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Lighting improvements needed to boost energy efficiency in UK schools, says Tamlite

Jordan O'Brien

Jordan O'Brien

Contributing Editor
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Lighting upgrades critical to school energy efficiency drive

In order to improve the energy efficiency of schools in the UK, large scale lighting upgrades will need to be made, according to Tamlite Lighting. 

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings across the UK will be key to reaching the country’s net zero target by 2050, and one of the easiest improvements any building can make is through upgraded lighting. 

Lighting currently accounts for 50% of a school’s total electricity costs, according to analysis of Government data, carried out by eLight. That means more efficient lighting has the potential to save schools thousands of pounds a year, which should help significantly as they currently have seen an increase of 6.5% on their energy bills in the last five years. 

Tamlite Lighting argues that for a relatively small investment, schools will benefit from not just reduced bills, but also reduce their impact on the environment. 

John Allden, Tamlite Lighting’s Managing Director, says now is the perfect time to look at lighting upgrades as the summer holidays approach. He commented, “Properly specified, the latest generation of LED lighting systems can deliver long-term cost-savings that make a dramatic difference.

“LED lighting is quick and easy to install, pays back fast, and creates minimal installation disruption. With an increased focus on how education establishments can operate more efficiently, a well-designed lighting scheme is the best way to reduce energy consumption.”

The problem for many schools is that they just don’t have the spare cash to spend. Many school estates in the UK are crumbling with multiple upgrades needing to be made, with not enough cash available to do them all. While lighting can save them money, it’s often a concern that comes last – especially if the current lighting system works. 

There are ways for academies and free schools to gain access to funding for energy efficiency upgrades, but competition for this funding is tough. The UK Government may need to step in and offer even more cash if it hopes to decarbonise schools. 

Despite this, the benefits of LED lighting are twofold as it will also help create a learning environment that is supportive of both student and teacher wellbeing.

Allden added, “Teaching spaces have changed, and they are now more dynamic, more considered and more human-centric. To reflect this, they should be designed to have a positive impact on learners and teachers. Fortunately, with the latest LED lighting and control technologies, it is now easier than ever before to identify and install systems that will work to the benefit of both students and teachers. 

“By seeking a perfect balance between natural and artificial light, with different light output at different times of day, it is possible to offer illumination that works in conjunction with students’ natural rhythms. And deploying user-friendly controllers and interfaces allows staff to make easy adjustments and deliver appropriate levels and consistency of illumination, as well as eliminate glare. For those seeking to benefit from lighting upgrades, our expert team is on hand to work with architects, bursars, governors and headteachers to optimise learning environments for generations to come.”

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