Tunable-White LEDs: Taking Over Classrooms (and More!)

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Juno LED Recessed

We talked about tunable- white LEDs in an earlier blog post, which covered the basics. Now, let’s dig deeper into the benefits of using tunable-white in places like schools, office buildings, and hospitals.

First, a quick recap. At its simplest, a tunable-white fixture uses LED “color mixing” to create different shades of white with varying color temperatures (i.e., warm tones, cool tones).

Why does this matter? More and more studies suggest that the lighting in our environments affects us. This isn’t a big revelation, of course. All we need to do is think about how we feel in the fall when it gets darker earlier we find our energy waning as well. Or during the summer months, we tend to have more energy, thanks to the longer days.

So the question becomes, what happens when you adjust the lighting in different environments? For example, if you can “tune” into a various shades of white light/temperature, what sort of effects might that have on people in places, such as schools, office buildings, and even hospitals?

  • LEDs Magazine states, “Tunable white lighting is the future of classroom lighting because of the positive impacts on mood, behavior, and concentration.”
  • And this study from the U.S. Department of Energy evaluates tunable LED lighting in three Texas classrooms. The two teachers interviewed for the study stated that “the lighting system improved the overall learning environment.”

The big takeaway? Tunable-white LEDs combined with lighting controls can mimic the circadian rhythm and enhance human activity.

Kenall, a commercial LED manufacturer, has a white paper that discusses “circadian entrainment” in depth: “Scientific studies have shown that when indoor light mimics the warm to cool cycle of natural daylight, people receive a number of benefits, including a more restful night’s sleep and greater alertness during the day. This circadian entrainment is especially beneficial for those who do not have access to natural daylight.” Think people on graveyard shifts, office workers, and nursing home patients, among others.

At Wolfers, we can help you fine-tune your tunable-white needs. Make an appointment and meet with one of our lighting experts soon.


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