Creating calm early years environments

Lighting! 💡

A question was asked about lighting, reaching out and asking us to offer supportive evidence on WHY we need to make change and reconsider the use of harsh artificial lighting in classrooms and children’s play spaces

Let’s begin 

Did you know that Artificial strip lighting in classrooms can have a negative impact on the learning and wellbeing of young children for several reasons.

1️⃣Firstly, strip lighting can cause glare and flicker, which can be distracting and uncomfortable for children. This can lead to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue, making it more difficult for children to concentrate and learn effectively.

2️⃣Secondly, strip lighting can disrupt the body's natural circadian rhythms, which can affect sleep patterns and overall wellbeing. Exposure to bright artificial light in the classroom can make it harder for children to fall asleep at night, leading to tiredness and difficulty concentrating during the day.

3️⃣Finally, strip lighting can create a sterile and uninviting environment, which can negatively impact children's mood and motivation. A lack of natural light and a sterile environment can make it harder for children to feel engaged and inspired in their learning, leading to a lack of motivation and enthusiasm for school.

Overall, artificial strip lighting in classrooms can have a significant impact on the learning and wellbeing of young children, and it is important for educators to consider the lighting environment when designing and furnishing classrooms.

What research tells us

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that students in classrooms with natural lighting had better academic performance and were more attentive compared to those in classrooms with artificial lighting.

2. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that students in classrooms with high levels of artificial lighting had more difficulty concentrating and had lower academic performance compared to those in classrooms with natural lighting.

3. An article published in The Guardian discusses the negative impact of fluorescent strip lighting on students, including headaches, eye strain, and fatigue.

4. A report by the American Medical Association warns that excessive exposure to artificial lighting can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to a variety of health problems.

Overall it is recognised that more research is needed, however current studies suggest that natural lighting is preferable to artificial strip lighting in classrooms for promoting academic performance and student well-being. If natural light is limited use lower lighting, softer tones, warming lighting to aid concentration

Beware of flicking flashing lights ( fairy lights too ) Let’s turn off the overhead strip lights and start adding softer lighting, warm lighting, focus lighting and bring a different feel to your Early childhood setting

Add small lamps around the setting. These obviously have to be risk assessed. PAT tested and ensured cannot fall or topple over. See the benefits before the risk and consider how you can bring a homely feel to the Early Years setting you provide. This is all apart of module 5 SENSES of our Curiosity approach® accreditation CPD journey 

Do you want to learn HOW to make change? Academy door open three times a year. Why not join us on a journey of professional development and transform your setting from ordinary to extraordinary .https://www.thecuriosityapproa...

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