Tunable Lighting:
Mimicking the Natural Progression of Daylight

Tunable lighting, a dynamic LED technology, plays a crucial role in creating learning environments that support student well-being and academic performance. It offers adjustable color temperatures and intensities that mimic daylight, enhance student health, aid teachers in creating optimal learning environments, and guide student behavior within classrooms.

Health and Well-being

One of the primary ways tunable lighting promotes health is by supporting the synchronization of circadian rhythms. Light can be adjusted throughout the day to help regulate sleep-wake cycles, stimulating alertness during learning hours and fostering better sleep quality at night. These factors may contribute to improved concentration, mood stability, and overall well-being among students and teachers.

Optimizing Learning Environments

Tunable lighting allows educators to customize classroom ambiance according to specific activities and learning needs. For example, cooler tones may be chosen to promote focus and productivity while warmer tones set the stage for relaxed and creative pursuits. In addition to supporting diverse learning styles, this adaptability has been shown to enhance student engagement and academic performance.

Behavior Cues

Research suggests that exposure to specific light wavelengths can positively affect some of the challenging behaviors associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In these cases, tunable lighting can improve social interactions in classrooms and support behavior management.

The positive effects of tunable lighting are still being evaluated. Nonetheless, many educators are already welcoming this technology into their classrooms as part of a holistic program for using LED lighting to create engaging environments.

Four HMFH-designed schools are or will be programmed to include tunable lighting technology:

This new school for 1,755 students includes a total of 25 rooms that incorporate tunable lighting technology. Arlington’s extensive adoption plan for this new technology will offer HMFH the potential for broad and deep post-occupancy evaluation.

Bristol County Agricultural High School is a design-award winning project, notable for its deep sustainability program and unique, hands-on learning environment. Here, tunable lighting supports specialized lab spaces which are part of its Natural Resource Management program.

Bristol-Plymouth is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2026. The school prioritizes health and well-being through multiple initiatives including a healthy material pilot program as well as the implementation of tunable lighting in special education spaces.

Saugus Middle High School is a STEAM-driven, design-award-winning project that has incorporated tunable lighting technology into a total of 10 classrooms. Natural daylight floods the building’s interior and is strategically complemented by tunable lighting technology.

HMFH is committed to designing exceptional schools composed of healthy, sustainable, and environmentally efficient environments. Leveraging the power of daylight is central to our design philosophy and is prioritized throughout every school we serve. And now, tunable lighting offers educators an unprecedented level of control when using light to optimize learning environments, manage classroom behaviors, and promote overall student health and wellbeing. When deployed as part of an overall light management strategy, tunable lighting technology can support transformative outcomes.