Over the past 15 years, the transition away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting fixtures toward LED technology has been widely embraced for facilities across all business sectors. The clear cost savings associated with LED are all most facility owners need to know to make LED the obvious choice among lighting alternatives.
In recent years, the case for LED lighting has become even stronger. Now, in addition to longer life, lower maintenance, and dramatically lower energy costs, LED lighting delivers advanced control options and color tuning capabilities that open up an entirely new thread when discussing LED’s benefits.
Today’s lighting marketplace offers facility owners the option to select LED lighting with control features that integrate with Internet of Things (IoT) networking and building automation systems to deliver unprecedented levels of operational efficiency.
But beyond the issues of efficient operations and cost-saving measures, there lies another critical point that might just prove to be the most compelling argument yet for LED lighting. Today’s LED lighting fixtures have the ability to actively support the health and wellbeing of building occupants.
This is hugely important for office workers and those who frequently visit commercial facilities. However, this technology has perhaps the most profound impact in schools, where studies have shown that color-tuned LED lighting supports and improves student performance.
Schools and LED Lighting – A Lot to Love
In general, schools have been on board with LED lighting for years now. The very first iterations of LED lighting technology represented a giant leap forward for school administrators focused on operational efficiency.
With fewer fixtures required per square foot, when compared to traditional lighting technologies, LED was an easy case to make from a simple “less is more” point of view. The fact that these fixtures, in lower numbers, required less overall maintenance and repair while delivering dramatically lower energy costs made the argument in favor of LED lighting a slam dunk.
The “downstream consequences” of a switch to LED lighting were almost like icing on the cake. With LED, school maintenance personnel were finally free to stop changing bulbs and focus on more urgent issues on campus. Additionally, brighter, sharper LED lighting raised awareness and improved safety in stairwells and formerly dim passageways, reducing the number of safety incidents during the school year.
So, even before today’s color tuning capabilities became widely available, LED lighting had passionate fans within school administration circles, where operating budgets and safety issues are routinely discussed.
Textbooks, Pencils, Blackboards…Tunable Lighting. What?
The color tuning functionality of modern LED lighting has taken what was once a component of a school’s physical space and turned it into a viable and important educational tool. By definition, therefore, modern LED lighting can rightly be described as a transformational technology.
And it is not just us saying this. Governments, the lighting industry, and the scientific community are all on the same page when it comes to the benefits of tunable LED lighting.
A Quick Look at the Research
The U.S. Department of Energy has looked into the impact of LED lighting on our nation’s classrooms. One government study focused on the ability of tunable LED lighting to assist teachers in controlling the classroom environment to promote specific activities and modes of learning.
Leading LED manufacturer Cree Lighting cites some of the research into tunable LED lighting and student performance. The company mentions one study that looked at oral reading fluency among 84 pupils divided into study and control groups and found that students exposed to optimized lighting started with lower scores and ended with significantly higher scores compared to the control group.
Cree Lighting also published a white paper on the subject entitled “Human Factors – The Impact of Better Light on Education”, in which it makes a powerful argument in favor of human-centric lighting for our nation’s schools. Anyone interested in digging deeper into the subject of lighting’s ability to support normal circadian rhythms and, by extension, more effective education activities should definitely read the Cree Lighting report.
Finally, in a 2018 study published by two researchers from Ball State University, student attitude and behavior were seen to be positively impacted by higher correlated color temperature (CCT) in LED lighting. The Ball State University study concluded that higher CCT resulted in improved alertness, attitude, and energy levels among students in the classroom.
The impact of higher CCT on learning is an active field of research for scientists around the world, but even as definitive numbers are still being developed one thing is clear: teachers love tunable LED lighting in their classrooms. For the teachers lucky enough to have access to this technology, the ability to gently guide attention spans and energy levels has been a real game-changer.
Classrooms of the Future, Today
Tunable LED lighting will be commonplace in school facilities constructed in the coming years. The fortunate teachers and students who roam those halls will never know a day without the built-in advantages of customizable CCT levels.
For everyone else, brighter days and higher scores begin with a lighting upgrade or LED retrofit at your local school. Hopefully, at a time when schools are already focused on ways to improve and upgrade their facilities, the choice to embrace the latest LED lighting technology will be an easy one to make.
Choosing the Right Lighting and Control System
Understanding all the different lighting fixtures and control systems available today can be a daunting task. Many factors impact the final decision to go with one system over another.
The lighting needs of an elementary school are different from the needs of a manufacturing facility, and no one solution is right for every application. That’s why school administrators need a reliable resource to call with questions about the most appropriate lighting options for their particular circumstances.
FSG provides and promotes only the best manufacturers and suppliers of lighting control products and technologies. From independent wireless controls to integrated networked systems, we are constantly evaluating and rating the latest lighting products so you don’t have to.
The size of our national lighting distribution business allows us to leverage our experience with lighting manufacturers and deliver the best products, with the best warranties, to our public and private school customers all across the country.
Our knowledgeable professionals are the ideal guides when determining which solutions will bring you the greatest benefit at the best cost. With our experienced field personnel, proven project managers, and industry-best ongoing support, FSG is committed to helping you provide the best lighting options available for your school.
Call us at (877) 293-6689 or fill out a form today to find out about how tunable LED lighting and control systems can increase your energy savings while providing the students in your care with every advantage.