Lighting Effects for Learning with Spectral Shaping
Dr. Michael S. Mott, The University of Mississippi; Daniel Robinson, University of Texas at Arlington; Regan Morse, The University of Mississippi; and Lauren Saltzman, The University of Mississippi
March 6, 2023
9:30am – 10:30am EST
Prior research has revealed positive learning effects when students experience bright lighting with specifications set at cooler color temperatures utilizing blue wavelength and higher luminosity. Studies have found improvements for overall learning (Davis & Wilkerson, 2017); test scores (Choi & Suk, 2016); and oral reading fluency (Mott & Robinson, 2012; Mott et al., 2014). Despite these positive effects, such emphases on blue spectral wavelength coupled with high brightness as measured in lux lack visual and non-visual positive responses when compared to lighting with warmer color temperature and less luminosity. Thus, when specifications are set too cool and bright it is not as affectively appealing as warmer red wave length infused light.
However, when lighting is set to warmer (red wave length) color temperatures and lower luminosity, pineal melatonin levels can increase, causing drowsiness and decreased focus and concentration as measured by the D2 Test of Concentration (Sleegers et al., 2013). The challenge for educators is to set the spectral light array with the maximum amount of blue wave length while retaining lower CCT and luminosity levels (5000K/500lux) recommended by conventional research and industry standards. The spectral array in Figure 1 shows that although the arrays are different, this difference is not detectable by the human eye.
The increased blue wavelength of the Energy lighting, to be evaluated in the current study, functions to suppress the production of pineal melatonin (Choi & Suk, 2016) yielding possible positive learning effects with increased blue wavelength while retaining normal luminosity levels. The rationale for this investigation is to experimentally evaluate possible learning effects of Energy lighting based on its increased blue wavelength, normal luminosity level and prior research evidence indicating melanopic suppression in participants (Nowizin et al., 2017).
- Will classrooms with LED lighting (5500CCT/900lux and a higher spectral concentration of blue wavelength) significantly increase high school students’ on-task learning as measured via intermittent observations of student behaviors (student eye gaze - on teacher, individual deskwork, and assigned work) compared with classrooms with LED lighting (4000CCT/600lux and a normal spectral blue wavelength) and just fluorescent and LED lighting (4000CCT/600lux)?
- Will classrooms with LED lighting (5500CCT/900lux and a higher spectral concentration of blue wavelength) significantly increase high school students’ norm reference practice test scores compared with classrooms with LED lighting (4000CCT/600lux and a normal spectral blue wavelength) and just fluorescent and LED lighting (4000CCT/600lux and a normal spectral blue wavelength)?
- Will classrooms with LED lighting (5500CCT/900lux and a higher spectral concentration of blue wavelength) significantly increase high school students’ motivation, interest and satisfaction compared to classrooms with LED lighting (4000CCT/600lux and a normal spectral blue wavelength) and just fluorescent and LED lighting (4000CCT/600lux and a normal spectral blue wavelength)?
- Lighting designers will understand the connection between light color temperature spectral array and learning for lighting in schools.
Professor of Teacher Education, The University of Mississippi
Dr. Michael S. Mott earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Mississippi State University, a Masters of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Bachelors of Art in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Recent course design and teaching includes undergraduate and graduate literacy, educational assessment, and science methods.
Dr. Mott is the lead author of 12 books and two book chapters with publishers including Pearson, Kendall Hunt, Cognella, TouchSmart, IGI Global and Information Science Publishing. Dr. Mott’s research in assessment across content areas has been funded via large-scale federal programs, state and locally supported projects ($618,000.00 as Primary Investigator). Write-ups of this research agenda have led to 21 peer reviewed publications across a wide array of journals with impact factors, including Early Childhood Research & Practice, Disability and Rehabilitation, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Journal of Literacy and Technology, and The Social Studies.
Dr. Mott has consulted with and conducted research on a wide array of corporate programs in the educational sector, including Samsung, Chevron Energy, Philips and Opterra Energy, leveraging tunable LED light technology and light spectral array for improved learning in K-12 classrooms.
Previous to higher education Dr. Mott taught in the New York City Public Schools and the Lowell School in Washington, D.C., worked in museum science education with the Chicago Public Schools Office of Math and Science, and as a reading specialist with the Department of Special Education, Prairie Hills Elementary School District, for ten years in South Suburban Chicago.
Associate Dean for Research and Professor, University of Texas at Arlington
Chair and Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, Curriculum and Instruction. (July 11, 2017 - July 31, 2020).
Director of Research and Measurement, University of Texas at Austin, Center for Teaching and Learning. (September 1, 2015 - January 8, 2017).
Director and Professor, Colorado State University, School of Education. (July 1, 2012 - August 31, 2015).
Lauren Saltzman, Graduate Assistant in the Department of Teacher Education, The University of Mississippi
Regan Morse, Graduate Assistant in the Department of Teacher Education, The University of Mississippi