Article originally published Sept 20, 2016, and updated for accuracy and relevance.
There are a lot of variables when it comes to a student’s success in college. Good study habits, passionate teachers, and valuable campus resources all contribute to a positive college experience. But one aspect of campus life that touches students’ lives every day is often overlooked. Believe it or not, a big determinant of campus success is lighting.
The right lighting strategy can dramatically improve daily campus life. These are four ways lighting can either help or hurt students on campus.
The Brightness You Need
Light brightness actually has a physical effect on the body. For students working long hours underneath classroom lights, ensuring the right brightness is critical. Finding optimal brightness is a challenge with fluorescent lights. These lights generally have only one brightness. Lights that are too bright cause eye strain and increase stress. Lights that are too dim stimulate hormones that make us feel sad, tired, and even depressed.
On the other hand, LED lights can easily adjust throughout the day. Natural light is used to supplement artificial lighting. Exposure to more daylight has several benefits for students, including:
- Improved mood
- Lowered fatigue
- Reduced eye strain
Create a More Colorful Experience
Most people don’t realize that the color of light is just as important as the brightness. Generally, artificial lighting has only one color. Different colors of light have different physical effects on the body. Being exposed to one color of bright artificial light can disrupt circadian rhythms. This makes people feel restless at night and tired throughout the day.
With LED lights, you have the flexibility to change colors. A lighting retrofit can include color temperature changes that are proven to increase physical well-being, alertness and productivity. Brightening your campus and streets with colorful LED lights can even improve commutes and increase tourism.
Get out of the Shadows
Sometimes, we appreciate great lighting the most when we find ourselves without it. Indoor and outdoor lighting for an entire college campus comes with its own set of challenges. Dimly lit walkways may cause students and the general public to feel unsafe. Lighting is just as important in a parking lot as it is in a classroom.
Luckily, LED lights provide better light coverage. Minimize shadows to increase confidence when walking across campus. Better lighting also improves the performance of security cameras.
Light the Way to Fewer Distractions
While a student is trying to study or take a test, there’s nothing worse than unnecessary distractions. Flickering fluorescent lamps can disrupt students’ attention. Maintenance personnel changing burned-out bulbs is disruptive to students and teachers alike.
For fewer distractions, upgrade to LED. An LED light lasts about 50 times longer than a typical incandescent bulb.
Better Lighting Means a Better Campus
Campus lighting is something that has a daily impact on student success. LED lights can help your students feel more alert, less distracted and safer. Students face many stresses in college, but poor lighting doesn’t need to be one of them.