Lighting is and always has been an important factor in designing and operating schools. Until the 1950s, natural light predominated as a means of illuminating most school spaces. Classroom design was based in large part on time-honored relationships between window sizes and room dimensions.
As electric power costs declined and designers began to take advantage of the increased flexibility provided by electric lighting, daylighting took a secondary role. Now, highly energy efficient windows and skylights and a renewed recognition of the positive psychological and physiological effects of daylighting (Heschong Mahone Group) allow a healthy and economical mix of natural and electric illumination in new and renovated schools.Light Source/System Mean Lumens per Watt Luminaires Types of Spaces in a School Fluorescent T-5 linear with programmed start electronic ballasts (24-, 36-, 48-, and 60-inch lengths) 91 Spuhting, such as under-cabinet, suspended indirect, wallwashing Classrooms, offices, multipurpose rooms, libraries Fluorescent T-8 second-generation linear with elec-tronic instant start ballasts or programmed start ballasts (24-, 36-, 48-, and 60-inch lengths) 92 General lighting in troffers, suspended lighting systems, wraparounds, strips Classrooms, offices, multi-purpose rooms, lockers, toilets, stairs, libraries, utility areas, hallways, corridors, labs, music rooms, shops, studios Fluorescent T-5 HO linear with programmed start elec-tronic ballasts (24-, 36-, 48-, and 60-inch lengths) 81 Specialty lighting applica-tions where high lumen output is needed Gyms, pools, libraries, offices, multipurpose rooms Compact fluorescent triple tube lamps (18, 26, 32, and 42 watts) with electronic ballasts 50–72 Downlights, sconces, wall-washers, utility lights, wall brackets, table and task lamps Lobbies, offices, multipur-pose rooms, toilets, halls and corridors, utility spaces, exterior canopies, walls, bollards, utility applications Pulse start metal halide lamps (250 watts or higher) 55–78 Industrial style downlights, parking lot lights, roadway lights, large wallwashers, specialized uplights, flood-lights, sports lights High-ceiling interior spaces (some gyms, pools), park-ing lots, sports fields, other pole-mounted exterior lighting Pulse start ceramic metal halide lamps (150 watts or lower), with electronic ballasts 35–65 Track and recessed display lighting Feature displays Halogen IR lamps (60 to 100 watt PAR-38, 50 watt PAR-30) or low voltage halogen IR lamps (37 watt MR16) 20–30 Track and recessed display lighting, surface and recessed downlighting Feature displays and house lighting for theaters, performance spaces, and multipurpose rooms