Creating a high-performance learning environment includes an appropriate lighting plan. Many older schools lack large windows and others have classrooms in the interior of the buildings with no natural light source. Thanks to new lighting technology there are a few fixes to this problem that have shown great results in increased learning and better student behavior: full-spectrum fluorescents and adjustable LED lighting
Most of us spent our school days under flickering, buzzing, harsh, bright-white fluorescent light bulbs. Research has shown that cool-white fluorescent bulbs can cause anxiety, stress, and attention problems as well as decrease learning capacity. But because they put off lots of light and are very inexpensive to replace, they have been the go-to light source in classrooms for decades. To the rescue: Full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs. A bit more expensive, they are designed to mimic daylight by offering a more balanced and natural light. This softer and warmer glow provides greater contrast, truer colors and less irritation. They’re credited with increasing attention and elevating moods.
Though they are initially more expense, energy-efficient LED lighting solutions are starting to make their way into classrooms. LED lighting offers better quality light for the eye, and are noted for increasing alertness and productivity while decreasing stress. LED bulbs last significantly longer than fluorescents, require little to no maintenance, and don’t contain any hazardous materials. Most importantly – LED lighting is less taxing on the energy bill than fluorescent lighting – an estimated 75% savings. The latest breakthrough in LED technology is the capability to fine-tune the brightness and color. With a Hue app (yes, there is an app for everything) you can use built in templates, or create your own to suit your mood. That means a teacher can dial in the best lighting tone for their specific classroom’s learning experience needs.
Full-spectrum fluorescents and adjustable LED lighting can be easily incorporated into a renovation plan that will help schools to provide a more healthy and productive learning environment. A properly lit classroom can lead to more alert and eager student brains – and who doesn’t want that?
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