Modern day technology is bringing the fields of education and technology closer. Changes are being made to classrooms which will improve student learning. One such technology that is being proposed is that of tunable lighting. Such lighting has the feature to change its color according to various settings as it uses CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) technology. The fact that adopting this technology will reduce energy and maintenance costs for schools is evident by education market research reports consulting.
Optimized lighting means being able to provide the right amount of light to help people accomplish their tasks, keep more energized or be more relaxed and comfortable which is why integrated lighting control and shading solutions have become important. Over time educational technology has led to developments in classroom tools but classroom lighting has not been such a prominent sector. Tunable lights have an extensive adaptability to the requirement and have been designed keeping in mind the concept of multifunctionality. LED systems aid the CCTs by providing the ability to vary the power and dimming levels to better support classroom activities. Despite still being in the experimental stage tunable lights are gaining preference. The US Department of Energy’s GATEWAY Program demonstrated this recently by carrying out a trial installation of tunable white LED lighting systems in three classrooms in the Carroliton-Farmers Branch Independent School District in Carroliton, Texas. This provided valuable insights into the use of this technology in a real world setting. Some of the results found were-
- The reduction in input power for the tunable white LED lighting was estimated to be nearly 60%.
- Dimming also helped increase the energy saving in each classroom.
- The varied uses by teachers were recorded by the monitoring system. The effective lighting is clear by the fact that the lighting consistently operated with all or some of the luminaires turned off or dimmed for portions of the school day.
- Colour consistency for the tunable white LED luminaires was very good even over the dimming range with only minor variations in CCT.
- Teachers reported that students were more involved in the learning process and the lighting system improved the overall learning environment.
The research and experiments carried out in Texas are gaining popularity and other institutions are also doing their independent researches. Education business review reveals that Finelite conducted research on classroom lighting and the published findings have been used by Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) to develop best classroom lighting practices. Both CHPS and LEED are highly reputed American green building rating systems the latter of which is the most widely used in the world. This clearly brings out the eco friendly prospects that come along with developing classroom lighting technology.
Tunable lighting has proven through initial tests that it is a smart option for classrooms that will not only improve learning but also prove to be beneficial to both the institution that uses it and the environment. Finelite is being joined by other companies who are trying to develop similar tunable classroom lighting. Interest from green building rating systems only builds on the fact that such lighting is the way forward with the US leading the way.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications