Lighting in the Classroom

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The article below provides information regarding classroom lighting and its link to student performance. Based on a number of formal and informal studies by various researchers and lighting companies, it has been demonstrated that different colors of light can affect student performance.

For example, one study by Brian Liebel et al shows that brighter light with a higher blue content has been linked to higher visual acuity.  This study also indicated a correlation between pupil size and reading performance driven primarily by the spectrum level rather than the level of brightness.

Another study by Mariana Figuerio and Mark Rea showed that short wave blue light can trigger cortisol production in sleep deprived adolescents, which can result in better preparedness and response to stress throughout the day. WalaLight’s LED lighting for schools can help enhance your students’ well-being and academic performance with healthy and productive classroom lighting.

For more information about these two studies, as well as the impact of light in the blue spectrum in educational facilities, read the article below in its entirety…


Lighting in the Classroom

Classroom lighting and student performance are inextricably linked based on studies by a number of researchers and lighting companies. Classroom lighting has been formally and informally researched resulting in conclusions that indicate with different colors of light, student performance can be affected.

Brian Liebel1 et al has demonstrated that using light with a higher blue content or brighter light will shrink the size of the pupil which leads to higher visual acuity. There is a distinct correlation between pupil size and reading performance driven primarily by light spectrum and not brightness. This can be explained by a photo receptor recently discovered called the pRGC with minimal influence from the rods and cones.

Mariana Figueiro2 and Mark Rea have demonstrated that light in the blue spectrum (short wave length light) will trigger cortisol production in sleep deprived adolescents. Adolescents need more sleep than adults, but yet they live on an adult schedule. The result is they tend to arrive at school less prepared for the day. The researchers have concluded that exposure to light in the blue spectrum in the morning will better prepare adolescents for the day ahead. It will help with preparing the body for activity and stress response.

These two studies indicate that light in the blue spectrum, 470 nm, will enhance student performance and prepare them better for the day. The color of this light more closely resembles the color of the blue sky. A color we evolved under and spent much of our day under until the invention of the electric light bulb.

Since the invention of the light bulb, we have gravitated toward light with more yellow in it. Nobody has thought anything of it until the discovery of the ipRGC, (intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells). Since then we have begun to understand how light in different spectrums affects the human body physically and psychologically.

Based on scientific data available today, we believe light in the blue spectrum will enhance student performance and alertness. We recommend light sources 5000k, 6500k, or even 8000k. Any of these can be completed with a simple lamp change out, but do NOT change lamp for lamp. These lamps will appear much brighter than a 3500k or 4100k even though the illumination levels will be exactly the same!

As a teacher in the front of the classroom, you will be the final judge on student comfort and performance with classroom LED lighting. We encourage teachers and school administrators to do a test area and judge the results for themselves. The results will only be antidotal, but if classroom LED lighting helps student performance and attitude, it is a win at very low cost!

  1. Reading speed and Accuracy are Affected by Light Level and Lamp Spectrum, Brian Liebel, Sam Berman, Robert Clear, Rita Lee, Marc Fountain
  2. Short-Wavelength Light Enhances Cortisol Awakening Response in Sleep-Restricted Adolescents, Mariana G. Figueiro, Mark Rea
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