Factors such as environmental conditions, health and wellbeing, and cost-cutting are essential considerations to homes and business, and the education sector is no different. As schools, colleges and universities confront austerity and budget limitations, it is important to understand that the correct lighting has the power to affect moods and productivity within the classroom, but also keeps costs down.
A good lighting design will make the most of available natural light without relying on artificial substitutes. The challenge for designers and installers, however, is to utilise artificial lighting in schools without leading to strained eyes, distractions or any other potential injuries.
LED lighting can deliver huge savings. The life of LED is up to 40 times greater than traditional products. What’s more, they produce consistent light output over their entire life. Not only do they deliver better lighting, they also cost less to run, last much longer and require no maintenance over the lifetime of the luminaire. Inefficient lighting can account for 50 to 70% of the electricity bill. Making the right luminaire choice can reduce existing operating costs by as much as 80% within schools.
Health and safety
The type of lighting products required for somewhere as complex as a school differs immensely to that of a home or small building. Products which are Unified Glare Rating (UGR) compliant are a necessity within a classroom environment.
Due to technology advances in schools, with the inclusion of smart whiteboards and computer screens, LED UGR compliant fittings remove the risk of glare, lowering the possibility of eyestrain leading to headaches. Luceco products, such as the LuxPanel edge lit frame, are highly popular with installers as they provide excellent luminous uniformity.
Quick and easy to install with no maintenance requirements and no visible frame when installed in the ceiling grid, high efficiency LuxPanels are available in standard fixed output, dimmable and emergency options. High efficiency Backlit LuxPanels boast a market-leading efficacy of 152 Lm/cW, providing non-obtrusive but effective lighting in high traffic areas and improved glare control. Similarly, downlights prove a good choice for walkways and corridors as they maximise spacings, producing the correct level of illumination.
Insights show that 80% of new projects in the educational sector now request lighting control systems. The inclusion of wireless lighting and light control devices allows a perfect opportunity to upsell, as the products cut back on cost and light wastage.
Amenity areas such as canteens and break rooms should afford a relaxing space to unwind. Lighting controls can be considered to enhance the flexibility of use according to the natural daylight available and the occupancy of the space. In addition, emergency settings and PIR devices prove to be fundamental as they allow the user to limit the amount of wastage and running costs over quiet periods such as weekends and school holidays. Movement activates PIRs, whereas smart devices that allow for emergency settings can control the lighting levels from a remote location.
It should always remain at the forefront of installers’ and contractors’ minds that lighting plays a vital part within the education sector. Educational buildings should be well lit to stimulate and encourage alertness, whilst supplying a comfortable learning environment. The right products and lighting design can result in a winning combination.
Whether you are new to the trade or have years of experience, it’s important for all contractors and installers to take the time to stay up-to-date with the latest developments within the sector. It will not only offer chances to upsell, but keeps industry knowledge and support avenues fresh in the mind.