Finding the Right Lighting for Classroom Spaces

KELC_Insights and Inspirations finding-the-right-lighting-for-classroom-spacesLighting impacts how we perceive an environment. It sets the mood of the space and influences our reaction to it, which is why it's important that you choose the right lighting for the different spaces in your classroom. You want the children in your care to react positively and interact with the classroom spaces you create. The authors of Inspiring Spaces for Young Children offer the following tips on finding the right lighting for your classroom spaces:

  1. Capture as much natural light as you can. Don't block natural light with furniture or nontransparent materials. Try to leave windows as bare as possible–this helps children see the outside world. Hanging prisms or glass balls in front of windows can help create a beautiful space when sunlight bounces off of them.
  2. Illuminate classroom spaces safely and responsibly. Use natural, energy-efficient, and low-heat lighting to illuminate your classroom in an environmentally responsible way. Be sure to look for safe, low-wattage, energy-efficient, and soft lighting for classroom spaces. For example, you wouldn't want to use outdoor bulbs to illuminate the reading area because the bulbs are too bright for the space and give off a bluish, cold hue.
  3. Utilize multiple light sources in your classroom. Adding multiple light sources makes spaces shine, softens the area, and creates a positive ambience. Remember, people who spend time in spaces with good lighting tend to feel better about themselves and their work. Check out the list below from Inspiring Spaces for Young Children for ideas on types of lighting you can use in classroom spaces.

Ideas for Lighting

  • Spotlights
  • Recessed lights
  • Pole lamps
  • Chandeliers
  • Table lamps
  • Hanging lamps
  • Light boxes
  • Task lighting
  • Landscape lamps
  • Battery-powered candles
  • Garden lights
  • Light tables
  • Sconces
  • Rope lights
  • Flashlights
  • Grow lights
  • Overhead projector
  • Dimmers
  • Three-way lights
  • Glow sticks
  • Pendant lights
  • Battery-powered lanterns
  • Torchieres
  • Octopus-style lights
  • Fiber optic lights
  • Sunlight

Browse the other articles in our Classroom Setup section for other tips on designing your classroom spaces.