Key considerations for school lighting installation upgrades
Many schools have undertaken lighting installation renovation projects over the last few years, but some still have outdated, poor quality lighting installations. This can have a negative impact on teaching and learning. It is not great for schools’ carbon footprint and electricity bills either. This is why an upgrade is definitely worth considering. But what are the key considerations in these projects?
In this article we will talk about...
- Why upgrading the lighting in schools is important
- The advantages of good-quality lighting in schools
- The trends in LED luminaires for schools
- Existing regulations
- SECOM products
Why upgrading the lighting in schools is important
One of the main reasons it is worth updating the lighting installations in schools is because it can enhance concentration among students and teaching staff. In addition, there is an important environmental sustainability factor. The savings schools can make on their electricity bills is another key consideration.
It is all about updating existing installations and adapting them to new criteria for buildings, including energy efficiency, visual comfort and resource optimisation factors. We also need to keep the specific characteristics of these places in mind. After all, they are the places we turn to for academic guidance and, on occasion, support.
We do sometimes still come across schools with rather outdated material, such as traditional fluorescent tubes. The fact that they flicker constantly and emit poor quality light can have a detrimental impact on students’ mood. They can also be harmful to the environment because of the material used to manufacture them.
All of these considerations mean that more and more school management teams are giving the go-ahead to large-scale renovation projects. This can include removing old devices and replacing them with LED luminaires, smart lighting systems and even self-consumption solar panels. This gives schools affordable and sustainable access to all the electricity they need. It is not just a question of improving the quality of teaching at schools; it is about undertaking projects that are sustainable and efficient from an energy perspective and that are financially viable and cost-effective.
The advantages of good-quality lighting in schools
All kinds of centres for education are now undertaking lighting system renovation projects. We see these projects in schools but also in nurseries, secondary education centres and even universities. What are the benefits? Some of the most important considerations are explained below.
Improvements to teaching and learning processes
It is easier to sustain a positive mood when lighting is good. When we respect our circadian clock, we find it easier to concentrate and relax and this has a positive impact on overall student behaviour.
Colour temperature, for example, can have a significant effect on health. Colder colour temperatures (4,100 K to 5,000 K) in the morning help to enhance students’ ability to pay attention and stay alert. This improves the cognitive process and their ability to learn in class. Bright lights that simulate the light of day can improve people’s mood.
Energy bill savings
Savings are another good reason to update. With LED technology, we can make savings of between 89 and 90% compared with conventional systems.
Low maintenance costs
LED luminaires are very resistant to solids, liquids and physical impact. Furthermore, they also have a long useful life that ranges from 35,000 to 100,000 hours. They do not need to be maintained on a regular basis and this means we quickly recoup the investment we have made. Plus, these devices are very cost effective.
The trends in LED luminaires for schools
Progress in technology and the wide range of existing luminaire designs means there are many options for schools to choose from. When we are planning a project of this kind, we should address it from an integral, multi-disciplinary and integration perspective, including scheduling to account for natural light. We also need to make the right choice when it comes to selecting luminaires and installing them in the right places and we must account for output and other features.
We need to take the wide range of activities that take place in centres for education into account. In general terms, we need to avoid bright lights and glare. Nowadays, lighting projects increasingly involve use of smart devices. With these devices we can adjust the output, orientation and colour temperature of each light in each place and at all times of day. This means we can adapt to specific needs and circumstances.
Photocells, motion sensors, timers and remote controls are on trend and increasingly common. The same is true for adjustment and control systems. In fact, these devices mean we have huge customisation and light quality enhancement choices. They are our means of really making the most of the significant potential for savings that we get with these devices and rationalising how we use energy.
There are several regulations that we have to account for when we embark on lighting projects. They include regulations on low-voltage installations and others. For example, all products need to have the CE marking and this must be covered by a declaration of conformity according to UNE 66.514.91 and EN 45014.
This guarantees that products meet the provisions of Directive 2004/108 EC relating to electromagnetic compatibility, Low Voltage Directive (2006/95/CE), Royal Decrees 7/1988 and 154/1995 and associated UNE-EN regulations.
It is also a good idea to meet the provisions of a wide variety of guidelines, regulations and references which can be general or related specifically to lighting and/or component safety. Some are linked specifically to luminaires, emergency lighting, lights sources, auxiliary equipment, electromagnetic compatibility and so on. We also have ISO 9001 or Directive 2009/125/EC establishing a framework for the setting of eco-design requirements, to name just a few.
There is an answer for every school lighting project in the SECOM product catalogue. These are some of the most popular choices:
- Aircom medium. An indoor downlight.
- Aliket. A continuous line luminaire.
- Berna. A leak-tight indoor panel.
- Cubic. A versatile recessed panel light.
- Eslim UGR<19. An indoor recessed panel light with anti-glare technology.
- Konak. An industrial high-bay light.
- Loop Supra. A recessed downlight.
- Protek. An adaptable spotlight.
In school lighting projects we need to combine several of these devices. We recommend taking a good look at our range of products to ensure that all the advantages are accounted for. This can help us adapt our design to the characteristics and needs of our school.More in our blog