Low Glare Lighting Comparison

Studies show that the environment directly affects students’ academic performance. Environmental factors such as temperature, lighting and building design create the environment. However, based on research, lighting is crucial compared to other elements. Dunn (1985) says that illumination in the educational environment needs to be considered a vital element. Lighting then becomes fundamental when designing learning environments. Architects and designers need to understand the relationship between light and the environment to improve students’ academic performance in learning environments (Oneworkplace, 1999).

Supporting Dunn’s statement, according to Jago and Tanner (1999), students’ ability to think and concentrate on the instructions given in the school environment is influenced by lighting. The study by Veitch (2010) also strengthens the theory that lighting addresses six categories of human requirements. These are visibility, task performance, communication and social behaviour, health and safety, mood and comfort, aesthetics, and judgments. Because lighting impacts task performance, we cannot ignore its effects on learning and classroom achievement.

How much time do students spend at school? Most Australian children spend six to seven hours at school, almost half their waking hours. This is the main reason we must pay attention to lighting so that it can optimally support the activities they perform. In addition, students look at and read from a variety of medium. Paper, whiteboards and increasingly, screens, all of which require high concentration and must be assisted by comfortable lighting.

How to create good quality lighting for learning environments?
Architects and designers must choose a lighting design that avoids discomfort and glare in all applications. A well-lit classroom that includes glare control, whether direct (from the luminaire itself) or indirect, is one of the aspects that most influences visual comfort. (Benya, 2001).

But first, we need to understand what glare is. Glare is a loss of visual performance or discomfort created by an intensity of light higher than the eye has currently adapted to. If consistently exposed to, it can harm the eyes and cause strain and impairment over time. However, in designing learning environments or educational centres, we can avoid this situation by installing low glare luminaires as glare is quantifiable and can be measured. Glare within a space can be given a UGR (Unified Glare Rating). The higher the UGR, the higher the glare experienced within the space and the higher the discomfort for those within it.

Difference between low glare lighting with normal light

A Unified Glare Rating between 16 and 19 is recommended to create an ideal environment for learning and development. It is crucial to prioritise using luminaires with proper glare control to favour low glare levels (UGR) in any given area within the learning environment. We at mLight offer products that can help achieve a space that is < UGR19. Adding glare control to luminaires within your lighting design will help meet the required < UGR19 standards and deliver a comfortable lighting solution to assist students' performance and well-being in education centres.

To conclude, the importance of good lighting in classrooms and other learning environments issues the fact that light doesn’t just affect students visually but also has an effect on student’s well-being and academic performance. Ensuring learning spaces are designed with low glare lighting is essential to providing the best visual comfort.


Samani, S. (2012). The Impact of Indoor Lighting on Students’ Learning Performance in Learning Environments: A knowledge internalisation perspective. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(24), 127-136. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281146405

Synergy. (n.d). What is UGR 19? The Ultimate Contractor Guide. https://synergy.gb.net/blog/what-is-ugr19-the-ultimate-contractors-guide

Lamp Worktitude For Life. (n.d). The importance of good lighting in educational centres. https://www.lamp.es/en/news/the-importance-of-good-lighting-in-educational-centres_500258

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