School lighting is an important area of the learning environment. Without adequate illumination, learning can be less focused and less effective. When it comes to choosing the right classroom lighting applications, here are a few tips to create a successful, productive learning environment for students.
- Consider the space of the room when choosing the mounting type. For example, classrooms should opt for surface mounted or recessed lighting that will help create the illusion of a larger space while providing adequate illumination. A suspended light will only work well in rooms with ceilings over 9 feet in height otherwise you run the risk of creating a cave-like appearance with shadowy areas off to the outside of the light spread. To avoid shadowy areas, opt for a larger light spread or place the fixtures as high up as possible with multiple lamps for optimal lighting.
- LED lights are a preferable option for classroom lighting applications. While LED solutions are sometimes more expensive than incandescent or compact fluorescent upfront, they will pay for the investment in the lowered utility costs, improved longevity of the fixture and bulbs, and the low to no maintenance needs. However, it is their cool white color temperature that makes them ideal for classroom settings. This type of light closely mimics natural light in temperature. Natural light has been proven to be the most effective lighting for learning environments since it improves mental clarity and alertness in ways artificial lighting with a warmer temperature does not achieve.
- Position the lighting in ways that benefit students and teachers. Too many classrooms will have adequate lighting overhead of the desk, but the board where the teacher is instructing the students will be obscured by shadows. This is usually because the classroom uses recessed fixtures that do not reach the wall where the board is placed. It can be tricky to put four foot recessed fixtures that close to a wall. A better alternative is to include track lighting that will allow you to spread light to this important area without taking away from the general lighting needs of students. If the space is too limited for track lighting placed overhead, accent lighting placed at the sides of this area can be one of the best classroom lighting applications.
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