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Back to school The necessity for good lighting within learning environments.


Different types of lighting equipment, used in an appropriate manner, can make a significant contribution to creating an improved learning environment. Philips, in collaboration with the University of Twente in the Netherlands, has conducted research into how lighting in primary schools can contribute to the learning process, investigating whether the intensity and color of light can make a positive contribution to the concentration, behavior, well-being and motivation of primary school children.


During the opening of a new classroom in south-east Amsterdam, featuring the Philips SchoolVision classroom lighting solution, the research team presented the findings from two studies – a field experiment and an experimental laboratory study. The results found that light can make a positive difference with regard to concentration, motivation, interaction with the learning environment and cooperative learning. SchoolVision is an innovative classroom lighting solution enabling both the luminous intensity and the colour temperature (warm or cold) of light to be adjusted. Settings for different lighting moods are pre-programmed and can be


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activated by a single button on a control panel. Teachers can choose between four settings: Energy, Calm, Standard or Concentration. Energy corresponds to the light of a bright, cloudless summer day around noon, while Calm is the equivalent of gentle evening sunshine.


The first study – the field experiment – was conducted in Wintelre near Eindhoven where the SchoolVision lighting system was installed in two classes of the De Disselboom primary school in November 2009. In the nine months from December 2009 to September 2010, pupils underwent concentration tests and completed evaluation filled in questionnaires. The researchers carried out similar tests in the Eindhoven district of Veldhoven in a reference school (de Rank) where SchoolVision hasn’t been installed. In total, 98 pupils divided over the two schools and four classes took part in the study.


In comparison with children at the reference school


In the experimental laboratory study, the Philips SchoolVision solution was installed in a simulated classroom at the University of Twente. More than 100 children from eight schools in the Enschede area of the


Netherlands were invited to take part in the study, also taking concentration tests and evaluation work. The laboratory study enabled the researchers to work in a controlled setting without windows and other ‘special occurrences’ to understand the effects of separate individual lighting scenes.


The final results of the long-term study have concluded that light makes a positive difference to concentration, motivation and cooperative learning. The research started with the objective of gaining greater insight into the little-researched subject of light and learning. Researchers asked if the variation in the intensity and color of light can make a positive contribution to the concentration, behavior, well-being and motivation of primary school children. The results of the first study, the field experiment conducted from December 2009 to September 2010, led to the following conclusions regarding a school using the Philips SchoolVision lighting solution: • Children score on average 18 per cent higher in a concentration test with SchoolVision than without it. • Children are more motivated in the long


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