Tunable White Lighting & Controls are Making the Grade in the Classroom

July 20, 2017 Acuity News

Tunable lighting and control systems can save schools money. And they can also spark student attention and understanding.

And when all of those benefits are realized, Tunable lighting earns an A+ with teachers, administrators, students and parents.

That’s certainly the case at the Brooklyn, Guernsey and Malcom Community School (BGM) in rural Brooklyn, Iowa. As detailed in this new Acuity case study, Tunable lighting technologies installed in several classrooms are having a positive impact on student productivity, mood and concentration, while generating 45 percent or more in energy savings. 

Using Tunable White Lighting and nLIght® controls from Acuity, BGM replaced fluorescent lighting in four pre-K and kindergarten classrooms and static white light in two high school classrooms. The results were dramatic, both educationally and operationally.

According to kindergarten teacher Kim Hohensee, “I really believe the lighting makes a huge difference in the learning environment. I love my lights. I … have a classroom of many kindergartners all day long, and no headaches.”

Everything’s under control

Tunable White Lighting is perfect in classroom settings, allowing the light level and color temperature to be adjusted to the optimal setting for student tasks, such as reading, test taking, on-screen viewing or collaborating on assignments. When paired with the nLight option, the user can control lighting color temperature on the same network that manages motion detection, daylight harvesting and dimming – resulting in significant efficiencies.

The nLight control pad has four settings for different types of activities: reading (Tunable White light at 3000K, for relaxation and focus); testing (cool neutral white at 3500K, for concentration), general use (cooler neutral white light at 4200K, for lectures and collaboration); and energizing (cool light at 5000K, similar to daylight, to combat afternoon fatigue).

J.R. Glenn, who teaches middle and high school students at BGM, uses a touch screen to typically set the lighting at 50 to 60 percent in the morning. He dims them when the class needs to focus on a large TV screen or breaks into groups, enabling glare-free lighting that is idea for the situation. As a result, Glenn stated, “Scores are going up.”

Based on initial feedback from students and teachers, and the long-term positive budgetary impact, BGM is in the process of gradually installing lighting upgrades and nLight controls throughout the schools other classrooms and corridors.

“Budgets are always difficult for a K-12 education facility,” said Wes Langfitt of M&M Lighting, which is handling installation. “Having the ability to do it in pieces or when the budget allows makes it a lot easier” for schools.

The right lighting can promote an environment for learning, while smart controls build systems that perform and are incredibly simple to use. Click here to learn more about Acuity’s Education Lighting solutions, or here to see Tunable White Lighting in action. 


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