A simple change in lighting can improve your students’ performance. In the past classrooms used fluorescent fixtures that only emitted one color of light that ranged from warm to cool white, without any changes throughout the day. This didn’t align itself with a natural lighting cycle and so it had many negative consequences on students’ mental and physical wellbeing. Today’s tunable white lights can mimic the natural light cycle, emitting various shades of white light that are controlled by a remote or a switch on your wall. Not only will this save you energy, it’ll also help your students be more alert and better able to concentrate, which will improve their test scores and reduce their hyperactivity.
Understanding the Natural Lighting Cycle
Throughout the day light changes from warm white in the morning to natural white in the afternoon. It then returns to a natural white before becoming an ultra-warm white at the end of the day. Our bodies are used to this light cycle, which is why artificial lighting is known to throw off our circadian rhythm. This is the physical, mental and behavioral cycle your body follows on a 24-hour period as it responds to light and darkness.
Different types of light trigger different physiological effects, including:
- Blue and white are like midday light which suppresses melatonin and increases serotonin making it great for activity.
- Red and orange light triggers the melatonin you need for sleeping.
When your circadian rhythm is working, you’ll generate enough dopamine, serotonin, cortisol, and melatonin throughout the day. However, when it’s off you’ll develop sleeping disorders, irritability, and illnesses.
Things That Matter in the Classroom
Classroom LED lighting can help students stay awake so that they can perform well. Having the right amount of blue-rich light in the morning can also help keep students from staying up too late. Of course, this will cause students to perform poorly academically. On the other hand, high-CCT white lighting can help students stay more alert so that they read faster, make fewer mistakes, and aren’t so hyperactive.
Another thing that also matters is different CCTs because they create physiological patterns of arousal and relaxation. Studies using electrocardiograms (ECG) show cool white light arouses and warm white light relaxes people. Of course, both are needed throughout the day. For instance, students perform better on tests when they have 6500K cool white light instead of fluorescent light fixtures. On the other hand, warm white classroom LED lighting is best for recess.
Benefits of Tunable Classroom LED Lighting
With tunable lighting being used in the classroom teachers can mimic daylight cycles and if the classrooms are used at night, they can mimic these cycles too. One study found that by doing so students were able to finish tests 20% – 30% faster than those who don’t have as much exposure to natural lighting. Other studies showed a 7% improvement in test scores for the same student population.
Tunable white classroom LED lighting has proven itself in a variety of studies. This is why many people believe schools should invest in it today. Doing so would help them create a helpful, caring environment that’s conducive to successful learning. These classrooms would also help create mentally and physically healthy individuals because they’d have what their bodies needed. This is as easy as providing lighting that supports the suppression of melatonin until it’s nighttime – when melatonin becomes necessary. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult to do when you have installed tunable classroom LED lighting. If you need some help choosing the right classroom LED lighting for your room, contact America’s Best LED. They’ve helped many highly satisfied clients find exactly the right lighting to fit their needs over the years. You should be next.
Picture Credit: Wokandapix