Electric.ie Magazine May/June 2023

54 ELECTRIC.IE • The Magazine & Website for the Irish Electrical Industry • For electrical contractors working at schools, colleges and universities looking to refurbish their classrooms or open entire new buildings, implementing an intelligent lighting design is vital both for educational purposes and energy savings. It is widely considered that the way a room is lit plays a huge role in education as it sets the scene for four main methods of learning for students, namely visual, auditory, read and writing, and sensory. The layout of most classrooms is typically rectangular in shape with teaching zones designed with sightlines parallel to windows that provide daylight to the space, as well as sensory simulation and visual contact with the outside world. Daylight through windows generally provides illumination through much of the school day, however, arti cial lighting also plays a key role when a consistent visual environment is needed. Typically, classrooms are divided into teaching zones and student areas. Teachers tend to require supplemental lighting for delivering vertical illuminance onto white boards and blackboards, as well as video screens and projectors. For the latter, this may require the illuminance of the screen to be minimised while suf cient ambient light needs to be provided for students to take notes. There are many other factors that needs to be taken into account when considering a modern-day lighting design of a classroom, including the • Uniformity of lighting (the ratio of minimum illuminance to average illuminance on a surface) Why Intelligent Lighting Sets the Scene for Learning....and Saving Energy • Contrast of lighting (for example a whiteboard may require 70 per cent re ectance in order to make it the main vocal point of the room, while a blackboard would need far less (around 20 per cent depending on daylight) • Colour of lighting – crucial element of any lighting design project as this forms an integral relationship with light and can impact performance, mood, environment and health and wellbeing • Glare of lighting – this occurs when lighting luminance is substantially higher than the lighting luminance to which a human’s eyes are adapted • Flicker of lighting - poor uorescent and LED luminaries if operated by poor quality power, can produce icker which can be distracting and uncomfortable for students • Re ections of lighting – these are images of a light source re ected by specular surfaces such as screens • Modelling of objects – lighting needs to be used to add shape and depth to a visual scene For decades, uorescent lighting has been used in educational spaces, especially schools, however they have many disadvantages when it comes to learning, including health risks which have generally been well documented over the years. Therefore, it goes without saying, that LED (light emitting diode) xtures are a must in a lighting design project. LED technology is highly energy ef ciency, offers excellent controllability, high exibility in terms of optical design, a high resistance to shock and vibration and long lifespan. An intelligent lighting design is not complete without a lighting control system included within it because it is one of the most effective ways for schools, colleges and universities to use less energy by ‘controlling’ how it is used. Modern motion and occupancy sensors are totally focused on ensuring that lighting is only used based on demand. These products are designed to consider the luminosity of the room in regards to natural light and engineered in such a way that the sensors automatically dim the arti cial lighting to the required brightness. This means the sensor includes as much ‘free’ available natural light as possible in order that energy consumption is signi cantly reduced. Educational facilities have a duty of care to make their buildings safe and as comfortable for students so many new or refurbished buildings use what is called ‘presence-controlled building automation’. This is a lighting control system which works automatically in ‒By Paul Jones, Director for UK & Ireland at B.E.G. – The Lighting Control Professionals. Industry News