School Lighting for K-12 - Acuity Brands


Environment is part of the learning
experience. Lighting in schools
plays an important role. School
lighting systems that deliver easily
controlled, quality lighting have a
positive impact on both teachers
and students.

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Classroom >     Library >  Corridor & Stairwell >  Gymnasium >     Auditorium >     Outdoor >

School administrators, teachers and parents share a common goal: giving students the opportunity to reach their highest potential in learning. Creating an optimized learning environment is important in achieving that goal. Research indicates that lighting in schools can be a key factor, affecting student performance, engagement and mood.

In addition to enhancing the learning environment, lighting upgrades can have a positive effect on school budgets. Lighting is typically one of the greatest energy consumers in schools — too often being used inefficiently or unnecessarily. Upgrading school light fixtures and adding controls can significantly reduce energy costs.

 School lighting systems that deliver easily-controlled, task-appropriate, quality lighting can have a positive impact on both teachers and students. When those lighting solutions also reduce energy use, lower maintenance costs, and comply with codes and budgets, everyone wins. 

Acuity Brands has a long and strong history of lighting educational campuses. Ease of installation, cost competitiveness and our ability to provide complete lighting solutions are just a few of our strengths.

We offer solutions that can deliver the right type of light and right amount of light, exactly where you need it and only when you need it, for higher performance and lower total lifecycle costs. Our school lighting solutions include interior and exterior luminaires, daylighting and controls.

 But we can go even further. Controls for lighting, HVAC and security systems can be connected for full building management, taking optimization of the teaching and learning environment and reduction of energy consumption to an even greater level. 

Just as the modern school must serve an ever-increasing and diverse array of activities and stakeholders, so does school lighting.

Classroom: Today’s classroom must be flexible, to adapt and change as activities change. And each activity—from testing to reading, lecture sessions to small work groups, audiovisual presentations to laptop study sessions—has different lighting needs. Learn more. 

Gymnasium: Beyond the classroom, other spaces such as gymnasiums often serve multiple purposes. For most schools, the gym is not only a hub of sports and physical activity, it’s also the location for a variety of other events with very different lighting needs. Learn more.
Teaching incorporates so many different methods and mediums. Learning is more interactive and experiential. Effective, but easy, lighting control can become part of the lesson plan. The best lighting solutions for classrooms give students behavior queues and align with activities. Integrated sensors harvest daylight by regulating classroom light fixture output to supplement, not overpower, available sunlight. Because, as good as our lighting is, everyone prefers sunlight.

  • LED lighting in classrooms provides even illumination for visual comfort
  • Easy and intuitive classroom lighting control for a positive user experience
  • Lighting that changes the classroom environment as tasks change throughout the day
  • Controls that sense occupants in the space and turn classroom lights off when vacant

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Tuning Behavior
with Light

Solutions for State-of
the-Art Classrooms

Library & Collaborative Spaces
Libraries are spaces for quiet reading and study but also gathering places for story time and team collaboration. Layered lighting with varied intensity and distribution is the key to addressing these multiple uses: soft, glare-free ambient illumination, higher intensity task lighting, and asymmetric distribution to highlight the stacks. Incorporate user-friendly integrated controls for lighting versatility that enhances the multi-function nature of this space.

  • Architectural luminaires that complement the appearance of these highly visible spaces
  • Visually comfortable lighting that allows occupants to work individually or collaboratively in huddle areas
  • Controls that change the intensity of the lighting based on time of day
  • Occupancy sensing that turns lights off when the space is unoccupied

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Collaborative Spaces

Corridor & Stairwell
Glare-free, lighting with even, shadow-free distribution makes corridors a comfortable path between classes. Bulletin boards or student artwork become focal points when lit by asymmetric distribution luminaires. Stairwells must be well-lit for safety. Of course, when corridors or stairwells are not in use, full intensity lighting is not needed. Integrated controls can dim lighting until occupancy is detected - motion or motion and sound - to conserve energy and save money.

  • Lighting that meets code requirements for these traffic areas
  • Sleek and minimalist design with targeted functionality
  • Lighting and controls solution that can yield up to 50% energy savings as compared to traditional lighting
  • Integrated controls that deliver the right amount of light but only when needed
Gymnasium & Multipurpose Spaces
Gymnasiums take a beating. Ceilings are high and maintenance isn’t easy.  Needs vary for school gym lights, depending upon the activity: high intensity lighting for a sport event but lower ambient lighting for a ceremony or presentation. Sometimes only a section of the gym is needed so why light the whole space? All of these issues can be addressed by efficient but rugged LED gym light fixtures, with a user-friendly control network for dimming and zoning by fixture group.

  • High performance, glare-free, indoor LED gym lighting solutions
  • Visually comfortable LED gymnasium lighting with even illumination of both horizontal and vertical surfaces
  • Integrated controls maximize energy savings and change intensity to deliver varying lighting for gym activities

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Auditoriums lean toward the dramatic, sometimes even theatrical. Lighting should be versatile enough to follow the tone of the activity: spotlighting a presenter, dimmed for movie viewing, stage illumination for ceremonies and shows. An easy-to-use control system, integrated right into the luminaires, provides flexibility for lighting that is as simple or dramatic as suits the occasion.

  • Broad family of luminaires that allow layering of light in these multi-use spaces
  • General ambient illumination that offers a narrow field angle for visual comfort
  • Controls that can individually address each luminaire to create a variety of scenes and effects
Exterior lighting serves two main purposes, practical and aesthetic. On the practical side, safety and security are key. Students, educators, and visitors should feel secure in parking areas and walkways, with sufficient illumination to avoid trip hazards. Aesthetically, well-designed spot, accent, and landscape lighting create a sense of place and communicate a positive image. Controls that network the entire system make it easy to change effects and optimize energy consumption.

  • Family of products bridges all outdoor applications, from parking lot or garage to building façade to walkways and landscapes
  • Uniform illumination that increases perception of safety
  • Long-life LED solutions reduce maintenance effort and costs
  • Controls that reduce light levels when space is unoccupied for improved energy efficiency

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Chicago-Area School District Lights Up its Learning Environment with LED Luminaires
Spring 2014

Community Consolidated School District 59, in a suburb of Chicago, set out to improve the overall learning environment in its schools. Providing teachers with control of the classroom environment was a top goal of specifying a new lighting and controls system. Energy savings would be a bonus.

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