School leaders have the opportunity to create successful learning environments with lighting. Using the right lighting products improves students’ focus, productivity, and classroom engagement levels.
Most school districts are ranked according to academic performance. The ranking can cause schools to be penalized or rewarded. The savings schools see from an LED lighting upgrade often result in money going back into the budget, which you can use for student initiative programs.
Seven Benefits of an Interior LED Upgrade
1. Improve Students’ Academic Performance
Research indicates LED lighting improves academic performance. A 2016 study looks at the effects light has on two students taking math exams.
One classroom uses traditional fluorescent lighting and the other has LED fixtures equipped with daylighting options. These controls mimic the pattern of natural sunlight throughout the day.
Results from the study indicate students are more alert and have significantly higher test scores when LED lighting with daylight controls is used in the classroom. Additional studies show LED lighting also improves comprehension, concentration, and reading speed, and reduces errors.
2. Regulate Kids’ Circadian Rhythms
Your circadian rhythm is an internal clock that lets your body know when it is time to sleep and wake up. It can even let you when you should concentrate or take a break.
Schools with lighting systems that do not support the body’s natural circadian rhythms can disrupt the wake and sleep cycles of staff and students. It can negatively affect performance and schools may see an increase in absences and late arrivals.
Studies show students are sleeping around two hours less than previous generations. Factors like reduced time in natural sunlight and the use of electronic devices affect natural circadian rhythms. Behavioral issues are a common result of the disruption and the disruption to sleep and wake patterns may also be responsible for the increase in ADHD diagnosis.
3. Reduce Energy Usage and Benefit the Environment
A primary reason school leaders push for an interior LED lighting upgrade is to reduce energy usage costs. Energy usage is one of the largest expenses for school districts and lighting accounts for up to 50% of the costs.
Schools that are still using fluorescent or incandescent lighting can cut their energy bills by as much as 70% by switching to energy-efficient LEDs. In some schools, the original fixtures may not need replacing, only the light source. It can reduce the overall costs associated with an LED lighting upgrade.
The price of LEDs is decreasing and the bulbs last longer than other types of light sources. Most LEDs have a lifespan of around 20 years or 50,000 hours. Maintenance is also minimal with LEDs, providing schools with additional savings.
Reducing energy usage is also beneficial for the environment.
4. Improved Light Quality
Visual issues are common with students. For example, focusing, eye tracking, visual acuity, and perception. An LED lighting upgrade will improve light quality throughout the school. LEDs also minimize glare and flickering lights that can distract both students and teachers.
In addition, studies show fluorescent lighting negatively impacts students with autism. These students are sensitive to subtle changes in lighting. The direct light from fluorescent may also cause eyestrain and headaches. It can also increase students’ repetitive behaviors.
Since LEDs produce a stable stream of light, the fixtures are well-suited throughout the school, including in special education classrooms.
5. Take Advantage of Tunable Lighting Controls
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the future of classroom lighting systems is “a highly energy efficient, fully dimmable, tunable white-lighting system.” It also notes the lighting controls must be easy-to-use and flexible to fit with various teaching methods.
Unfortunately, it is estimated around 2% of classrooms have dimming controls. Most only have on and off switches.
Tunable lighting controls provide teachers with another tool to use in the classroom. The controls can adjust the color temperature to help students relax or gain their attention. The controls allow teachers to adjust the light’s color temperature for specific tasks like using white or smart boards, taking notes, or working on the computer.
Dimming controls also save school districts money on their energy usage costs. LED fixtures with daylight harvesting automatically adjust brightness levels to match the ambient light in the room.
6. Use LEDs to Boost Behavior and Mood
LED lighting systems with adjustable color temperatures can increase concentration, and focus, and promote relaxation. Lighting with adjustable color temperatures can also support students’ health.
Blue (cooler) light temperatures (4100K – 5000K) can help students wake up in the morning. It promotes mental cognition, and learning abilities, and increases comprehension of materials.
Studies also indicate students’ health can be negatively impacted in poorly lit classrooms. It can also affect their mood, inducing feelings of depression. Bright lighting is useful in treating depression by encouraging more upbeat and productive moods.
7. Smart LED Lighting is the Future
LED light fixtures allow districts to create smart schools by using integrated sensors and networking capabilities. Lighting technology is continuing to advance with increased connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming key elements in LED fixtures.
Modern smart LED lighting products can help schools monitor their environment which in turn increases staff and students’ safety.
LEDs in the education sector is not a new concept but many educators don’t know the full extent of an LED retrofit. We have a feed of blogs and news clips that center around the education sector and offer in-depth knowledge on LED retrofit, lighting maintenance, electrical maintenance and even signage. Click here to start reading!
Tips on Starting Your Interior LED Lighting Upgrade
Schools considering an LED lighting upgrade should consider the following,
- Contact a lighting professional to conduct an audit. The audit will include information about energy usage and present the best solution.
- Before beginning the lighting project, hold a mock-up for teachers and staff. It will help familiarize them with the changes.
- Take advantage of lighting rebates. A lighting professional can help you find rebates at the state and federal levels. Your utility provider may also offer financial incentives to schools to upgrade their inefficient lighting.
- Rebates will help reduce project costs, but an LED lighting upgrade comes at an expense. Schools without the necessary funding may want to consider completing the lighting project in stages to break up the costs.
- Choose a time for the LED lighting upgrade. Most school districts select a time when students are out of class. Always work with a lighting professional during the installation process.
Interior LED Lighting Upgrade for Schools
To learn more about why your school should consider an interior LED lighting upgrade, contact us today. Our lighting professionals can conduct an audit, help you create a project plan, and complete the installation in the allotted time frame.