What Types of Lights Are Used in Schools?

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Fluorescent tubes and other lighting that is used in schools.

Lighting has long been dominated by incandescent bulbs, which are designed nearly identically to the way that the original 1879 version was by Thomas Edison. Schools and other areas that utilize lighting over the course of an entire day require lights that have more advantages than the inefficient and short-lasting incandescent bulbs; therefore, newer and more advantageous types of lighting are normally used. Many types of fluorescent bulbs have become the standard by which schools operate lighting.


Fluorescent Tubes

The most common type of light found within schools is the fluorescent tube light. These appear as long cylindrical tubes that are normally 4 or 8 feet in length. They are extremely efficient, being up to 75 percent more efficient than standard incandescent lighting—which dominates 85 percent of the world’s household lighting. Their lifespan is normally from 7,000 to 24,000 hours, which is up to 10 times the longevity of incandescent bulbs.


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Circline Lamps

Circline lamps allow the use of fluorescent bulbs for ambient lighting. Normally, schools use ambient lighting—which is a type of low-level lighting—over large indoor areas that do not need to be well lit. Circline lamps provide a good replacement to less efficient traditional lamps, which utilize incandescent bulbs. Circline lamps are also very common for portable task lighting—which might be used over a teacher’s desk in a classroom.


Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

The other type of fluorescent lighting that exists is “compact fluorescent lighting” or CFLs. CFLs are one of the newer types of fluorescent light bulbs, which are extremely popular due to their ability to fit directly into the incandescent light bulb socket. Compact fluorescent bulbs generally last up to 10,000 hours. They are extremely small, featuring small, cylindrical tubing that is very similar in overall size to an incandescent bulb. The key to their energy efficiency is the electrical ballast that regulates electrical flow into the light bulb, preventing wasted energy expenditure.


Tungsten Halogen

Another type of lighting that can be commonly found in some schools is halogen lighting. Although halogen lighting is a type of incandescent lighting—featuring a tungsten filament—it still possesses some modifications that make it more energy efficient and longer lasting. Halogen lights are designed to recycle heat. They do so with an inner coating and a gas filling which reflect heat inward, allowing it to expend less energy.



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