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Lighting in Kindergartens

HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE

 

The establishment of kindergartens is without question one of the most forward-looking and responsible tasks of our society. They create experience spaces that are designed to offer every child the best conditions for their growth and the best possible development. It's not for nothing that the children's environment is also referred to as the "third educator" - consequently the design as well as the lighting have a significant impact on the promotion of the children.

 

Kids are curious, they want to move and play: they discover and explore their environment every day. However, as the ability to perceive develops only gradually in children, it is particularly important to create a stable atmosphere in which they can orient themselves and feel well. The pedagogy places many demands on the architecture and it creates more and more dynamic environments that encourage the children to a variety of activities but also provide space for recreation and security. The optimal design and lighting concept is therefore adapted to the respective pedagogical concept, but allows a flexible use of the rooms and creates a certain freedom in the organisation of the kindergarten everyday.

In order to meet these requirements, a well thought-out and adapted lighting concept is needed, which is fluently integrated into the overall concept of a childcare center. However, it is important to pay attention to the different premises and their individual purposes.



Group and multipurpose rooms

In these rooms children spend most of their time - they play, do handicrafts but also read and rest. Since children experience external stimuli much more intensively, a particularly sensitive handling of the interior equipment and lighting is required: a too intense design can quickly become too exciting and irritating to children, which is why the basic colours in these rooms are kept rather discreetly and only individual visual colour impulses should be set.

With the choice of 25 different colours, PROLICHT offers the possibility to set unique colour accents and to adapt them to the respective concept. The luminaires from the GLORIOUS and SIGN product family are ideal for illuminating group and multipurpose rooms: the large, striking figures can be perceived particularly well by children and, thanks to their shapes and colours, correspond to the children's world of experience.

In group rooms, a minimum illuminance of 300 lux must be ensured. In addition, care must be taken in kindergartens to ensure correct colour reproduction: the sense of seeing is just beeing developed in children, and a minimum value of 80 Ra must be adhered to or exceeded in order to ensure the perception of the "real" colours. Exposing children to a light that doesn't optimally represent colours doesn't teach them to perceive these colours properly.

SIGN and GLORIOUS luminaires can be further adapted to the requirements of a kindergarten: individual engravings can depict group symbols etc. on the luminaires and thus provide better orientation. An optional direct/indirect lighting in the suspended or some surface mounted versions also ensures an optimised three-dimensional perception of space and ensures balanced contrasts in the room. Optional dimming functions also allow the lighting to be adjusted to different activities, weather and times of day.



Corridors

Corridors are usually more than just traffic zones: they also serve as work, meeting and recreation areas. A uniform and comfortable lighting helps to make optimal use of these rooms. With harmonious coordination of colour and lighting, optimal guidance systems and therefore the best possible orientation can be created.

With the endless configurable SUPER-G lights correct guidance and ideal ways can be pointed out. Since children usually don't stay a long time in corridors, also an intense colour scheme can lead to a better orientation as well as different colours in different areas or floors.

With the right colour choice, the respective room effect can be highlighted. Warm colours create a cosy, communicative atmosphere while cold colours are rather simple, functional and activating. This also applies to the respective light colour: warm white light is particularly cosy and comfortable while neutral white and cooler light colours are more likely to be perceived as factual and activating.



Primary care facilites

It's not just about playing and romping in kindergartens, nowadays it's almost standard to offer all-day care. This means that even more needs and requirements have to be considered in the planning: kitchens, dining areas but also sanitary facilities must be more and more integrated in the planning and of course being child-friendly designed and illuminated.

Especially in areas where water or other materials are handled, care must be taken that even small or large mishaps can not harm the environment. For this we at PROLICHT offer various standard solutions as well as tailor-made special luminaires with increased protection classes.

Furthermore, the lights should be installed that children can not reach them and in no way pose a danger to them. If there are also areas in which children shouldn't stay, this can also be highlighted by the design: a white or even black colour scheme with particularly cool light colours meets the rejection of children, which means they will avoid these areas by themselves.

In conclusion, it can be argued that due to the diversity of the various requirements, there can not be a universally valid design and lighting concept. When planning such centers, it is particularly important to address the often very specific needs and requirements and to design individual concepts. However, the following points can make a significant contribution.

 


Lighting in kindergartens - the main points summarised:

  • If children spend more time in a room, the basic tones of the room should be kept calm and luminaires in bright colours and shapes should be used as a contrast.
  • The minimum illuminance in the rooms should be at least 300 lux.
  • A good colour rendering is essential for an ideal child development. The minimum value of Ra 80 must be taken into account.
  • Direct/indirect illumination ensures optimal contrast and enhances the development of three-dimensional vision.
  • Luminaires can be used perfectly for orientation or as guidance systems - eg by engravings, shapes or colour-different designs in different areas.
  • With colour-coordinated luminaires and the chosen light colour, the colour-psychological spatial effect can be supported. If children do not spend a long time in a room, strong and intense colours can be integrated into the overall design (eg warm colours for a cosy atmosphere, cool colours to activate).
  • In order to protect children, the luminaires should not be installed within reach and have certain protection classes in special rooms.
  • In general, matt surfaces should be smoothly pulled over (for floor material, tables, ...) in order to avoid any possible reflection as much as possible.