When considering lighting solutions for educational buildings, many important aspects can easily be overlooked whilst attempting to balance financial goals with ideal learning environments.
Every premises is unique, making it impossible to engineer a lighting template that suits all schools, colleges and universities. A carefully considered lighting design that utilises quality LED luminaires alongside basic lighting controls will cater for the diversity whilst providing a pleasant, dynamic atmosphere. The introduction of lighting controls will ensure energy savings, daylight harvesting, comfort, versatility and specification compliance.
Utilising all available daylight is critical to creating a stimulating environment that positively impacts students and staff alike. The balance between natural and artificial lighting, goes a long way in keeping the body clock harmonised with the day and maximising concentration levels and learning abilities.
Limiting the amount artificial light dependant on the available daylight is achievable by the use of photocells that monitor the daylight contribution, these are programmed to dim the light fitting closest to the windows allowing the other fittings to maintain the overall illuminance and lighting uniformity. The fittings close to the interactive teaching boards can be simply dimmed by a push to make switch, allowing the teacher to have full control and reduce the light whilst using the board. In order to only utilise the lights when the room is occupied, a movement detector can be utilised alongside a retractive switch, this will enable the lights to be switched on upon entry and remain on whilst presence is detected.
Whilst the horizontal and vertical illuminance levels are important, the lighting designer needs to consider the cylindrical illuminance too. Teaching is a mobile interactive activity, by considering the cylindrical illumination on the pupils faces you ensure that there will be a good level of visual communication with the teacher. This will require good uniform lighting from all directions whilst ensuring that horizontal illuminance levels are between 300-500lux and UGR is below 19.
Combining low energy LED downlighters with presence detectors commissioned to a minimum on time after last activation gives an elegant solution to communal and WC areas, whilst ensuring compliance and energy saving.
Sport Halls will need to host many sporting activities and in most cases be used as exam halls. Due to the vast variance in lighting levels required, a conventional switching system does not provide an ideal solution. By introducing a simple scene plate that has multiple scenes and dimming capabilities, the areas can be commissioned to cater for all these activities without heavily impacting the budget.