As any student or teacher can attest, fluorescent lighting does not make for a cozy learning environment. However, because of its energy efficiency and versatility, most classrooms are outfitted with fluorescent ceiling lights as the primary light source. While you may not be able to ditch the fluorescent lighting, there are some calming classroom lighting options to improve the mood in the classroom using a combination of tools and additional light sources.
Check out the following lighting solutions to create a more warm and inclusive classroom space.
How Does Lighting Affect the Classroom?
Light is an incredibly important factor when it comes to increasing or decreasing feelings of alertness and focus. The sun activates natural circadian rhythms that tell us when to be awake and when to be asleep. In a similar way, the lighting in a classroom impacts students and educators as they attempt to share information and learn in an environment with conflicting lighting.
Natural light has been shown to have the greatest positive impact on the focus and attention of students, but many classrooms don’t have access to natural light. More often, classrooms are brightly lit by fluorescent bulbs, which are shown to increase feelings of anxiety and headaches. Both of these things can hinder learning.
In a classroom with filtered or well-designed lighting, students may experience more feelings of calm and focus. The right combination of natural and artificial lighting may even work together to put students and teachers in a better mood.
Generally speaking, warmer light makes a space feel cozy, while whiter light can feel more task-oriented. In a similar vein, indirect lighting is softer and can feel more calming, while direct downward-facing lighting may feel more aggressive.
3 Lighting Solutions for Added Productivity
So what are the options for educators looking to improve the mood in the classroom? Fortunately, there are several different ways to create more calming classroom lighting.
Invest in New Lights
If you are fortunate enough to have the influence or budget, request a change in lighting for your classroom. Whether this means completely ditching fluorescent ceiling lights or even just purchasing some additional lighting fixtures, the change will help to positively change the mood of your classroom space.
Replace Light Bulbs in Current Lighting Fixtures
If buying new light fixtures is not an option, it might be worth it to consider replacing the light bulbs. Full-spectrum lights offer a more natural daylight-like experience. They’re said to put less strain on students’ eyes and give the room a more focused vibe.
If replacing bulbs or light fixtures is out of the question, many teachers have used and appreciated the effects of a light filter. Flame-retardant cloth hung below the standard fluorescent lighting comes in a variety of colors. These light filters mute some of the aggressive-feeling light that can cause anxiety or headaches. Cozy Shades come in seasonal colors and designs, making them both a functional and stylish year-round option for calming classroom lighting.
How do you create a calming classroom? Leave classroom lighting ideas and inspiration for other teachers in the comments section below!