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As numerous K-12 and university students plan to return to the classroom, countless design and education leaders are reevaluating ways to create successful, inclusive learning environments. Especially after a year of remote learning during the pandemic, many are reflecting on ways to assure the return to the classroom is a smooth transition. One method of creating a happy and healthy learning experience is by considering the learning environment itself.

The construction and design of education facilities play a massive psychological role in how information is received and retained. The best learning environments promote clear minds, mitigate stress levels and increase concentration. This is where cost-effective solutions, such as strategically placed acoustic lighting, can make a huge difference.

REDUCING NOISE CLUTTER

Eliminating noise clutter is a major first step in building a successful learning environment. While it’s essential to foster spaces that encourage conversation and discussion, it’s also important to get rid of the various distracting background sounds that can hinder students’ ability to concentrate. Additionally, it’s important to consider the inclusivity of the environment by keeping in mind that a wide range of students with a variety of needs will occupy the space. For example, students with sensory challenges or other special needs are often sensitive to sound. Large open spaces, like cafeterias or gymnasiums, or older echoey educational buildings, present an even greater challenge to accommodate these students. Acoustic lighting can play a key role to improve sound quality and has been shown to reduce ambient noise by as much as 40% in busy, open spaces such as collaborative workspaces and classrooms. Acoustic lighting can soften the background noise or remove echo entirely, ultimately creating a happier, more inclusive space.

OPTIMIZING LIGHT QUALITY

Proper lighting plays a major role in creating a successful learning environment because it can significantly improve health and productivity. There are four main components to consider to have a well-lit learning space: light layers, color temperature, glare and control.

  • Light layers: In an ideal learning environment, there should be at least three layers of light: general, task lighting and daylighting.
  • Color temperatures: The 3000K to 3500K range is a good color temperature for the ideal learning space. This range isn’t too cool to give the impression of a sterile environment, but not too warm to create a cozy environment students might want to nap in.
  • Glare: The presence of glare can create very uncomfortable situations, prompting people to squint. The squinting effect is detrimental to productivity and can lead to eye strain and headaches.
  • Control: It’s important to have the ability to control these four layers and adjust output levels throughout the day for optimal lighting conditions. Find high-quality light solutions to ensure flicker-free illumination.

INCORPORATING LONG-LASTING, FLEXIBLE DESIGN SOLUTIONS

Beyond its effective noise reduction and expansive lighting output, acoustic lighting offers flexibility in design and installation. While padded carpets and ceiling tiles may seem like a more obvious choice for acoustic solutions, this doesn’t always match the aesthetics or design intent of the space. Acoustic lighting is offered in a selection of beautiful and creative designs that blend into a plethora of spaces. These fixtures are also a great option for refits and refurbs where many of the existing surfaces cannot be changed—making it a great opportunity to take advantage of the unused void between desk and ceiling. Most quality acoustic lighting fixtures are also durable, long-lasting and incredibly easy to maintain. Contrary to its appearance, popular PET acoustic material is flat and smooth, which eliminates the issue of attracting and catching dust and debris. Acoustic lighting fixtures are easy to clean, ultimately making them an ideal option for school settings.

Acoustic lighting solutions have created a niche market to help architects, designers and construction executives reimagine collaborative spaces—such as educational institutions—to eliminate noise, improve lighting quality and accomplish overall happiness, wellbeing, and productivity that’s efficient and cost-effective.

To learn more, view our full acoustic lighting range or contact our sales representatives.

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