Vita-Lite Lighting Brightens Vermont ClassroomsAs one of the nation's most picturesque states, Vermont may be a pleasant sight for sore eyes, but not if you happen to teach in a basement or light-restricted classroom. Unless, as teachers from several schools in Brattleboro, Dover, and Putney have discovered, you install Vita-Lite full-spectrum fluorescent lamps.
Over the past several years, the Dover Elementary School, St. Michael's School, and Landmark College have experienced dramatic improvements in classroom light levels, visibility, and reduced glare under Vita-Lite's crisp, natural, sunlight-simulating fluorescent light. Before discovering the benefits of full-spectrum lighting, these schools used standard high-glare fluorescent lamps that actually made dark, dull basements or light-restricted classrooms even drearier--especially during long Vermont winters.
Installing Vita-Lite has helped students at all levels keep their focus on learning because Vita-Lite simulates the full-color and balanced ultraviolet spectrum of natural outdoor light. With its high color rendering index (CRI) of 91 (compared to natural outdoor light's 100). Vita-Lite reveals details and colors accurately. Reduces eye-strain, helps lessen glare on VDT screens, and facilitates all visually-demanding tasks.
A Good Report Card
Teachers report positive reactions from pupils, parents, and visitors who enter a classroom that formerly used harsh, standard fluorescent tubes. "Vita-Lite has transformed the inside light of our classrooms and has changed the whole atmosphere throughout our school." said Dover Elementary's Principal Frank Varra.
A strikingly modern structure with an attractive but light-inhibiting overhang, Dover Elementary just completed a three-year phase-in of Vita-Lite tubes. "Before Vita-Lite, there were shadows on student desks and blackboards, but no more," continued Varra. "When the children returned from summer vacation, they noticed the difference right away and students whose classrooms had the old lighting started asking for Vita-Lite. In my 29 years of working in education, I never heard a child mention lighting before."
Plants Love Vita-Lite Too
People aren't the only beneficiaries of full-spectrum lighting. Noreen Cooper, sixth-grade teacher and principal of St. Michael's School in Brattleboro installed Vita-Lite bulbs in her basement classroom and reported that not only were she and her students less lethargic at the end of the day, but her plants bloomed as never before. "I had tried to grow plants under the old lighting," said Cooper, "but in spite of careful watering, they died. Under Vita-Lite, they're not only growing, they're thriving."
Cooper also found that taking slides was easier under natural full-spectrum lighting. "Even my camera picks up the difference," she continued, "because under the old tubes I had to use a big spotlight when taking pictures, but now all I need is my flash since Vita-Lite provides enough light." Serious photographers will appreciate the fact that. Under Vita-Lite, it's possible to use daylight-type film without the use of filters.
Vita-Lite's color rendering index promotes visibility and makes it the ideal fluorescent for all tasks requiring accurate color and detail perception. This is especially important at the Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, a school for both degree and non-degree dyslexic students who are particularly light sensitive.
Since installing full-spectrum lighting in their basement classrooms, teachers in these rooms report that complaints about glare and eyestrain have been eliminated. "There is no question that my students and I can see better under full-spectrum lighting," remarked teacher Meredith Morgan. "The print is clearer and I can read for longer periods of time without eye fatigue. I even put Vita-Lite in at home near my computer and I've found it's easier to focus on the screen."
When these Vermont teachers were asked if they would consider returning to their former lighting, the answer was a resounding, unanimous "No!" Morgan was emphatic in stating she would never work in a basement classroom again unless the lighting was natural full-spectrum. "I think this type of light should be everywhere," she said. "For our particular student needs, full-spectrum lighting creates a more advantageous learning environment."
Varra pointed out the cost effectiveness of natural lighting, explaining that "Vita-Lite is not expensive in view of its long life and quality performance. We come out ahead in the long run and get all the benefits of this nice lighting, too."
Installing Vita-Lite has helped students at all levels keep their focus on learning.