LED Lighting for Schools and Educational Facilities
Help kids and young adults stay focused and obtained greater education by installing higher quality educational LED lighting fixtures.
Schools and educational facilities from K-12 schools to college campuses require proper illumination that is suited for its students for learning and removing distractions; all while reducing operating costs and remaining within budget. Our LED educational lighting fixtures do all of the above by offering high quality light that uses less energy than other lighting technologies.
LED Indoor Fixtures for Schools and Classrooms
2X4 Panels and Troffers
Magnetic Strip Retrofit Kit
LED Troffer Retrofit Kits
UFO LED High Bays
Linear LED High Bay Fixtures
High Power LED High Bays
LED Outdoor Fixtures for Schools
High Power Stadium Lights
Replace 250W HID Shoebox Fixtures
Replace 400W HID Shoebox Fixtures
Replace 1000W HID Shoebox Fixtures
LED Shoebox Retrofits
Flood LED Wall Packs
Semi Cutoff LED Wall Packs
Full Cutoff LED Wall Packs
LED Wall Packs with Photocell
LED Lights For School Classrooms
Places of learning have their own set of unique lighting challenges, which can be addressed by evaluating a lot of factors. To adequately light these learning environments, one has to take into consideration the available natural light and the types of tasks being carried out in the space.
It is also essential to pay consideration to the lighting technology in use within the school and the surfaces that require lighting in that environment for visual clarity.
In the 50s, natural lighting dominated schools’ lighting design. There was a time-honored relationship between a classroom's dimensions and its window sizes. But with time, electric power costs went on a decline and daylighting took a back seat as lighting designers took advantage of the flexibility electric lighting provided.
Studies now show that students who learn under natural lighting achieve up to 18% better test scores than those who learn under low levels of natural lighting. Natural light has been shown to provide physiological and physical benefits to both students and school workers. The standard, therefore, is to use natural lighting as far as possible and incorporate artificial lighting where necessary.
In many cases, extensive use of natural lighting may be limited by a building's architectural constraints. This limitation has for years left schools at the mercy of outdated, UV-emitting, flickering, and humming fluorescent lights that not only create visual discomfort but also cause disabling glare.
In schools where daylighting is possible, there has to be an economical and healthy balance of natural and artificial lighting to ensure that the same undesirable effects of glare and visual discomfort are absent.
The Negative Effects of Fluorescent Lighting in Schools
Fluorescent lighting is not only an irritant, it can adversely affect people who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, migraines, and autism. The U.S Department of Energy says that amongst its many effects, this light source has also been linked to a wide range of health problems including blurred vision, fatigue, headaches, a reduction in performance, and eyestrain.
Many fluorescent light manufacturers have claimed that they have eliminated the issue of flickering in their bulbs, but most medical experts feel that the adverse side effects of this lighting technology cannot be removed by a reduction in flickering. Child psychiatrist, Dr. Victoria Dunkley, wrote an article on Psychology Today saying that it will pay to err on the side of caution rather than expose children to lighting environments that can affect them negatively.
Dr. Dunkley stresses that florescent lighting induces a stress response caused by how the light signals hit the retina of the eye. Fluorescents emit a color spectrum classified as 'spiky' which is confusing to the brain's ability to process colors correctly.
Top Benefits of LED Lights in Schools
LED school lighting, unlike fluorescent lighting, can enhance a school's learning environment, helping children to feel safer in school. These lights can also create healthy indoor and outdoor spaces for learning and creative expression and strengthen a school's reputation and brand.
The energy efficiency of LED lights, plus their many other benefits, make them perfect choices for a school's lighting system. They help create an environment conducive to learning and have no toxic materials in them. These solid state lighting fixtures are becoming more affordable, energy-efficient, and sophisticated by the day and are very easy to use.
These days, a lot of emphasis is being placed on the impact of building design on human health. LEDs and their ease of integration with lighting control technology can go a long way towards helping build a healthy environment for all school staff and students.
Forward-thinking, tunable LED lighting is the future of efficient school lighting systems. LEDs with flexible controls and tunable white light help create an ideal learning atmosphere that allows adjustable light color temperatures for optimal classroom lighting for specific activities.
LEDs have a color spectrum that closely resembles the sun's natural spectrum with minimal spikes. Flicker-free LED school lights are better not only for their prowess in lighting, but for the safeguarding of the health of every person in the school.
The Lighting Needs of a School
- Adequate lighting that promotes visibility and ease of learning
- Task lighting for various school activities such as art, sports, or scientific experiments
- Dimming abilities for technology and media viewing rooms
- Target illumination for presentation areas, chalk, or whiteboards
- Visual comfort for all users
- Aesthetics that promote the school's brand
- Sustainable lighting that is efficient yet kind on the environment
The entrance hall is the center of communication and information for the school's staff, visitors, and pupils. In many modern schools, the entrance hall is also the area where school plays, assemblies, and exhibitions are held.
These multifunctional spaces require lighting that caters to these activities and creates a welcoming and exciting ambiance as well. The lighting design should give the entrance hall some structure and make it inspiring.
The stairs on entrance halls in modern school buildings are great spots for informal meetings and class rallies. They give the school lobby character, too. Because of the high traffic experienced in these spaces, their lights are on for a significant part of the day. For years, these spaces have relied on T8 and T12 fluorescent tube lighting.
But this source of light is not energy efficient, hums, and also flickers. These tubes also contain mercury, have poor light quality, a short lamp life, and are not dimmable. LED-Tubes have quickly replaced them, giving school entries high-quality lighting and light control capabilities to help save on energy and create the right ambiance for different activities.
Thanks to the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, there has been a significant push to do away with inefficient lighting systems. Outdated lighting technologies like fluorescent technology are slowly being phased out as LED products replace traditional light sources.
LED-Tube lights are not only energy-efficient, they are also perfect for school hallways, classrooms, ICT suites, and libraries – and offer incredible savings on energy costs of up to 75%. These tubes will also eliminate maintenance and overhead costs by up to 95%. Their flexibility is what makes them so suitable, even for entrance halls.
They combine perfectly with daylight sensors to provide additional energy savings. When used together with dimmers, the lights can be toned down for plays, exhibitions, or films. For exhibitions, vertical LED luminaires can be used to provide fantastic background lighting and attract the public's attention as well.
Narrow-beamed LED spotlights or broad-beamed LED flood-lights can also accentuate work put on display or increase dramatic effects for theatrical plays.
Entrance halls are often beehives of activity as students run in and out through the narrow openings. Since the level of activity is quite high, at least 200 luxes are required for sufficient illumination. Being transition areas from indoor to outdoor lighting (and vice versa), the high levels of illuminance will assist the eyes to adjust from strong daylight to lower artificial light levels.
Areas adjacent to these spaces can do with 100 lux, but locations with stairs or where students congregate may also require high illuminance levels.
Lighting Requirements For Entrance Halls
|Area||Lux level in Em||Rating of glare in UGRL||Color rendition in Ra||Color uniformity in U0|
|School entrance hall||200||22||80||0,40|
The Lights Used in School Entrances and Stairwells
In these 2 places, fluorescent lamps were once used. But these days, they have been replaced by LED-Tubes which are more energy-efficient, low-maintenance, and high-performance.
This plug and play or ballast compatible LED-Tube will replace a fluorescent tube without the need for circuit changing in a fixture. Its straightforward replacement makes it very desirable to many users because it needs no rewiring. This LED-Tube model is also much newer on the market. But there’s something important worth noting: its ballast causes it to consume more power than other LED-Tubes. This means that although it has cheaper initial costs, its total cost of ownership will be higher over time. Ballast compatible LED-Tubes work with selected ballast types. This means that if your school's existing ballasts are not compatible with this plug and play LED-Tubes, you will be significantly inconvenienced. Ballasts also have limited lifespans and require constant replacements. To replace the ballasts, the light fixtures may have to be disassembled for access, increasing your lighting maintenance costs –especially for large installations.
Also known as a direct wire tube light, a ballast bypass LED-Tube is the least expensive of all LED Replacement-Tubes, and also the oldest. It does not require a ballast to operate, and using it necessitates the removal of the ballast in a light fixture and the replacement of a shunted socket with the non-shunted type. The removal of fluorescent ballasts may call for the services of a licensed electrician, but the future benefits far outweigh this minor inconvenience. For one, your school will no longer have to deal with failed ballasts. And once the lights are up and running, they will only require replacement after their long life cycle (50,000-100,000 hours) is up. The ballast bypass LED-Tube bypasses the ballast and runs off the line voltage. This is a potential hazard because the line voltage can be as high as 227V for commercial lines. These LED-Tubes, therefore, have UL certifications to ensure that they are safe to use once installed.
These replacement LED-Tubes can work with ballasts or bypass them if need be – or if the ballasts die. They work well with T8 ballasts and can be used to replace T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes, lowering energy and maintenance costs.
While these tubes are expensive to install, they are also the least problematic when it comes to installation. They make perfect replacements for all kinds of fluorescent technology. Their setup is pretty easy, all an electrician needs to do is remove the older T8 or T12 fluorescent tube and replace it with the universal ballast compatible LED-Tube. While their installation costs are pretty steep, they save more on energy, provide better and higher-quality light, and last longer than their fluorescent counterparts. But since the ballasts are left in the light fixtures, they will pose a maintenance challenge.
The Lighting Requirements of a School’s Classrooms
High-quality classroom lighting can do more than brighten the learning space and help learners to see better. According to research, well-designed classroom lighting has a positive influence on learners and enhances their well being. Lighting can help increase or decrease focus and alertness.
The human body has a circadian rhythm that is very sensitive to the light spectrum visible to the eye, especially the blue wavelengths in their varying intensity and levels. This rhythm informs our body when to sleep or wake up, with blue light triggering wakefulness and orange-tinged dusky light triggering the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. Learners and staff who are continually exposed to artificial white light rich in blue wavelengths all day and night may develop a lot of physiological disturbances. The effects will range from sleep and waking disturbances, metabolism, eating patterns, mental alertness, mood patterns, hormone production, mood changes, and immune system disturbances.
Most artificial lighting used in school environments produces more blue light than the sun does at sunset. But some solid-state lighting can be dimmed and tuned to avail circadian or human-centric lighting. This type of lighting adjusts to the rhythms of students in indoor spaces.
The LED School Lights Ideal for Classrooms
LED panel-lights make great substitutes for the existing fluorescent ceiling lights. They are slim, have a straight edge, and require less space to install. LED-Troffers, on the other hand, are mainly rectangular-shaped fixtures designed for modular dropped ceilings. They do need more installation space but have different style options. Older generation fluorescent troffers were always a lighting nightmare. Their low quality of light, coupled with their high maintenance costs and excessive flickering, has quickly seen them replaced with innovative LED technology. Today, a large part of the troffer market in the U.S comprises LED-Troffers and their LED flat panel equivalents.
A U.S. Department of Energy report stated that LED-Troffer retrofits can save schools 25% more on energy costs compared to fluorescents. These lights have a rated life of 50,000 to 100,000 hours, which translates to lower maintenance costs. LED flat panels and troffers have a 0-10V dimming capacity, enabling the integration of centralized dimming controls and daylight harvesting technology. They also pair well with occupancy sensor units and emergency back -up mechanisms.
LED-Troffers These lighting fixtures are designed to replace older fluorescent troffers. They provide durability and energy efficiency and are usually recessed into the ceiling. They lessen light wastage and emit more lumens and come in volumetric style units, lensed units, and architectural grade units. There are also more traditional-looking LED-Troffers with louvers and lenses to ensure that there is a LED-Troffer replacement for every fluorescent troffer in use today.
LED Flat Panels These have a sleek, thin, and unique profile and provide equal light distribution as older generation troffers when fitted in drop ceiling grids. Their lumen output beats that of fluorescent troffers and they are available in 2 styles: edge-lit panels and direct-lit panels.
LED Flat Panel Retrofits These lights can be retrofitted into older troffer fixtures in 15 minutes tops. They offer powerful lighting that is free of glare.
LED-Troffer Retrofit Kits These light sources are very easy to install. You can switch from older fluorescent lighting to high-quality LED lighting in less than 10 minutes. They work best where the removal of old troffers is not an option, offering ease of installation.
LED-Tubes LED-Tubes that perfectly replace fluorescent tubes are designed to replace T8, T10, and T12 tubes in classroom environments. They have a bi-pin configuration and all that's required is to bypass or remove the existing ballasts to send the voltage directly to the LED-Tubes.
The Lighting Requirements of School Gymnasiums
School gymnasiums lit by sluggish, old high bay fluorescent lighting and Metal Halide High Bays force students to wait for them to come on is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Today, thanks to LED school lights, a gymnasium can be instantly illuminated the moment a light switch is turned on. Most school gyms have relied on aged 400W metal halide high-bay lights that are not only inefficient at energy consumption, but also require recurring maintenance.
MH lamps need a warm-up time of 5-15 minutes to attain their full lighting potential and are often left to operate all day, even when their light is not needed. When switched on, these lamps generate a lot of shadows and dark sports which negatively affect sporting activities.
Metal halides also tend to buzz and flicker as their lifespan lessens and their replacement costs can get quite high. Gyms have high ceilings and are designed for high-impact activities (think basketball). And besides being venues for sporting activities, many school gyms are multipurpose spaces used as assembly halls and community meeting spaces.
High-quality gym lighting must be flexible. It must be bright enough for high-intensity sports and gentle enough for meetings and ceremonies. This extremely flexible lighting required by gyms is not possible with metal halide lamps.
Gymnasium Lighting High Bays
- Due to their high ceilings, gyms require powerful, economical and energy-efficient lighting solutions. LED high-bays virtually eliminate high lighting maintenance costs.
- High bay led lights for gymnasiums deliver full light output on demand. They require no warm-up time and have no restrike period.
- LED lighting eliminates all dark spots and bright spots in a gymnasium with its uniform light. These lights are perfect for lighting up sports events.
- LEDs are solid state lighting devices and are sturdy enough to withstand the high abuse environment of a gym. They have no delicate glass parts or filament wires that may shatter when hit by balls, objects, or other sporting equipment. These lights have less need for die-cast aluminum housings that shield the older generation lighting fixtures.
- Sometimes, gyms require dimmable lights. LEDs have a wide dimmable range and work perfectly with a myriad of light control technologies. Their luminosity can be adjusted according to the type of activity happening in the space. Energy consumption can be further lowered through the use of occupancy sensors or daylight sensors which automatically switch off the fixtures when there is no need for light.
- Great gymnasium lighting should eliminate glare and the blinding effect that reflective gym walls can cause. MH and HPS high-bays used in gyms often require parabolic reflectors to direct majority of the light downwards. HID lights are naturally multi-directional and require these reflectors to shield the light's arc from the spectators’ eyes. TV cameras need higher luminance than the human eye to correctly capture footage. Reflectors must be placed just right so as not to blind the spectators, players, or the fans back home. LED high-bay lights will lessen these rigorous processes and eliminate light pollution.
- Gyms can be very dusty environments. These areas require dust proof LED high-bays that are not affected by dust like HID lamps.
The energy saving prowess of LED high-bay lights is extraordinary.
On their own, they can save up to 75% on energy costs. In addition, they double a gym’s light levels and also have brilliant color rendering capabilities. The most common traditional gymnasium light fixture has been the 400W MH high-bay light fixture.
A 400W metal halide high-bay consumes 454W of power, thanks to its ballast. If only 24 of these lights are installed in a gym, they will require a whopping 10,896 kW for every hour they operate. Compare this consumption to that of 150W LED high-bays (which make perfect replacements for these lamps). These lights will only consume 3,600 kW per hour. It’s very clear that LED high-bays are built for the modern school gym lighting needs.
The Lighting Requirements of School Laboratories
Science labs in schools are perfect for practical learning and complement the theoretical subjects taught in class. A well-lit science lab is crucial for safety, visibility, fun, and the accuracy of experiments.
High-quality lighting in labs increases the students’ concentration and comfort as well. Dialogue and communication are 2 big factors in labs. Proper lighting makes the lab a safe environment by ensuring that the students can read all hazard signs and safety warnings. It also helps prevent accidents like spillage of lab agents or trips and falls. High-quality lighting minimizes the mistakes that are made in experiments, because instructions will be easier to follow. Students will be able to follow all the steps in the procedures because there will be adequate task light. This will produce accurate and repeatable results, the epitome of well-done science experiments. It is also easier to read results accurately in well-lit labs.
For a long time, school laboratories relied on fluorescent lamps for illumination. But amongst their many downsides, fluorescents flicker and their light is not tunable like that of LED lights. LED light is glare-free and is perfect for both overhead lighting and task lighting in school labs. LEDs also render colors better than fluorescents, a requirement critical for visual experiments in the lab. Their direct current technology allows for integration with dimmers and light control systems such as room vacancy sensors and daylight sensors. LED lights have powerful heat sinks that prevent heat from being dispersed into the controlled environment of a lab. They emit much less infrared energy than other light bulbs and can therefore be used as under-cabinet task lamps, positioned away from heat-sensitive chemicals. LED task lights come in small sizes to provide user-controlled lighting at the benches for lower lighting requirements. Laboratories require lighting that is not only robust but has the right IP rating to withstand spills and chemical splashes. The LED school lighting panels in use should also have the recommended color temperature of 4100K-5000K. The lights should also be tunable.
The Lighting Requirements of School Dining Areas
Many schools underestimate the impact their dining spaces have on student motivation. Dining in school has for a long time had negative connotations to it, forcing menu upgrades and the introduction of healthy whole foods. The dining experience, however, involves more than just food. Breaks that are reserved for refreshments and meals provide relaxation, and children require an excellent environment to rest. Dining areas are also high-activity spaces and require high levels of light.
The areas adjacent to the kitchen must have the right IP graded and IK rated fixtures because the lights have to endure the rigorous health and safety protocols required of food handling facilities. The lighting in the food canteen and dining areas should replicate daylight as much as possible. Dimmable warm white LED-panels, recessed LED downlights, and LED pendants are the perfect lighting fixtures for these spaces. Modern LED pendant lights are not restricted by bulbs and can take on shapes and sizes never seen before in the lighting design industry. LED pendant-lights can easily resemble sculptural art to create a dining space’s focal point whereas rows of mini LED pendant lights with ultra slim profiles can provide bright, focused light directly onto the dining spaces below them. LED pendant-lights use 75% less energy than traditional dining room lights and help keep the school dining area cool. These beautiful lights last up to 10 times longer than conventional light sources and have eye-catching designs that are bound to change the look of any space.
LED recessed down-lights are modern and unobtrusive, suitable for the dining environment. They are usually recessed into a building's ceiling and shine their light down on the surfaces below. They are a great alternative to old halogen spotlights. LED recessed down-lights come in a wide range of attractive finishes, ranging from white trim blends to chrome-effect finishes. These add a touch of elegance to a school's dining area. LED down-lights can be retrofitted into older fixtures to offer their energy efficiency benefits.
Lighting Requirements for School Dining Areas
|Area||Lux level in Em||Rating of glare in UGRL||Color rendition in Ra||Color uniformity in U0|
The Lighting Requirements of School Study Halls and Libraries
Libraries and study halls are quiet spaces for individual and group learning activities. The lights used in these spaces –overhead, task, and shelf lights – must create an environment conducive to studying. The lighting in a library should help make it more navigable by illuminating books and shelves. The vertical luminance for libraries should be 200 lux.
To ensure uniformity of lighting, the color rendering index of the light sources should be above 80. The study areas in a library should have at least 500 luxes. Task lights for reading stations are also required. LED light fixtures will help prevent eye strain which can sometimes be a problem for those studying for long hours. They will eliminate shadows, dark spots, bright spots, and glare, providing even illumination even on the aisles. LED library lights can be coupled with occupancy sensors to ensure that lights stay on for night studying and are automatically turned off in unused areas. These lights can also be paired with dimmers which regulate the light intensity depending on the time.
Lighting Requirements for Libraries
|Area||Lux level in Em||Rating of glare in UGRL||Color rendition in Ra||Color uniformity in U0|
|Library study area||500||19||80||0,60|
LED School Lighting for Exterior Spaces
The faculty staff and students need to feel protected and safe when coming in or going out of the school. This is where LED exterior lights come in. The most common LED school lights for outdoor spaces are:
These three are all LED area lights. LED area lights offer better performance than HID area lights. For instance, LED shoebox -lights and wall-packs work well with photosensors (photodetectors) which switch off the lights when there is enough daylight and switch them back on at dusk. This makes the lights very energy efficient and easy to control.
LED area lights for schools can also work with passive infrared sensors to detect motion and provide light when it is required. LED shoebox-lights are perfect for areas that need wide-angle, intense light. They are the ideal accompaniment for surveillance cameras, thanks to their high color rendering abilities. They are eco-friendly, energy efficient, and built sturdily to withstand the cold, heat, dusty and wet outdoor environment.
LED wall-pack lights, on the other hand, are installed on building walls or building perimeters. They are powerful and generate uniform light in a school exterior, eliminating shadows and dark spots to ensure the school is kept safe and secure.
LED flood-lights are typically used in outdoor sports venues and other areas that require bright, powerful light.
Vital Considerations for LED School Lighting
Some LED lights don’t have just one color temperature, they have several. They can be easily controlled to suit learning environments. Their light can be changed from bright, to cool, to warm, a feat that was impractical in the past with a single luminaire. LEDs can achieve this without sacrificing their performance and create an environment that’s perfect for learning.
What Is Color Temperature?
Color temperature describes the coolness or warmness of a light source. In a white LED light, the color temperature indicates the color tint of the light. There are different shades of white when it comes to LED lighting. Warm white, for example, has a yellowish tint while cool white has a bluish tint. In between these two extremes lies daylight white, the whitest light of them all.
A more accurate system that defines color temperature is the correlated color temperature (CCT) system, which gives measurements in Kelvins. While light has no temperature per se, color temperature can be compared to the effect heat has on a block of metal.
For example, iron, when heated, changes color according to the temperature it is heated to. When hot, it glows red hot and turns orange as it heats up. When iron heats to 2,700º Kelvin, its glow is yellowish. 2700K CCT is therefore referred to as warm white.
Higher Kelvin temperatures between 3500K and 4100K are cool white or bright white color temperatures. Daylight color temperatures are 5000K–6500K. Cool light and daylight are excellent for visual tasks because they produce better contrast than warm light.
Optometrists did a study on the visual effects of color temperature on school children under three different lighting scenarios. In the first setup, they used a 5500K white light, in the second, they used a 3500K light, and in the last, they used a 5500K light at half the intensity.
Carrying out reading and vision tests, the optometrists discovered that children perform better under lights with a color temperature of 5500K. Under this light, the pupils of the eyes were more constricted, resulting in high visual acuity and better vision.
With tunable LED lighting, the classroom lights can be set to 5500K for tests then set to 4000K for class discussion or group activities. The 3500K color temperature can be set to calm the class occupants down after lunch or during recess.
LED lights truly take classroom lighting to new levels. Unlike traditional fluorescent lighting that is controlled by one on-off switch on a wall, and whose lighting has a fixed Kelvin temperature, LED lights are very versatile. For elementary classes, for example, LED lighting can be set to a warm temperature suitable for a nap or relaxation.
LED technology can be adjusted to increase energy efficiency, control flexibility, optical control, and many other capabilities. It is encouraged that LED adoption goes hand in hand with lighting controls adoption. The Collaborative for High-Performance Schools (CHPS) program promotes the best light control practices, such as vacancy or occupancy sensing and daylight responsive light controls in the classrooms.
The sensor, for example, should turn off the lights automatically after 30 minutes of vacancy in the space. If the said sensor automatically turns the lights back on, it must perform bilevel switching –which is turning on the lights at 50% or less lighting power. There should also be a manual switch installed at a classroom's entrance to control all general lighting.
Daylight controls, on the other hand, should be installed where sunlight is present. They should also respond to bilevel switching, continuous, or step dimming processes.
CHPS lighting solutions also allow the teacher to control whiteboard lighting (if present) separately from the general lighting. The occupancy sensor time delay can also be overridden during written tests periods. Wireless, simple-to-install and easy-to-use controls should be kept in mind when retrofitting classroom lighting.