Lighting schools correctly improves pupils’ comfort and boosts their performance
School lighting supports visual comfort, mood and the performance of the entire education community. LED luminaires are essential here. What is more, they enable energy efficiency, sustainability, multidisciplinary working, universal access and adaptations for those with visual impairments.
In this article we will talk about...
- Key considerations when lighting a school
- The impact of lighting on these spaces
- Lighting the different areas of a school
- SECOM luminaires
Key considerations when lighting a school
Any school lighting project should be designed around these factors:
Reducing energy use
LED technology is the leading choice in modern schools since it helps save energy and supports energy efficiency and economic and environmental sustainability. The longevity and durability of these fixtures makes them ideal for educational facilities.
Exploiting natural light
School lighting should take into account natural light cycles. After all, natural light has a positive impact on performance and concentration. Smart sensors can save energy and harmonise light levels throughout the day.
Whether direct or indirect, glare can hinder visual comfort and lead to fatigue and stress. Luminaires should have a low unified glare rating (UGR) and be free from flickering.
Complying with regulations
The EU indoor lighting regulation (UNE 12464.1) sets out the lighting requirements for interior work spaces to ensure these provide adequate visual comfort. Compliance with these requirements is mandatory. The regulation also has detailed sections about specific facilities, including schools.
Appropriate colour temperature
Warm lighting significantly reduces instances of hyperactivity. Warm, soft lighting with a temperature of 2700K creates a relaxing atmosphere when kids come in from break time. Cooler (4000-5000K) and more intense tones aid concentration. All this is possible thanks to LED technology that enables the colour temperature to be adjusted to suit.
Installation and assembly
The choices here depend on each school and its geographic location. Lighting should be designed from an integrative, multidisciplinary approach that factors in energy savings, low-consumption devices and luminaires with a high lumen/watt ratio, as well as regulation and control systems to suit the building in question.
The impact of lighting on these spaces
When a space is lit appropriately, it not only meets visual comfort and quality standards but saves energy and maximises performance.
Pupil and teacher comfort
Light has a huge impact on eye health and sensitivity. That’s why luminaires free from photobiological risk (Group 0 under regulation UNE 62471) are recommended. The light levels and colour temperature should be adapted to each space and for the activities carried out there.
Research by the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy department of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf has shown that good light intensity, colour temperature and dynamism boost reading speed by up to 35% and reduce comprehension errors by 45%. Lighting must effectively render colours, particularly in the early years when children are developing their space perception and orientation and perspective skills.
Impact on mood
There’s no question that light affects mood. Cold white colour temperatures improve concentration while warm white light inspires and induces relaxation and biodynamic lighting supports learning.
Lighting the different areas of a school
Since each area in a school meets specific needs, each requires its own custom lighting.
Optimal visibility in the classroom prevent visual fatigue. The lighting output should be between 300 and 500 lux depending on the space. Diffused lighting (UGR < 16/19) is the best choice for preventing glare.
Lighting the board correctly requires around 500 lux and a high uniformity ratio (0.7). The system should ideally be adjustable to suit different teaching formats including traditional lessons, presentations, workshops and other activities.
Luminaires with at least 150 lux prevent glare (UGR < 25) and provide adequate visibility along emergency routes, in staircases and corridors, and at noticeboards. Motion detectors and use of natural light in these transit areas can save costs and energy.
Offices and common areas
These spaces should be equipped with luminarias with at least 150 lux depending on the zone. Offices require 500 lux. The luminaires should provide good visibility with anti-glare (UGR < 25) and be free from flickering to enable office work.
Tables should be lit with 200 lux, as per regulation EN 12464-1. There should be no shadows in these spaces, which are intended for relaxation, communication and consuming food and drinks. A good lighting system will be adjustable to create the required atmosphere.
Sports facilities should have strong uniform light provided by luminaires which are resistant to knocks and free from glare (min. UGR < 22).
Paths should be delimited with lit bollards. Walls, rails and staircases also require their own lighting. The lighting fixtures need to withstand blows and provide good visibility to ensure the safety of the people using the spaces.
Library lighting should be pleasant and relaxing to support reading and study.
We have a wide range of durable and adaptable LED luminaires for these spaces. And, they are extremely energy efficient:
- Aliket. Continuous line lighting system.
- Berna. Indoor luminaire with diffuser.
- Eslim UGR<19. Indoor luminaire with anti-glare diffuser.
- Cubic. Multipurpose panel.
- Aircom Medium. Indoor downlight system.
- Loop supra. Indoor downlight system with various colour configurations.
- Protek. An elegant, compact luminaire that can be adapted to any space.
- Konak. Bell LED for high ceilings.
SECOM provides quick, professional and tailored solutions for lighting schools and other educational facilities.More in our blog