Classroom lighting

Classroom lighting

Students can’t easily concentrate or focus in class? Teachers strive to capture the attention of their pupils? Maybe the problem is in the lights. Lighting, in fact, affects our mood, health and ability to focus. This fact is demonstrated by a number of studies, including for example, the popular research done by J.A. Veitch: “Ocular lighting effect on human psychology, mood and behaviour” (Technical Report CIE n. 158, Vienna) that places lighting in relationship with mood and human behaviour.

Research on the correlation between the type of lights used in classrooms and student results are numerous. Already in 1992 Kuller and Lindsten in their study titled “Health and behaviour of children in classroom with and without windows” (Journal of Environmental Psychology) showed how the amount of daylight is extremely significant for students to achieve the goals set by teachers.

A fact confirmed by Hesong and others in “Daylighting impacts on human performances in school” (2002). However, it should be noted that there are other researches that do not support these results totally even if the close relationship between learning and lighting is unquestionable.

A publication by AiCARR (Indoor Environment and Energy Efficiency in Classrooms) dating back to 2011 addresses the issue by bringing an interesting contribution to the meaning of such terms as luminance, brightness, lighting, contrast, visibility, etc.

But it is also interesting to remember that in a classroom (or in a lab) several functions take place and different objects are present. This is precisely the reason why lighting fixtures cannot be considered merely as decoration items, but should have specific technical features that take into consideration the interaction between daylight and artificial lighting.

  • Verbal communication – an essential element in a classroom – requires lights to minimize glare between the student and teacher (who should never stand with their back to the window if there is only daylight).
  • The presence of blackboards or white board requires different lighting designs, because lights should always avoid glare that makes reading difficult.
  • Blackboards should be vertically and evenly illuminated.
  • On white boards, instead, the writings absorb the light while the surfaces are reflective: in this case, lights should be positioned accordingly.
  • In labs, lights should be installed based on where the practical demonstrations occur and should also consider the type of objects being studied (metal objects should be illuminated differently than the way fruit is illuminated). If a spotlight is used, lighting can be vertical.
  • Lastly, the presence of another common object in modern classrooms, i.e. computers, requires the use of ad hoc lighting solutions that take into account of applicable standards (e.g. UNI EN 12464-1) aimed at guaranteeing comfort and safety.

As demonstrated, variables are numerous, so lighting solutions should be flexible under any viewpoint. This is why the ideal solution is to set up a dynamic lighting system which uses LED sources and that can be controlled and managed according to different needs.

  • Posted by Redazione
  • On August 22, 2016