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Student-centred lighting?

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Back to school for the home stretch towards Christmas - and as the days get shorter, around 1 in three of us in northern countries will struggle with some kind of seasonal affective disorder - 'winter blues'. Getting outside - and then coming indoors to good-quality lighting is more important than ever.  

 

Earlier this year, we created a social media campaign to help teens understand the impact of lighting on their health and well-being,  The response was humbling - German teens clicked a video about the impact of blue light on learning over 2.3 times on average, And teens in India were not far behind. They told us they don't buy the lights.  

 

So I've been working with a team of manufacturers, regulators and industry bodies over the past six months to understand the incentives for purchasing decisions in lighting. And then to give those key decision makers the arguments they need to shift the conversation from cost to value - performance, lifetime costs and environmental impact.  We've called the project Luna Pro .

 

Each week, we're focusing on a sector. Education is the first one. Key facts and links are below,

We'll look at the healthcare sector next week, workplace and residential will follow, We will round up the series with a debate at the end of the year in partnership with WELL, Arup, Morgan Sindell, Cundall, Muse Developments, C20, the SLL and the Light Review.  A link to register is here - 

 

Read on for some facts about lighting in schools and a short video. More information is on the Age of Light Innovation site.

 

Best wishes

 

Shelley

 

This research has been supported by:

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Lighting in education - revision notes

 

  • Lighting is just part part of an overall school condition that can improve a students' grades by up to 17 percentile points (report).    

  • 56% of students with Special Educational Needs say lighting can be a problem for focus and concentration (report

  • They are twice as likely as other students to be bullied (report). 

  • 36% SEN have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder vs 8% without learning disability (report)

  • By the time they reach 27, they are 25% less likely to be in sustained employment and 3.7 times more likely to be on out-of-work benefits than their peers here in the UK (report)

  • The 'diet of light' during the day (particularly bright light in the morning) affects quality of sleep at night (report

  •  A sleep-deprived student struggles to focus, and  memory consolidation during deep is fragmented (article).

  • Sleep is also vital for physical growth - the cortical area alone increases over 40% from birth to adulthood (report), 

  • it's also important for hormone regulation and physical repair (report). Bright light is as effective as drugs, perhaps more so, in treating the depression that so many of those students struggle with (report).

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Lighting also affects their ability to see. 

  • Eyes grow 60% from birth to 18 and exposure to daylight can cut their chances of needing glasses by up to 40% (report). 

  • Children with vision issues are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD (report)

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Even if the learning arguments don't cut it, an investment in better lighting can be justified on cost and energy efficiencies alone. 

School buildings are old (average over 40), designed for a world before screens in the classroom. Schools are inefficient (energy rating D or below) and lighting makes up to 20% of their electricity bill (report). Simple occupancy sensors can cut energy use by up to 55% (article), cheap panels cost around the same as expensive ones over time - and the product itself is only around half the final installed cost (interview).

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additional reading