Advances in technology mean times are changing for lighting and revolutionise industries.
We’ve seen many advances in technology over the years, improving and changing environments and industries, but when it comes to making lighting decisions we should be considering future proofing the systems we use.
One of the best examples we can use when discussing future proofing options is educational facilities, where public and private investment carry an expectation of longevity and exceptional service to anyone in education and the wider community. The idea is to specify state of the art systems to set in place now that will be flexible enough to maintain it’s value for decades.
When choosing a future proofing system in an educational environment it must tick the following boxes:
- Value to students
- Value to teachers
- Value to the community
- Enhance the teaching experience
- Cost effective
- Easy to install
- Minimal maintenance
Giving teachers flexibility with classroom lighting – wall controls
The basic concepts of lighting that provide immediate value to the teaching experience include:
- Controls built specifically for teaching activities
- The ability to switch modes to support different media devices used in the classroom i.e projectors / ipads
- Lighting classroom surfaces (white boards)
- Ability to dim down to 10%
In addition to standard traditional lecture style teaching, education today has moved direction and provides a more multi-faceted approach, with activities ranging from project work to small groups of student led presentations. So, bearing this in mind the advancements of lighting have had to change to accommodate needs – meaning the traditional on/off switch is no longer the way forward, in fact, it appears, is now extremely archaic!
The advancements of lighting are helping the advancements in the classroom, so having granular controls have been designed to take into consideration health benefits of students and teachers, to get the best out of everyone, especially in more fluid classroom environments.
New cutting edge concepts are thought to become the norm in the standard classrooms, these may include:
- Colour tuning
- Using lighting to cue behaviour and lesson plans
- Providing app controlled lighting for teachers
- Delivering 1% dimming
- High quality, high-CRI lighting
Across the pond in the States testing tuneable white LED lighting in the classroom is under way and results are expected to be delivered soon – meaning that the education system can take on-board these advancements to implement within their environments to provide the best possible lighting experiences.
Tuneable white LED systems use pairs of LED chips – one that has a warm hue and the other a cooler hue meaning that the lighting systems can be easily controlled. It has been established that requirements for use of this system mean that all luminairies must be energy efficient (120 lm/W).
Future proofing will save time and money in the long run and schools will need guidelines getting started. The installation of LED lighting in the first instance is a start, there are numerous benefits to LEDs least of all longevity, affordability, reducing energy and maintenance costs.