Improving education in the Year of Light

Light plays a role in every aspect of our lives. We rely on it to brighten our homes and businesses.

We use light-based technologies in our smart phones, tablets, laptops, and DVD players. You’ll even find them in use at the grocery store, the airport and the doctor’s office.

No doubt about it, light is a vital part of our world.

Perhaps that’s why the United Nations has proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light. Over the next 12 months, lighting experts, technology leaders and the brightest scientific minds will convene to explore and discuss ways that light-based technologies can be used to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems—problems like energy consumption, agriculture, health and education.

For our contribution, Solatube International, Inc. will continue to work on improving education by growing our established educational daylighting program. Through this initiative, we provide free Solatube Daylighting Systems to qualifying U.S. schools and universities. The units deliver natural light that helps students concentrate, perform better on tests, and work more productively. They also cut electricity costs, allowing more money to be put into the classroom and less into utilities.

Our most recent efforts benefited Newington High School in Newington, Conn., a facility that hadn’t been updated for 40 years. The school’s media center was the main focus of the project. Surrounded by corridors and classrooms, this section of the building had no access to natural light.

The space was brightened using several Solatube Daylighting Systems, installed by the Solatube Commercial Distributor for New England, Willco Sales & Service.

 “I was impressed with the difference natural daylight brought  to the room,” said Architect Kevin Lipe of Jacunski Humes  Architects. “Before the project, turning off the room lights left  most of the space in darkness and brought to a stop whatever  activities were underway. Now, turning off the lights causes an  almost imperceptible change to light levels and activities  continue on uninterrupted. Solatube Daylighting Systems  greatly enhance the quality of ambient light throughout the  space without shadows, glare or direct sun.”

Thanks to the new units, students now have access to better,  brighter lighting. The school can also reduce its energy use since traditional electric lights can be left off during the day.

As the International Year of Light continues, we’ll continue to do our part to solve the world’s problems as they relate to education and energy consumption. In fact, plans are already in the works to install units in additional educational facilities domestically. We’re even looking to expand our program outside the U.S. to ensure children in schools all over the world have the lighting they need to study and learn.

Solving the world’s problems won’t happen overnight. But with awareness building initiatives like the International Year of Light and educational improvement programs like the one we’ve put into place, we’ll continue to chip away at it. One school at a time.

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