I’ve gone back to school. No, not to re-take exams but as part of my new role at Philips Lighting explaining to head teachers and facilities managers how better light can mean better learning.
The days of being educated under stark fluorescent light are of course still the reality for millions of UK school children and college students. But the latest LED lighting offers options that are more in tune with how we feel as the day goes on, adjusting to the body’s circadian rhythm and delivering a level of light that makes us feel better - and makes it easier to learn.
A number of academic studies have pointed out how changes in lighting can impact everything from concentration to reading speed and even reduce errors, whilst also making us feel either more alert or sleepy. My own personal experience with my 14-year-old daughter is a good example. Keen for some extra cash, she’s now getting up in the dark at 6am to do a paper round. Me and my wife decided to set up a Philips Hue light system in her room so the early starts would be less of a shock. The bedroom light comes on gradually before dawn and she says helps her wake up much more easily.
It’s not just waking up where lighting can influence how we feel. In the context of education, adjustable lighting can also help us learn. At the moment, my day job is taking me to schools and colleges across the UK to introduce the benefits of SchoolVision. It’s an LED lighting solution with a design aligned to the body’s circadian rhythm offering teachers the ability to adjust the light scene to enhance the learning experience. The lighting can be changed into various modes from a presentation setting offering a warmer type of light which is more relaxing for learning to a much brighter white light which works well for those lessons in the darker mornings.