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January 2018

Lighting educational institutions one room at a time

The lighting in educational institutions 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.

lighting educational institutions


High quality lighting fixtures promote learning and prevent eye fatigue. An appropriate lighting system like a 500 lux vertical lighting configuration will prevent light from reflecting on blackboards.

At all times, it’s important to allow teachers or instructors to easily control light fixtures in their classrooms. They may want to reduce light intensity or turn off the lighting system entirely during activities like:

  • Working on computers
  • Interactions between students (debates, cooperation, etc.)
  • Using projectors or TV screens

To ensure smart control of light fixtures as well as energy conservation in instructional spaces, occupancy sensors are highly recommended. Lights can 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. Additionally, as natural daylight impacts students’ biological rhythms, 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 what they are working on. It is possible to achieve the appropriate degree of luminosity thanks to consistent vertical lighting that sheds superior color rendering. 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.


School library 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. 500 lux illumination is adequate, while stairwells and hallways should always be well-marked.

According to their presentation, speakers may require systems that can illuminate specific areas on stage, vary light intensity, or even display specific colors. Too much light might create a glare effect and inconvenience other participants on stage. It is therefore imperative to regulate the light output to prevent discomfort.

Emergency lighting and pictograms are necessary in these areas as well. They must illuminate halls and passageways and guide dwellers towards the exits in case of emergency.


Lighting systems in educational institutions remain powered for long hours because of their high occupancy rate throughout the day and night for 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 smart lighting solutions that utilize occupancy sensors to illuminate only an occupied space is highly recommended. 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, we recommend lighting food with a 200-lux illumination in order to draw attention to it and avoid casting shadows.

Leisure Zones

Throughout the leisure zones, light should facilitate well-being and relaxation. A softer light than other areas is appropriate. However, students should not feel visual discomfort when they leave one space to move into another. Fixtures with a 200-lux light level are well suited to this end.

Staff Room

Students are not the only ones who need appropriate lighting! School staff need adequate lighting to plan, correct and more. A blend of direct and indirect lighting without any glare factor, and with an illumination of 300 lux, is perfect for teachers to concentrate.


A wide variety of sports and physical fitness activities are 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 supports safety requirements. In addition, there should be no blinding effect when participants look up to the ceiling.

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

Read this article for more information on sports facility lighting requirements.

If you need some help lighting your educational institution, see what our lighting specialists can do for you.