Advertisement

Learning Environments Research

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 13–24 | Cite as

A case study comparing the influence of LED and fluorescent lighting on early childhood student engagement in a classroom setting

  • Alana PulayEmail author
  • Amy Williamson
Original Paper

Abstract

Studies suggest that the learning environment can act as a third teacher in contributing towards student academic success. A variable within the physical learning environment that has received little attention in the literature is the interior lighting. Because of budget constraints and age, most American public school classrooms have fluorescent lighting fixtures installed. A new lighting technology, Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), is becoming popular in commercial facilities across the United States because of energy efficiency. Previous research has demonstrated that lighting influences adult worker productivity and mood in a workplace. However, because children process stimuli faster, it is unknown whether LED lighting would have the same influence in a learning environment. Researchers hypothesise that students display more engaged behaviours in classrooms lit with LEDs as compared with fluorescent lighting fixtures. The current study tested this hypothesis by observing child engagement behaviours in a pre-K classroom under LED lighting and fluorescent lighting fixtures to compare differences. Students displayed more engaged behaviours under the LED lighting condition.

Keywords

Classroom engagement Classroom lighting Early childhood education LED and fluorescent lighting 

References

  1. Barkmann, C., Wessolowski, N., & Schulte-Markwort, M. (2012). Applicability and efficacy of variable light in schools. Physiology and Behavior, 105, 621–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bellia, L., Bisenga, F., & Spada, G. (2011). Lighting in indoor environments: Visual and non-visual effects of lightsources with different spectral power distributions. Building and Environment, 46, 1984–1992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Choi, K., & Suk, H. (2016). Dynamic lighting system for the learning environment: Performance of elementary students. Optics Society of America, 24(10), 907–916.Google Scholar
  4. Cleveland, B., & Fisher, K. (2014). The evaluation of physical learning environments: A critical review of the literature. Learning Environments Research, 17, 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. De Kort, Y., & Veitch, J. (2014). From blind spot into the spotlight. Introduction to the special issue: Light, lighting, and human behavior. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 39, 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dufur, M., Parcel, T., & Mckune, B. (2008). Capital and context: Using social capital at home and at school to predict child social adjustment. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 49(2), 146–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Early, D., Barbarin, O., Bryant, B., Burchinal, M., Chang, F., Clifford, R., et al. (2005). Pre-kindergarten in eleven states: NCEDL’s multi-state study of prekindergarten and state-wide early education programs (sweep) study. Retrieved December 1, 2005 from http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~ncedl/pdfs/SWEEP_MS_summary_final.pdf.
  8. Evans, G. (2006). Child development and the physical environment. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 421–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fisher, A., Godwin, K., & Seltman, H. (2014). Visual environment, attention allocation, and learning in young children: When too much of a good thing may be bad. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1362–1370.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797614533801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hawes, B., Brunye, T., Mahoney, C., Sullivan, J., & Aall, C. (2012). Effects of four workplace lighting technologies on perception, cognition, and affective state. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 42, 122–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Heerwagen, J. (2010). Green buildings, organizational success and occupant productivity. Building Research and Information, 28(5), 353–367.Google Scholar
  12. Illuminating Engineering Society. (2011). The lighting handbook tenth edition: Reference and application. New York: Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.Google Scholar
  13. Illuminating Engineering Society. (2014). American national standard practice on lighting for educational facilities. New York: Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.Google Scholar
  14. Keis, O., Helbig, H., Streb, J., & Hille, K. (2014). Influence of blue-enriched classroom lighting on students’ cognitive performance. Trends in Neuroscience and Education, 3, 86–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Knez, I. (2014). Affective and cognitive reactions to subliminal flicker from fluorescent lighting. Consciousness and Cognition, 26, 97–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Knez, I., & Kers, C. (2000). Effects of indoor lighting, gender, and age on mood and cognitive performance. Environment and Behavior, 23(6), 817–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kretschmer, V., Schmidt, K. H., & Griefahn, B. (2012). Bright light effects on working memory, sustained attention and concentration of elderly night shift workers. Lighting Research and Technology, 44, 316–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lehrl, S., Gerstmeyer, K., Jacob, J., Frieling, H., Henkel, A., Meyrer, R., et al. (2007). Rapid communication: Blue light improves cognitive performance. Journal of Neural Transmission, 114, 457–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McAllister, K., & Maguire, B. (2012). Design considerations for the autism spectrum disorder-friendly Key Stage 1 classroom. Support for Learning, 27(3), 103–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McColl, S., & Veitch, J. (2001). Full-spectrum fluorescent lighting: a review of its effects on physiology and health. Psychological Medicine, 31, 949–964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Milkie, M., & Warner, C. (2011). Classroom learning environments and the mental health of first grade children. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51(1), 1–22.Google Scholar
  22. Pianta, R., Hamre, B., & Allen, J. (2012). Teacher-student relationships and engagement: Conceptualizing, measuring, and improving the capacity of classroom interactions. In S. Christenson, A. Reschly, & C. Wylie (Eds.), Handbook of research on student engagement. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  23. Pulay, A., Read, M., Tural, E., & Lee, S. (2016). Examining student behavior under two correlated color temperature levels of lighting in an elementary school classroom. Educational Planning, 23(3), 57–70.Google Scholar
  24. Ritchie, S., Howes, C., Kraft-Sayre, M., & Weiser, B. (2001). Emergent Academic Snapshot Scale. Los Angeles: UCLA (unpublished).Google Scholar
  25. Schroeder-Yu, G. (2008). Documentation: Ideas and applications from the Reggio Emilia approach. Teaching Artist Journal, 6(2), 126–134.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15411790801910735.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sylvania. (2000). Spectral power distributions of Sylvania fluorescent lamps. Danvers, MA: Author.Google Scholar
  27. Tarr, P. (2014). If the environment is the third teacher, what is it teaching us? In L. P. Kuh (Ed.), Thinking critically about environments for young children: Bridging theory and practice (pp. 33–48). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  28. Uline, C., Wolsey, T., Tschannen-Moran, M., & Lin, C. (2010). Improving the physical and social environment of school: A question of equity. Journal of School Leadership, 20, 597–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). Fast facts. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=84.
  30. U.S. Department of Energy. (2013). Building technologies office solid-state lighting technology fact sheet. Retrieved from http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/opticalsafety_fact-sheet.pdf.
  31. U.S. Environment Protection Agency. (2011). Energy efficiency programs in K-12 schools: A guide to developing and implementing greenhouse gas reduction programs. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/k-12_guide.pdf.
  32. Wang, Q., Xu, H., Gong, R., & Cai, J. (2015). Investigation of visual fatigue under LED lighting based on reading task. Optik, 126, 1433–1438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wei, M., Houser, K., Orland, B., Lang, D., Ram, N., Sliwinski, M., et al. (2014). Field study of office worker responses to fluorescent lighting of different CCT and lumen output. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 39, 62–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yam, F., & Hassan, Z. (2005). Innovative advances in LED technology. Microelectronics Journal, 36, 129–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

Personalised recommendations