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09/02/2014
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LED lights help special education students

Posted on August 20, 2013 Category: Interior Lighting Design Articles

Making the switch to LED lighting has proved to be an economical and environmentally-friendly choice for many schools. LEDs have a greater energy efficiency than fluorescents and last longer, cutting down on both electric and maintenance costs.

However, one school in Arizona has found that LED lights have a positive effect beyond cost.

"Apparently Special Ed. Children, especially those in the autistic spectrum, are often bothered by the continuous flicker and buzzing of the fluorescent fixtures so school officials decided to replace them with LED fixtures," said Project Manager for Centennial Contractors Charlie Bowers. "This retrofit project was a pilot program for the school and has been very well received by the faculty and the district."

Employees at Cherokee Elementary School in Scottsdale, Ariz., noticed that their special education students appeared to be distracted by the buzzing and flickering that comes along with fluorescent lights. Administrators decided to remedy this issue by installing LED lighting fixtures. Not only did this solve the issue of the noise and flickering produced by the fluorescents, but the LED dimmers meant the teachers could adjust the lighting levels using a handheld device to make the students more comfortable. This allowed the special education students to focus on learning without being distracted by excessive glare. The correlated color temperature also gave the rooms ideal color quality.

Aside from helping the students feel comfortable and focused, the new LED lights will only use 45 watts per fixture and can be dimmed when the classrooms are not in use, cutting down energy consumption by 60 percent. Cherokee Elementary School received utility rebates for its energy conservation measures, helping the district offset the cost of the lighting retrofit.

The new LED lighting system has proved to be a beneficial for the school's budget as well as special education students.