Can lighting at school improve the well-being of students?
Human Centric Lighting for a better concentration and a healthy biorhythm
„Silence, please!” – By clapping her hands, the teacher tries to calm the commotion in the classroom with a raised voice. The children's voices fall silent, but the electric buzzing of the fluorescent lights can still be heard in the room. The way in which the light flickers seems to indicate that the lighting is about to break down. Unfortunately, this is not something from the past, since the vast majority of Polish schools are still equipped with outdated linear fluorescent lights.
Where there is light, there is life!
Light effects us in three ways:
• Visually – it enables the perception of the environment, the assimilation of information and cognitive processes.
• Non-visually – it is connected to our diurnal rhythm and synchronization of our internal clock, including the effect of the position of the sun and its influence on humans.
• Emotionally – it affects our mood and well-being.
“The traditional source of light in educational institutions is fluorescent t5/t8 lamps. But this solution is outdated and harmful to our well-being. Firstly, t5/t8 lamps contain mercury. This toxic substance is necessary to generate electricity in this technology. Secondly, the visible light is being produced by the transformation of harmful ultraviolet light. Thirdly, flickering light is not always visible to the eye, but our brain can still perceive it, causing eye fatigue and headaches,” explains Dr. Pawel Morawski (light expert at TRILUX Poland). He continues: “In addition to all of this, we don't have the ability to adjust the color of the light with the outdated technology, so a fluorescent lamp installed with a temperature of 6,500 Kelvin will shine constantly with a harsh cool light and thus disrupt our diurnal rhythm."
Phototherapy at school
Even the best technology cannot replace natural light. However, as technological development progresses, scientists and engineers are now able to implement numerous innovations, which help to bring artificial light closer to natural sunlight. At school, our children should be able to work with lighting fixtures, which render realistic ambient colors (CRI coefficient>90) and emit as little glare (UGR<19) as possible. This creates pleasant visual effects and an increased visual comfort.
Modern lighting is not only about luminaires. A system managing the luminaires is just as important, since it allows users to set different parameters in separate rooms, as well as on individual luminaires. Through smart lighting management, the intensity and temperature of the light can be controlled remotely in order to create the desired mood, depending on the specific activity.
Human Centric Lighting
students in the spotlight
"Lighting based on the Human Centric Lighting philosophy comprises of a LED solution, which focuses on the human need for light. Schools that have upgraded their lighting system can control the fixtures and adjust the light color. In the morning, students start their school day with warm light, containing a pleasant mix of shades, including red, which doesn't abruptly knock their bodies out of nighttime rest mode. By midday, there is usually an increase of blue light in the lighting, which has an activating effect and reduces sleepiness,“ explains Dr. Pawel Morawski (light expert at TRILUX Poland).
He adds: “A Dutch study found that at higher light levels and higher color temperatures, which match the color and intensity of daylight, academic performance improved, while lower light levels and lower color temperatures reduced agitations in classrooms and disruptions during lessons." In recent decades, teaching methods, as well as everyday life at school, have changed a lot. Now, it's time to upgrade the lighting. This will support our children in achieving the best results and will increase their daily joy and well-being. Because childhood only happens once!