Future-proof tunable white lighting is a smart choice for classrooms
The biggest challenge affecting lighting decisions today is future proofing. Choices made today will likely have an impact over the next 20 or perhaps even 40 years.
For example, we can expect the best LED lighting available today to maintain 90% of initial light output for 100,000 hours or more. Compare this to a fluorescent lighting system that needs regular maintenance after only 30,000 hours due to lamp burnouts.
The simple act of choosing an LED system over a fluorescent one alone can begin to reduce lifecycle costs by saving future maintenance costs.
However, the choice of LED over fluorescent is just the beginning. Let’s look at other future-proofing decisions that should be considered when choosing your next lighting system.
The concept of future proofing a space is especially relevant for educational facilities, where public and private investment carry an expectation of longevity and valuable service to children, young adults, and the community at large over several generations. The goal is to specify state-of-the-art systems set in place now that are flexible enough to maintain all their value (by meeting the needs of educators and the community) for decades.
Every future-proof lighting system should create and maintain value for students, teachers, and the school district.
Basic future proofing creates value for teachers by enhancing the teaching experience, and it is cost effective and easy to implement.
FIG. 1. Classroom wall controls give teachers flexibility.
FIG. 1. Classroom wall controls give teachers flexibility. (Source: All images courtesy of Finelite.)
These are the must-have basic concepts that add immediate value to the teaching experience:
• Lighting controls built specifically for teacher activities
• Switching modes to support better viewing of projector and media devices
• Vertical lighting of classroom surfaces (white boards)
• Dimming down to 10%
Education has moved from a predominantly lecture-oriented style to a more multi-faceted approach. Activities range from independent projects to small groups and student-led presentations. These are in addition to traditional lecture-style teaching. All of this often happens in a single classroom, within a single day.