by Nelo Neves, Ledvance Managing Director, UK and Ireland.
Lighting is integral to creating a comfortable and energising space for learning. Installations in education facilities should not just encourage an activating environment, but reduce energy and maintenance costs at the same time. At LEDVANCE, we are always looking ahead to design a product portfolio that lends itself to both the current and future needs of educational establishments.
The most recent regulation to impact on lighting in education is the amendment to the RoHS directive. This amendment launched a ban on bringing to market T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps and compact fluorescent lamps with plug-in bases (CFLni). When considering alternative lighting options, this change marks the perfect opportunity for schools to ‘make the switch’ to LED lighting and automated systems. LEDVANCE offers a range of LED retrofit and conversion options to support this change and ensure facilities managers are keeping in line with the regulations. However, there’s a number of additional benefits that educational spaces can secure with an LED upgrade.
Human centric lighting HCL
When considering the benefits of automated lighting systems to their spaces, facilities managers will generally note convenience and cost benefits. However, these systems can have an additional positive impact on wellbeing and productivity, as automated systems provide the valuable opportunity to adapt lighting to the circadian rhythms of students and staff.
The circadian rhythm is our 24-hour body clock that governs natural cycles of activity and rest by managing hormone levels. Humans are known to be heavily influenced by variations in natural light throughout the course of the day. A human oriented lighting concept uses smart controllable LED lighting systems to simulate the characteristics of natural daylight, combining the visual and non-visual biological effects of light through changing colour temperatures and illuminance levels.
Artificial light that synchronises with our circadian rhythms is proven to make us happier, healthier and more productive. It has been scientifically proven that spaces which use human centric lighting systems increase student wellbeing, concentration and performance during the day, improve the quality of sleep at night, and helps reduce sickness. Therefore, an automated lighting system with HCL programming will not only illuminate a school facility, but support the wellbeing of everyone within it, including students and staff.
The education sector is particularly well suited for the use of HCL because lessons in most educational institutions start at similar times in the morning. The room layout, the incidence of light, the arrangement of the furniture and the students’ and teachers’ lines of vision are usually also very similar – which makes conditions virtually ideal for a wide-ranging use of HCL.
Light management systems
To take full advantage of HCL lighting, facilities managers need to install IoT-controlled systems that adapt to students’ circadian rhythms. Whether controlled using Bluetooth, Zigbee or an app solution, IoT lighting solutions are a welcome alternative to touching shared surfaces after the pandemic, as well as a reliable means of reducing costs and saving energy in an education facility.
LEDVANCE’s own IoT system, VIVARES, makes adapting an existing school building to automated lighting very simple. Commissioning is done through the VIVARES portal with the support of QR codes. The system is configured and commissioned on site after installation of the components, using the VIVARES DALI commissioning app. The self-explanatory user guide makes commissioning extremely quick and easy – thanks to predefined rooms and situations via drag and drop. The system is ideal for modernising existing buildings where rewiring is often not an option, for example when a building is listed or has no suspended ceilings. LEDVANCE offers the necessary components and a well-assorted selection of compatible LED luminaires which allow the system to provide energy-saving lighting in existing buildings, ranging from small lighting projects to complete floor solutions. One such product is the Panel Comfort 600 with UGR<19. Besides offering CRI90 and up to 122 lm/W. This is a high-performance panel that offers impressive versatility due to its selectable CCT and power steps on its driver. Even after commissioning, expanding a LEDVANCE luminaires system with additional components is a simple task. Monitoring the health of the system is just as easy thanks to cloud services.
Just as schools must equip their students for the challenges of the future, facilities managers must adopt lighting solutions that are ready to embrace the latest innovations. When it comes to the lighting for education, let LEDVANCE teach you a thing or two!