When it comes to lighting in an educational space, the importance of proper illumination is paramount to a productive environment. Let's take a look at 7 tips for school lighting to make the most of this unique space.
1. Opt for LED
One of the best tips for school lighting is to opt for LED over other lamp types. LED is a great way to reduce energy costs for any location, but especially one as large as a school. It operates on a lower wattage of energy consumed to help lower utility costs without sacrificing the overall performance of the fixture. LED is also incredibly long-lasting which is ideal for a school setting where changing light bulbs constantly would be disruptive to a productive learning environment.
2. Use natural light, but don't rely on it
Studies have shown that natural light is the best light for learning because it keeps students alert. If a space has natural light, you should definitely include that in your lighting plan for the many benefits of natural light on human performance, however, you do not want to rely on natural light too much. If there are rainy days where light is limited, you will need artificial light as the main source of illumination so keep that in mind.
3. Install occupancy sensors
Occupancy sensors are a great addition for a place as hectic as a school because it can help in two main ways. For starters, occupancy sensors can help with ensuring lights are off when no one is in the room to save on utility costs. Secondly, they ensure lights come on when someone enters the room or area to avoid any concerns with lack of visibility.
4. Install off/on timers
Another great lighting tip for a school is to install on/off timers. While an occupancy sensor controls lights to come on and turn off based on whether the room is occupied or not, this type of timer can be set to times of day for its operation. This is ideal for rooms where there is pretty much constant occupancy during the day. This timer prevents leaving lights on after hours and wasting unnecessary electricity.
5. Choose the right color temperature
Color temperature is crucial in a school setting. The right color temperature can aid in alertness and even help improve test scores. Color temperatures that are cooler or whiter are better for concentration than warmer yellow temperatures so try to stay in the 5000k-6000k range in terms of temperature.
6. Consider color rendering indexes based on area
Color rendering index ratings are how well a lamp picks up and shows different colors. A higher index means a lamp differentiates between colors with more ease. In areas where there are multiple colors, you will need a higher CRI to help students tell apart colors. You should opt for a CRI of 80 or higher for these areas.
7. Perform a lighting audit
A lighting audit can help pinpoint lighting opportunities in a location. For a school, a lighting audit could be the difference between thousands of dollars wasted on inefficient lighting solutions. A lighting audit should be performed at least once a year to pinpoint any areas for improvement with the lighting plan.