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From classrooms to cafeterias, labs to libraries, light plays a key role in creating the right environment for students and teachers alike. Thorn Lighting offers practical advice and solutions for anyone involved in the installation of lighting, both in new educational facilities and in the redesign/refurbish ment of established buildings.

the best possible environment, enables higher concentration and has a positive and


stimulating influence on effective learning.

To produce educated and socially, well-adjusted students, the spaces in our schools, colleges and universities should contain areas that encourage students to gather and interact socially. These facilities should provide more than just a place to develop academic skills, they should also be a place where they can enjoy a range of social and sporting pastimes in a ‘fresh, safe and socially engaging’ environment, with the right light, noise level and air quality for good health and wellbeing.

The key factors for consideration when creating the optimum lighting solution include the use of high quality, energy efficient LED luminaires, good colour rendering (Ra) over 80, colour temperatures between 2700K - 6500K, flicker-free luminaires, the use of high quality lighting controls and a long service life to ensure the lighting quality is maintained over time. The type of activity being undertaken, the spatial environment and face-to- face communication should also be considered.

The five key points of consideration for education lighting are:

• What Standards Apply The key European standard for indoor workplace lighting is EN 12464-1. Among other things, it sets our recommended light levels and glare limits for different areas and tasks. The Society of Light and Lighting’s Lighting Guide 5 offers guidance specifically for education, and there are other relevant standards for particular areas such as emergency lighting and acoustics including BREEAM, LEED and WELL.

oor lighting can cause fatigue, eye strain and glare. By installing a high quality energy efficient lighting solution it helps create


Thorn Lighting provides key advice on how to create better light for brighter pupils

• How to use natural daylight Natural light is essential and there should be a connection between daylight and artificial light. Daylight should be the primary source of light for schools (daylight factors of 4 – 5 % and a minimum of 20% of glazing on external walls). Natural daylight also ensures students and staff retain a link to the changing light/weather conditions. Human performance can also vary, depending on the time of day or night (Circadian Rhythms). Our body and mind work most effectively in the morning and late afternoon.

Where facial features are more important, for example in lip reading, modelling index values higher than 1.0 will make modelling of the face appear featureless. A modelling Index of >0.1 in a highly directional downlight creates harsh shadows and, except for use in theatrical lighting, it is difficult to get an index this low.

Light contributes to our vision and synchronises the biological clock which controls our sleep and wakefulness cycles. A high intake of daylight improves our sleep, performance and mood and therefore reduces drowsiness.

• Understand the space

When designing a lighting scheme for the educational environment you should take into account the amount of daylight in the room, the planning and positioning of the luminaires, and the use of highly efficient lighting controls with the ability to pre-programme lighting scenarios according to the space in use and the time of day to ensure that all the requirements of the space are met.

• How to Light People’s Faces Great lighting should enable you to communicate effectively with those around you in an atmosphere that feels conducive to learning. Good communication relies on good facial modelling, this is achieved by balancing diffuse and directional light. The modelling index can be defined by the ratio between cylindrical and horizontal illuminance at the point of interest. A ratio of > 0.3 and < 0.6 will provide adequate modelling; this may be closer to 0.5 for teaching spaces. A modelling index of >0.5 is suitable for children’s classrooms and classes containing children with special educational needs, whilst a modelling index of between > 0.3 and < 0.6 is the limit of acceptable modelling in spaces where good communication is required.

• Getting the best out of light LED advances mean that today’s products offer high performance, good quality illumination and have a long life span. They are also very economical and keep lifetime costs to a minimum. Lighting controls play a major role and can increase flexibility and efficiency. The use of digital lighting management solutions from single rooms to entire buildings provides a great tool for getting the very best out of light.

Schools are legally required to provide emergency lighting and to ensure that it is regularly tested and maintained. Emergency lighting should incorporate the latest LED technology, offer longer lifetime, maximum flexibility, high efficiency with ease of installation and maintenance.

Other considerations include product longevity, manufacturer reliability and if there is a product guarantee. Room layouts may change at a later date so the installed lighting solution should be flexible and adaptable to enable the incorporation of lighting controls and other functions in the future. High quality lighting products are built with the future in mind. Good lighting is not about good teaching, it is about effective learning

For more information on all aspects of education lighting, see the dedicated Education Lighting section on the Thorn website: en-gb/solutions/ education-lighting


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