Lighting For Schools
How to Get 10 out of 10 for School Lighting Systems
…it’s not surprising that lighting bills account for more than 20% of a school’s energy costs…
The top three considerations for lighting in schools are:
Of course the most important rule is emergency lighting, with the priority on escape lightings, in compliance with building and safety regulations.
In short this means a risk assessment of the building and subsequent provision of visual conditions and directions to and through escape routes, with consideration to those with visual impairments and physical disabilities.
The risk assessment must take into account the building’s design and use, ensuring that the following points are adhered to:
- Illumination of any obstacles in the way of a safe and swift exit.
- Adequate illumination of the escape route, with careful positioning of lighting, in line with regulation EN1838, so that the way out is clear, with low level way–guidance lights installed in building layouts which may impede sight of traditional signs.
- Emergency lights must be manufactured to EN60598.2.22
- Automatic operation of emergency lighting
- Open areas of 60m2 and above must have emergency lighting in order to reduce risk of panic if main lighting system fails.
- Installation of emergency lighting independent to the usual mains powered lighting, so that it will still operate in the event of a power failure to the main system.
- Clear illumination of fire fighting or first aid equipment.
- Emergency lighting must remain in operation for enough time for occupants to evacuate the building.
- For smaller buildings an independent self–contained emergency lighting system is recommended, for larger ones a centrally supplied system.
- All types of system should incorporate automatic emergency light testing in compliance with testing requirements, according to EN62034.
If possible, is important to concentrate on the lighting very early in the building design, with energy efficiency a priority.
The first rule is to make sure that daylight is taken full advantage of, paying special attention to what each area is to be used for.
Schools comprise a mixture of rooms, corridors, halls and offices, in all shapes and sizes, to be used for a variety of activities, with some rooms to be multi–functional — therefore it’s not surprising that lighting bills account for more than 20% of a school’s energy costs. Also, CIBSE lighting guidelines urge improved lighting, with a recommendation of 30%–50% average ceiling and wall illumination level (measured as a percentage of the average horizontal illuminance on the working plane).
The answer to these requirements is indirect lighting or additional wall–wash lights and uplighters — which of course means more lighting costs. However, these can be reduced by incorporating automated lighting controls operated in accordance with daylight and occupancy detection, either individually or using a Lighting Control Module (LCM) to control the entire system, so that lights in various rooms and areas are dimmed or switched off when not in use.
In rooms where computers are used, lighting should be installed using fittings with the required cut–off angles and luminance levels according to BS12464.
Fluorescent lights are the most practical for the majority of areas, from a small fixture for a storeroom, a suspended system for halls and teaching areas, protected TS lamps and HF control gear for sports halls, and robust, sealed constructions for school grounds and car parks.Start of page
Emergency lighting can be matched up with the rest of the lighting in the building by using matching trim options.
Plus, close consideration paid to the layout, as per legislation, will also ensure that the emergency lights are not too obtrusive and are well positioned aesthetically.
Top marks for those paying attention!Start of page