Lighting can be tricky depending on the location. If you are looking to address the issue of school lighting, there are a few factors that you should keep in mind. This setting presents a variety of different challenges, as well as strengths, which can make finding the right lighting for your school a process of elimination. Below are a few suggestions and tips to help you find the best school lighting.
When you are designing the lighting layout for your school setting, consider the benefits of natural light. Whether you have wide windows that take up the majority of the wall, or small accent windows that are closer to the ceiling, it’s important to take into account how much natural light areas will receive to determine the amount of artificial lighting your school actually needs. While we recommend using natural light as much as possible, you should not solely rely on it, since natural illumination frequently changes throughout the day.
Natural light sources will affect the lumen output your space will require. This type of light needs to be factored in when choosing your fixtures, but its also important to take into account that there will be times when natural light will need to be obstructed, especially for special programs or audio/visual presentations, or where there are distractions present facing the window that can impede student learning, such as windows that face the playground or other areas that can be distracting.
The reason natural light sources are encouraged in school setting is because there have been several studies that have shown that natural light can improve the focus and performance of students. Even though natural light can be used as a money-saving measure, it is not a substitute for having a reliable and appropriate artificial lighting system in place.
Since schools tend to have more natural light than other locations, the types of lighting that are right for the space are greatly impacted. For example, because you are using more natural light, you can scale back on the artificial lighting in terms of efficiency.
Fluorescents are still relied on for most school settings. They provide a reliable light source that offers decent wattage consumption to lumen output, while lasting longer than halogen bulbs. They also provide a cooler operating temperature than halogen.
Typically, metal halides are rarely used in schools, and if they are its in specific areas such as gyms where the lighting needs rarely fluctuate throughout the day. Even though metal halide fixtures are a durable option, when compared to fluorescent or halogen solutions they have significantly shorter lifespans.
LEDs are one of the most cost-effective and energy-friendly options for lighting. The only downside associated with LED is the initial costs. However, since school settings require less artificial lighting thanks to their natural light sources, makes this type of lighting the best option.
For schools, lighting solutions can be more of a mix-and-match system, but keep in mind that it should be based on the location and needs of the space. For instance, you may find that fluorescents are ideal fore areas that use natural light more frequently, while other areas without natural light and in need of higher illumination levels, such as libraries, laboratories, and other areas would benefit from an LED solution.
You can also help save money and control energy costs with the installation of timers, reflectors, and the option for dimming. Dimmable options allow you to adjust the illumination your space requires at certain times, which helps to lower energy consumption. Reflectors will help to ensure your space has evenly disbursed lumen output. Timers are one of the most important additions that need to be considered, since they turn lights on when schools in session.
Obviously, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a lighting system for a school. The suggestions we have mentioned will help you narrow down the choices to find the perfect solution for your school.