(June, 2017) - Today’s learning environments are continually evolving spaces and need lighting solutions that do more than brighten a space. Research indicates that lighting systems, with the ability to easily adjust the color and illuminance levels to the task at hand, will enhance the learning experience.
RTI International and teaming partner Finelite, Inc. were granted the U.S. Department of Energy’s funded-research project “Luminaires for Advanced Lighting in Education,” and developed the Next Generation Integrated Lighting System (NICLS) for the Classroom of the Future.
The DOE requested a complete lighting system be created to support the needs of the Classroom of the Future with a strong focus on user-control, reliability, and energy-efficiency. Finelite built a demonstration model classroom and installed tunable white luminaires and controls.
Over a 12-month period, more than 80 teachers and school administrators participated in focus groups held at Finelite’s demonstration site. The purpose was to provide guidance on the use of the advanced lighting technologies in the classroom and gain user input for the lighting control system’s user interface (UI). For this project to be a success and truly enhance the learning environment, the UI had to be correct and intuitive.
The NICLS technology received overwhelmingly positive feedback from teachers and educational professionals. The system also exceeded every photometric, electrical, and reliability goals established by DOE for an advanced lighting system for educational environments.