Illumination in educational facilities

The central meeting point of every institution

The illumination of an assembly hall must be as versatile as the room itself.

The quality and appearance of an assembly hall increase with the variability and quality of the illumination

The versatility of an assembly hall is in keeping with its importance as the central meeting place of an educational institution. As an event venue for informal or cultural events, as a meeting room and even as a centre for teaching in small or large groups, no space covers such a broad spectrum of uses as an assembly hall. Effective lighting is a key requirement for this assembly area. After basic illumination in place of or in addition to daylight, the next step in lighting design is to create different illumination zones.

The classic basic layout: The room is divided into the audience area and the stage and lectern. The following applies to any use of the assembly hall: the flexibility of this important space must be reflected in the flexibility of the lighting. The basic lighting of the room requires standard, pleasant, glare-free light that not only offers visibility but sets the tone as well. Combining different groups of luminaires to create different lighting effects makes the auditorium appear even more distinguished.

At evening gathering, a daylight atmosphere increases the attentiveness of audience members. Tunable white luminaires can easily be integrated in the lighting design and illumination to this end. While the general lighting can be dimmed, spotlights or track-mounted zoom spotlights draw the necessary attention to what’s happening on the stage. The alignment of the luminaires can easily be adjusted in advance.

RGBW luminaires can be used to create colourful lighting effects in the assembly hall, giving it and any performances a unique flair.

When integrated in a DALI control system, it’s possible to pre-define different lighting scenarios. Convenient controls via a switch, pushbutton, PC or mobile device eliminate the need for additional stage technology, meaning the system can be used without major technical interventions or training.

Even when planning a DALI control system in an existing building, it’s possible to use the existing conditions to your advantage – ceilings are often suspended, meaning the new five-strand cables needed for DALI can be installed without a problem.

In daylight, the luminaires serve as both an accessory and additional lighting option in the assembly hall. The preset light programming reacts to low daylight levels and switches on the lighting.

Soft, pleasant, unshielded light gives the assembly hall a warm glow in the evening. When pendant luminaires are combined with wall luminaires and recessed ceiling luminaires, the result is high-quality illumination befitting of this central meeting point. In addition, tunable white luminaires create a daylight-like atmosphere to increase attentiveness, as needed.

Lighting scenarios for different occasions

From standard-conform basic illumination to zonal lighting for different occasions: The convenient pre-configuration of lighting scenarios ensures the safe illumination of the auditorium and lends the necessary glamour to the focal point of the educational facility as well as to the performances, lectures, meetings and discussions planned there. Even the most specific features of any event can be taken into account in the planning phase.

Once the lighting scenarios have been configured, they can be controlled simply using a switch, pushbutton or mobile device: yet another convenient highlight of a DALI protocol for light control. The lighting technology can be configured before the performance or presentation even begins, so there is no need for large-scale event technology, since all lighting requirements are simple to access and operate.

Functionality, presentation and mood are the most important features to consider when setting exemplary lighting scenarios for different occasions in an auditorium.

The “peak times” of an educational institution are determined by footfall in the corridors and in the aisles of the auditorium. The following luminaires are used:

Downlights on the glass roof are used to substitute or supplement the light from outside when there is little natural daylight available. Downward-directed light ensures basic illumination to maintain safety in all trafficked areas. These downlights provide a maximum light output of up to 50 percent depending on the amount of daylight available.

Recessed ceiling luminaires in the walkways ensure safe route configuration. Symmetrical wide-angle light provides the necessary visual comfort and guides the user or visitor. The maximum output of the luminaires must be specified during planning and control.

Step lighting adds to the efficacy of hazard markings and provides glare-free warnings for trip hazards when the rest of the illumination is dimmed down or switched off. The discrete yet effective luminaires also separate the walkways from the event area of the auditorium. This gives the entire auditorium additional structure.

A DALI System enables users to control the illumination of the auditorium and the walkways according to daily usage patterns, while the system also adjusts for the brightness of the natural light available.

The general illumination should provide bright yet glare-free lighting of the aisles and rows of seats – and with full light output. The main focus here is to provide safety, as well as orientation within the space. When all participants have taken their seats, the dimming level is selected according to the event. The most important criterion to consider is ensuring a glare-free view of the stage from all seats. As a guideline, about 30 percent of the available light output should be used. 

Illumination of the steps allows guests to find their way if they need to leave the room in low light. Safety and comfort are two equally important factors to consider. 

On stage, good vertical illuminance is required to adequately accentuate the presentation space. Horizontal and vertical illuminance in the lecture area should be at least 1.5 times the average degree of illuminance of the room. Zoom spotlights can be directed to the relevant areas even before the event begins. Texts and lecture materials must be glare-free and easy to read on both tablet devices and paper. The zoom spotlights are operated at 100 per cent output.

A festive and welcoming atmosphere is created by dimming the recessed ceiling luminaires in the walkways. Basic illumination is used as guests are arriving, then the light from above from the downlights on the glass roof and the recessed ceiling luminaires in the walkways is lowered to suit the occasion, in order to bring the hall and the decoration to the fore. Using 30 percent light output is appropriate for this kind of occasion.

The shielded step lights also serve to reduce trip hazards and to guide visitors at these events. 

Recessed ceiling luminaires for RGBW additive colour mixing can be used to contribute to the festive atmosphere of events.

Basic illumination for these events is also provided by the downlights on the glass ceiling and the recessed ceiling luminaires in the walkways. Special illumination accents for specific areas (exhibits, lectern) are a fundamental feature of such events. Zoom spotlights can be directed as needed and draw the guests´ attention specifically to these areas. All luminaire types are operated at full output. 

If the assembly hall is not always used as a teaching area for classes or courses, and if the walkways are used as passageways, care should be taken to ensure efficient illumination of these routes. Recessed ceiling luminaires in walkways provide guidance and safety. The light is turned down to an output of 10 percent. When people are present, the intensity of the luminaires is gradually increased automatically – up to full light output if required.

Our offer: DALI Training Our BEGA DALI Training offers an introduction to DALI in conveniently structured steps. The training covers the basics (definition, properties, prerequisites), concrete examples of circuit design, as well as configuration and control. For users who are just starting out or those in need of a refresher – BEGA’s DALI Training offers high-quality instruction in the basics and the finer points.

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