Why are PK-12 schools choosing to install tunable lighting?
Are they still happy with their choice?


Sarah Safranek, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Andrea Wilkerson, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Alexandra Christiana, HMFH Architects


March 14, 2024
8:30 am - 10:00 am EST

Credits 1.5 LU | Elective


Some of the earliest adopters of tunable lighting systems were schools, installed with much fanfare. But how is it going nearly a decade later? This presentation will review feedback gathered by PNNL from adopters of tunable lighting past and present, exploring adoption trends over the past decade as well as what the future may hold for tunable lighting in schools. The presentation will take a closer look at tunable lighting installation just completed in 30 special needs and preschool classrooms to understand the current opportunities and challenges.


  • Explain the reasons why schools are choosing to install tunable lighting
  • Summarize the different types of lighting systems that have been installed in schools
  • Describe the trends in school tunable lighting installations over the past decade
  • Apply the feedback from schools on the long-term system performance and occupant response to their next design


Sarah Safranek
Sarah Safranek
Lighting Research Associate
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Sarah joined PNNL as a Lighting Research Associate in September of 2017. Prior to joining PNNL, Sarah contributed to research at the University of Colorado for the Architectural Engineering’s Building Systems program with an emphasis on lighting. Sarah’s work and research involves conducting lighting simulations and field evaluations of advanced lighting systems in support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solid-State Lighting Program.

Andrea Wilkerson
Andrea Wilkerson
Senior Lighting Research Engineer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Andrea Wilkerson is a Senior Lighting Research Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, focusing on the evaluation of emerging lighting technology in support of the U.S. DOE SSL Program. She earned her doctorate from Penn State and her BS and MAE from the University of Nebraska in the respective architectural engineering programs. Andrea serves as an Associate Editor of LEUKOS, as President of the IALD Education Trust Board of Directors, on the NCQLP Exam committee and the Oregon State University School of Civil and Construction Engineering Industry Advisory Board.

Alexandra Christiana
Alexandra Christiana
Associate & Sustainability Leader
HMFH Architects

Alexandra Christiana WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C, LFA, is an architect and sustainability leader at HMFH Architects, where her passion for building performance and knowledge of lighting design has made her crucial to projects at every stage. Providing integral support to project teams, Christiana uses her skillsets to push sustainable initiatives and assist in problem solving for complex designs. Her commitment to promoting student wellness is reflected in her daylight and energy modeling, as well as her research into healthy material options and embodied carbon. With a background in energy consumption and voluntary building standards, Christiana holds a Master of Science in Environmental Design of Buildings from Cardiff University in Wales and a Master of Architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.

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