The new lighting system at Albert Schweitzer Elementary School in Didam, Netherlands, saves a lot of energy and at the same time ensures that the children are more attentive in class. The Human Centric Lighting (HCL) installation always provides the exact amount and colour of light that students need at the specific time of day. DALI 2 sensors from Theben also automatically switch on the lighting whenever presence is detected.
Human Centric Lighting is a lighting concept that is based on the human biological clock. Just as sunlight follows a curve throughout the day, so does an HCL lighting system. By mimicking the behavior of the sun and dynamically adapting light to the natural needs of humans, we are able concentrate better and feel more comfortable.
The positive impact of HCL lighting on school children is considerable. The management of the Albert Schweitzer School in Didam also knew this. When replacing the existing fluorescent luminaires, the choice fell on dynamic LED lighting based on HCL. Pola Installatietechniek from Zevenaar carried out the installation. DALI 2 offered the ideal possibilities here. LED luminaires operating with DALI 2 Room Solution occupancy sensors were installed in all twelve classrooms. DALI is a protocol that makes professional, digital lighting management systems dimmable and controllable. DALI-2 is the improved version, which, among other things, ensures that devices from different brands can work better together. DALI-2 offers another important plus: It can send important information such as the lighting duration and dimming values of a lamp to a cloud based server so that the systems can be better monitored.
Pola's project manager, Theo Lammers, explains how he decided upon Theben's DALI-2 Room Solution. "We have known Theben for a long time as an excellent supplier of presence detectors, motion detectors and other components. When this project was brought to us, we asked for a solution for programming, controlling and switching the HCL system. The concept of the DALI-2 Room Solution is particularly intended for dynamic lighting control in individual rooms with colour mixing and time control. The DALI-2 presence detectors in combination with the pushbutton interface were exactly what we needed. They are already pre-programmed to the standard light curves of HCL systems in schools. This is because schools require different lighting dynamics than offices, including different timings.
Light, colour temperature and intensity are always tailored to the time of day. When there is movement, the daily program comes into effect. If that is at 8am, it uses the curve of that moment. If it is 10 a.m., the light automatically switches to the values programmed for that time of day. Lammers: "We start with warm white, which becomes whiter over time until the daylight colour is reached. After midday, it softens again and the colour becomes warmer white. This helps the children concentrate better and means they are more motivated.”
Theo Lammers programmed the sensors together with Theben. "After doing it once, next time it's a piece of cake. The programming is very user-friendly, you don't need any advanced mathematics or specialist knowledge. The presence detector connects to the tablet via a Bluetooth connection and can be programmed via the app. It is structured simply and logically, using drag and drop. We had previously tested a little with the demo case from Theben. So we already had 90% of the programming under control, but for the final touches and for our own peace of mind we still sought support from Theben. It's very valuable that we can call on their expertise and help at any time."
In addition to the dynamic time program, three other functions can be selected when wanted using the pushbuttons in the classrooms: Switching on and off the lighting of the digiboard in front of the classroom, a concentration scene with daylight colour for class work and a party scene with warm white light for parties in the classroom. The management and staff quickly got used to the new installation, scenes and controls. The LED lighting in combination with the lighting control system ensures that the school's electricity consumption has dropped significantly compared to the old situation. And the children are visibly more attentive.
Principal Eddy Meijer of the Albert Schweitzer School: "A school is a public building and we have an obligation to pay attention to sustainability. That's why we wanted to switch to LED lighting. The installation company Pola pointed me to the HCL system, whose advantages quickly convinced me. The dynamic system ensures that students are working under the correct light output throughout the day. The basis for this is scientific research. The system also offers teachers a variety of options when the situation requires it. The whiteboard is used a lot, and it's good to be able to adjust the lighting accordingly, especially when watching videos. It is also practical to set the lighting mood for concentration after the lunch break when more attention is required. We are very satisfied with this well-thought-out system and are now future-proof and sustainably equipped."