Because of the wide diversity of educational activities and methods appropriate to different groups of learners, lighting design for education is a challenging task. Lighting needs to support an equally diverse range of instructional media and technologies, many of which may be used simultaneously within the same teaching space. Used effectively, lighting can make a school more pleasant and attractive, reinforce a sense of space, demarcate areas for specific activities, and stimulate learning and behavior.Good lighting design for educational facilities is a balance between the following three areas:
Regardless of the space or area being illuminated, the design scheme usually employs a “layered” approach, combining the three basic categories of lighting:
The primary goals of educational facility lighting are:
Help people perform their assigned tasks comfortably and efficiently. Such tasks include:
Given the extensive use of electronic media, especially video projection and computer display screens in classrooms, special attention must be given to providing lighting that controls direct and reflected glare. Inadequate amounts of light cause visual discomfort and can compromise safety. Too much light can also cause visual discomfort and consumes more energy than required. The Illumination Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) provides recommended illuminance levels for educational spaces. Lighting should be controllable, either by automated building control systems or by allowing the occupants to manually vary light levels. Lighting illuminance levels in the spaces should be controlled based on the availability of natural daylight by incorporating “daylight harvesting” technologies. A controls strategy will pay for itself in both direct in indirect benefits such as: reducing utility costs, reducing heat load on HVAC systems, reducing carbon footprint, extending lamp life and reducing maintenance costs.
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