In educational institutions, lighting should improve concentration periods as well as leisure time; it should ensure the visual comfort and safety of all people. It is therefore critical to select the proper lighting systems that create the optimal visual setting and offer an environment that is conducive to learning, for it is well known that light affects concentration.

The following is a model formula to ensure proper lighting in each area of educational institutions.

School lighting recommandations


Classrooms should be fitted with high quality lighting fixtures to promote learning and prevent eye fatigue.
Moreover, to avoid light reflection on blackboards, there should be an appropriate lighting system such as 500 lux vertical lighting configuration.

At all times, light fixtures should be easily controlled so that the teacher or instruction is able to reduce light intensity or turn off the lighting system according to activities that occur such as working in front of a computer screen, during interaction between students, or when using projectors, etc.

To ensure smart control of light fixtures as well as energy conservation, occupancy sensors are highly recommended in these spaces; lights will turn off when a classroom is no longer occupied (for instance, during a break or recess between classes).

Maximizing the use of natural light is the ideal formula: it helps create the best possible climate and leads to significant energy savings. In addition, as natural light of day impacts people’s biological rhythm, it also improves their well-being, their productivity as well as their ability to concentrate.

Natural light sensors allow the user to adjust the intensity of light fixtures throughout the day according to the amount of natural light that filters into a classroom. Thus, areas that are closest to windows receive less artificial light than the remainder of the room, and as such, is essentially smart lighting.

Classrooms where students perform manual and artistic work require a specific lighting system that gives students a very clear view of their objects. It is possible to achieve the appropriate degree of luminosity thanks to consistent vertical lighting that sheds superior colour rendering. In this environment, fixtures should also be able to withstand excessive amounts of dust. Art classes or industrial drawing spaces should be equipped with illumination equal or superior to 750 lux.


In school libraries, lighting should be both practical and pleasant. It needs to shed sufficient light, without being too vivid, to create an atmosphere conducive to reading.

Two hundred lux fixtures are perfectly suited to light book shelves while 500 lux fixtures are the optimal choice for workstations or reading rooms.

Amphitheatres and Conference Halls (Auditoriums)

These vast spaces require smart and safe lighting systems; the illumination should be set at 500 lux while stairwells and hallways should always be well-marked.

During presentations, the speaker should be able to regulate lighting levels to focus on specific areas on stage, to vary light intensity or even select specific colours according to the type of presentation. There should be no glare effect that might inconvenience other participants on stage.

These areas should also be equipped with pictogram lights as well as emergency lighting that illuminates halls and passageways and guide people towards the exits in case of emergency.


Lighting systems in educational institutions remain powered for long hours because of their high occupancy rate: day courses, night classes, maintenance work, etc. In all these instances, corridors need to be well lit to facilitate circulation and ensure public safety.

The installation of occupancy sensors is highly recommended as well as smart lighting solutions that illuminate only the occupied spaces. Corridors can tolerate a 100-lux lighting level.

Pictogram and emergency lighting should be standard lighting protocol in order to respect safety standards.


Service islands in cafeterias should be highlighted with a properly appointed lighting system to guide students, teachers and school staff.

Furthermore, it is recommended that lighting with an appropriate colour rendering index be installed in order to draw attention to the food and avoid casting shadows. A 200-lux illumination is well appointed for this particular area.

Leisure Zones

Throughout the leisure zones, light should facilitate well-being and relaxation for those who visit them. It should be softer than in other areas, but not in any way as to create visual discomfort when students leave one space to move into another. Fixtures with a 200-lux light level are well suited to this end.

Staff Room

In this space, a blend of direct and indirect lighting without any glare factor, and with an illumination of 300 lux will contribute greatly to teachers’ concentration.


Owing to the wide variety of sports and physical fitness activities practiced in this space, it should be equipped with a flexible and customizable lighting system.

A smart lighting solution that allows users to adjust the luminosity level according to the designated activity will certainly support safety requirements in the space. In addition, there should be no blinding effect when participants look up to the ceiling.

Fixtures should also be sturdy to withstand damage caused by objects or equipment that might land on them.

For more information on Sports Facilities Lighting requirements, read Special Lighting Requirements in Sports Facilities.

  1. Richard Lindemann says:

    This is a good start for school lighting design. I would mention the importance of lighting vertical surfaces, but not always in a uniform manner: artwork, wall signs, and trophy cases can be items of interest. A non-uniform area lighting feel is good for concentration.

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