Adequately-lit classrooms enhance the academic performance of pupils
Classroom lighting is one of the most important areas that design professionals need to address when developing education centre projects. This is hardly surprising if we take into account that classrooms are the heart of all activity in places of education. The fact is, pupils spend most of their time in classrooms, and it is in them that they receive most of their education. Nevertheless, there are other areas such as communal areas, sports facilities and halls that also need to be suitably lit. Guaranteeing correct lighting is key to improving pupils’ academic performance.
In this article we will talk about...
- What should classroom lighting focus on?
- Current requirements
- Lighting classrooms
- SECOM luminaires
What should classroom lighting focus on?
Good lighting in the aforementioned spaces give pupils and teaching staff an agreeable environment in which to concentrate, and this enhances productivity. Visual comfort means that classroom activities do not cause eyestrain and there are no distractions.
Pupil and teacher comfort
Integration, accessibility and visual comfort are priorities. This means accounting for the differences in people’s eyesight at different stages in life, or pupils or teachers who have poor eyesight or visual impairments.
From an illumination point of view, it is important to take the type of activity the classroom is used for into account. For example, theory, practical lessons and group work are all quite different classroom concepts. The age of the pupils in the classroom can also affect lighting needs. Whatever the case, all pupils tend to spend several hours in their classrooms and it is important to adapt visual comfort to each situation.
Classroom luminaire systems can favour concentration and avoid some of the issues that are caused by combinations of natural and artificial light, furniture layouts and the shadows that are cast between fixtures and individuals. This can be addressed by installing spotlights on walls and above whiteboards. A holistic approach that takes all the features of the classroom into account to facilitate good vision is essential.
Making the most of natural light
It is important to utilise natural light because this lifts people’s mood and, quite simply, helps them to see properly. However, sometimes the natural light coming into a room through a window can affect a person’s view of desks and whiteboards. This can be addressed by installing blinds or adding additional lights.
Standard UNE-EN 12464.1 covers the quality criteria for appropriate lighitng in schools. Essentially, this standard seeks to provide pupils and teaching staff with an agreeable and stimulating environment, in addition to visual comfort.
The key points of the standard
The standard lays out the parameters for glare control, chromatic reproduction, uniformity and lighting levels.
Types of classrooms
Lighting projects in these spaces must adapt to the activity going on inside them. The standard addresses classrooms, workshops and art studios. The lighting in a computer room differs from the lighting in an art studio, for example. In classrooms, the illuminance needs to be 300 lux and this includes spaces assigned to tutoring sessions, practical exercises and physical exercise. 500 lux is the recommended illuminance for reading rooms, prep rooms and workshops. Art and technical drawing classrooms, however, require 750 lux.
When it comes to creating a classroom project, there are a number of things that need to be taken into account, including:
The education sector reaches an annual consumption of around 770 GWh, or 0.5% of overall electrical consumption in Spain. In addition, energy consumption equals 462,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. However, savings of up to 20% can be made in this area. In other words, a decrease of around 92,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
Making use of efficient lighting systems is important in terms of financial savings and in terms of environmental sustainability. In this sense, high-performance LED luminaires are ideal because they include low-consumption devices and lights with an elevated lumen/watt ratio. In fact, in conjunction with regulation and control devices, it is possible to make lots of financial and energy efficiency savings.
On the whole, the colour rendering index (CRI) ranges from 70 to 85, although it can go up to over 90 in areas that require increased light quality. Whatever the case, the appropriate colour temperature is around 3,500 K.
Progressive deterioration of equipment, a build-up of dirt and faults mean year-round maintenance work is a must in order to avoid decreases in the luminous flux and to retain initial levels of illumination. Therefore, in addition to cleaning and replacing parts, luminaires themselves need to be replaced in accordance with a pre-planned schedule. This helps to get illuminance levels back to original settings without any issues. In this sense, LED technology is very advantageous because it has a useful life in excess of 50,000 hours compared with the 10,000 hours that a fluorescent light lasts. This increases the useful life of lighting installations and cuts maintenance costs down.
Avoiding glare and dazzle
Glare, dazzle and flickering cause eye fatigue and affect concentration. They can also cause stress. LED technology can be used to ensure that illumination issues of this kind do not occur.
SECOM has a wide range of products that are suitable for these kinds of facilities. For example:
All of these products use LED technology. Therefore, they have a long useful life and are resistant and easy to install. They deliver quality lighting in schools, high schools and universities.
Providing classrooms with the right illumination equals ensuring that lessons are taught under the best possible conditions, caring for pupils’ and teachers’ wellbeing and guaranteeing optimum performance. SECOM LED technology helps to make huge savings, is durable and includes excellent features for all kinds of education facilities.More in our blog