficient brightness with higher components of blue, can help to get you ready for the day,’ argues Lighting For People. LED upgrades can provide such blue light sustainably and affordably throughout the day, bringing the benefits of the outside indoors.
Further, a field study investigated the effect of light with different blue-content on circadian rhythmicity. In 11 adolescent teenagers, it found lack of bright and blue-rich light in the morning delays the body clock, and makes us go to bed too late. This could be a risk factor for mental health (higher possibility of depression) and physical health or health-impairing behaviours.
In schools, good lighting design is pivotal for rooms with a high risk of glare, for example ICT classrooms where there’s a high chance of artificial light shining on to screens.
Additionally, sports halls and pools feature shiny surfaces, students risk glare while catching and chasing balls or swimming. LEDs traditionally had issues with glare, but these have now been addressed with the latest technology which, with the right lighting design, keeps glare to a minimum.
In fact, today, operating glare free is something LEDs do particularly well.
Scene setting; adjustable lights for different purposes
The right lights can contribute differently across every facet of school life. LEDs can set the scene for many different kinds of learning activity, calmer light for reading, brighter in sports halls or theatres.
And when it comes to intelligent scene setting within one space, lighting controls allow LED lighting to be dimmed or brightened, so that one room becomes multi-use, depending on purpose and need.
The shift to LED lighting
Energys has a number of case studies on LED lighting upgrades for schools and colleges available. These will help you learn more, and consider the best way to embed sustainable, futurist and beneficial lights in your environment.