T5 still alive and kicking
Netherlands, 16th April 2010
As I write my blog, many people are stranded because of the volcano eruption in Iceland which caused the unprecedented closure of the European airspace. Ash clouds have spread throughout Europe, cancelling all flights in or out of Europe till further notice. I am lucky to be visiting my parents so I can probably sit this one out in comfort, but some of my colleagues messaged me from Frankfurt to say they are stuck. Life’s adagio to always expect the unexpected once again struck! The trick is to turn these situations in something positive…
So let’s look at the bright side. While the main attention in Frankfurt has been on LED’s there were still some interesting developments with traditional light sources. I particularly would like to mention the initiatives by some of the big manufacturers (Philips, Zumtobel) promoting their research in lighting for schools. It has long been proven that lighting has a strong impact on mood and productivity and research in this area has seen the development of lighting systems (using T5 technology) to improve and stimulate “life” at school.
By using combinations of different lighting intensities and color temperatures several scenes have been developed in support of various school activities. From Philips I learned that the lighting scenes are based on the results from actual studies conducted at various schools in Europe. further studies are ongoing in the Asia to see if culture and geographical location have any different impact on the student behaviors. Scenes include arrival modes with high intensities (1,000 lux) with crisp daylight temperatures (12,000K) as a transition to calm students down on arrival, class mode settings were lighting intensities are brought back to 500 lux and 4000K for teaching to even lower ( 300 lux and 2750K) for exams. The lighting systems use a combination of 2x17000K and 1x 2750K special T5 lamps which can be mixed and matched to the desired effects.
It was found that restlessness and study focus can be strongly reduced, respectively stimulated by combinations of color temperatures and lighting intensities. For instance lower lighting levels and warm white light have been proven to reduce restlessness by more than 70%!
Great to see good old fluorescent technology still alive and kicking as sometimes it looks like everyone is blinded by new technology, forgetting that what is ain’t that bad still…