Our Industrial Ph.D. fellow, lighting designer Imke Wies van Mil, recently finished a research project on the benefits of using focused artificial lighting in school buildings. Initially, she installed pendant lamps in four classrooms at the Frederiksbjerg public School in Aarhus, Denmark. This was to research whether they had an effect on the children’s behavior.
Pendants are a local-focused light source (meaning a non-uniform distributing of light) creating significant differences between relatively dark and light areas in the room. At Frederiksbjerg School, the pendants formed zones with concentrated lights compared to the more homogenous industrial ceiling lights, and after 8 months, we have measured a significant impact on the children’s ability to focus and concentrate.
In 75 % of the learning situations measured by Imke, the noise is reduced by 1-6 decibel.
“In all our measurements, we have seen a distinct decrease in the pupils’ noise level. This particularly benefits the children who struggle to concentrate the most,” Imke Wies van Mil says.
“It is important for us to give children and their teachers the ability to change the lighting settings according to preferences and the learning situation. These results confirm that there are good reasons to look into other lighting solutions than the ones the building industry often resort to with ceiling lights. Diversity in artificial lighting is just as important as diversity in daylight, and artificial lighting also has a lot to offer in regards to indoor climate, if used right,” she continues.
The project is conducted in a cooperation between Henning Larsen, Aarhus Municipality, Frederiksbjerg School, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Technical University of Denmark, Sweco, Aarhus University, Fagerhult, and Danish Center for Educational Environments. It is funded by Elforsk.